Protests in Cuba: Canada calls for peaceful dialogue

“Due to its concern” about the situation in Cuba, Canada is “closely monitoring the situation” and calling for a “peaceful and inclusive dialogue” between the communist government and its opponents, even though the latter does not have an official political structure.

The country’s streets have been invaded since Sunday by protesters frustrated with their economic situation, which has deteriorated dramatically since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. Cubans are also opposed to the government’s handling of the pandemic.

This health crisis has plunged the Cuban population into its worst crisis since the fall of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s. Beyond economic turmoil, the Caribbean island is facing an explosion in COVID-19 cases in recent weeks, a trend that shows no sign of abating.

“Canada supports the right to freedom of expression and assembly and calls on all parties to respect this fundamental right,” said a statement sent to QMI.

Immediately, the government of Miguel Diaz-Canel, on Sunday, called on supporters of the regime to respond to the demonstrators, and blamed the demonstrations on the Cuban-American mafia.

We call on all the revolutionaries of the country, all the communists, to take to the streets where these provocations will occur, now and in the next few days. The president declared in a televised address on Sunday that confronting them in a decisive, resolute and courageous manner.

Global Affairs Canada said it had funded several projects to help Cuba “deal with the epidemic and its impact on vulnerable segments of the population”. It was said: “The funding has been channeled through the Pan American Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, Oxfam and CARE.”

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And while the demonstrations are less significant, they were renewed on Monday, from one end of the island to the other. Police and the army were deployed to prevent the protests from escalating.

US President Joe Biden joined in on Monday, calling “the Cuban regime to listen to its people” and making a “strong call for freedom.” On the other hand, since 1962 the United States has imposed a major economic embargo that binds the hands of Cuba. President Diaz-Canel deplores the “economic suffocation” that will be the source of the current “social unrest”.

The government of Russia, the eternal ally of Cuba, urged foreign countries not to interfere in the situation prevailing in the country, warning against “foreign interference” and renewed its support for the existing communist regime.

– With AFP

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