Rare protests erupt in Cuba amidst ongoing economic crisis.

Rare protests erupt in Cuba amidst ongoing economic crisis.

In a rare display of dissent, Cuba finds itself grappling with protests echoing through its streets, signaling the deepening turmoil caused by a persistent economic crisis. President Miguel Diaz-Canel’s call for calm comes against a backdrop of mounting frustration, with citizens voicing grievances over prolonged power outages and dwindling food supplies. These protests, though peaceful, underscore the gravity of the situation facing the communist-governed nation.

The Catalyst:

The economic woes plaguing Cuba stem from a confluence of factors, including longstanding trade embargoes imposed by the United States and exacerbated by sanctions enacted during Donald Trump’s presidency. However, the COVID-19 pandemic dealt a severe blow to the country’s already fragile economy, as tourism, a vital source of revenue, ground to a halt, leaving Cuba reeling from its worst economic downturn in decades.

Cuba-Power and Food: Voices of Dissent:

In Santiago, Cuba’s second-largest city, hundreds took to the streets, chanting slogans demanding reliable power and adequate food supplies. The wave of blackouts, lasting up to 18 hours per day, has not only disrupted daily life but also imperiled the distribution of essential food items, exacerbating the hardships faced by ordinary Cubans.

A Call for Dialogue Amidst Tensions:

President Diaz-Canel’s response emphasizes the government’s commitment to dialogue and resolution. While acknowledging citizens’ grievances, he attributes the unrest to external forces, decrying attempts by “enemies” and “mediocre politicians” in the US to exploit the situation. Despite this, Diaz-Canel advocates for a peaceful resolution, urging authorities to address the legitimate concerns of the people.

International Observations:

The United States, through its embassy in Havana, acknowledges reports of protests in various Cuban cities and urges the government to respect the rights of demonstrators. This diplomatic exchange underscores the broader international scrutiny surrounding Cuba’s handling of internal dissent and human rights.


The Legacy of July 2021 Protests:

The recent protests evoke memories of the widespread demonstrations witnessed in July 2021, marking a rare display of dissent since Fidel Castro’s revolutionary era. The government’s heavy-handed response to those protests drew condemnation from the international community, highlighting ongoing tensions between state authorities and civil liberties advocates.

Navigating Uncharted Waters:

As Cuba grapples with its economic crisis, the government faces mounting pressure to implement reforms that address systemic issues while ensuring stability and social cohesion. The reliance on external aid, such as seeking assistance from the UN’s World Food Programme, underscores the severity of the situation and the need for concerted action.


The unrest in Cuba serves as a poignant reminder of the profound challenges facing the island nation. Amidst calls for calm and dialogue, the protests underscore a growing sense of disillusionment among the populace, fueled by economic hardships and political tensions. As Cuba navigates uncertain waters, the path forward hinges on fostering dialogue, addressing grievances, and charting a course towards a more stable and prosperous future for all its citizens.

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