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Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Blinken: US Supports Cubans on Anniversary of Protests

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US Secretary of State Antony Blinken urged the Cuban government to respect the voices of protesters a year after the largest demonstration on the island in decades.

“One year after the July 11 demonstrations in Cuba, we recognize the determination and courage of the Cuban people in their long struggle for democracy,” Blinken said in a post on Twitter.

“The United States stands with the Cuban people and we urge the Cuban regime to respect their voices,” he added.

Protesters took to the streets of Cuba’s capital, Havana, as well as other parts of the country on July 11 and 12, 2021, expressing anger at long lines for food, power cuts, and problems with the drug supply amid the coronavirus pandemic. .

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The protesters chanted slogans calling for freedom and unity until the police finally broke up the demonstrations.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel said after the protests in a nationally broadcast speech that the social unrest was the result of “a policy of economic repression” by the United States.

Authorities in Cuba sentenced hundreds of people who participated in the protests to prison.

On Saturday, the US State Department announced visa restrictions against 28 Cuban officials it said were implicated in the crackdown on last year’s protests.

The State Department said officials helped set the policies it said led to wrongful arrests and decades-long prison sentences for protesters.

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Cuba has been under communist rule since 1959 when Fidel Castro’s revolution forced dictator Fulgencio Batista to flee the island.

The United States proclaimed an embargo on trade with Cuba in 1962. The embargo was relaxed somewhat in 2000, when Congress passed a law allowing US companies to sell food and “humanitarian goods,” including medicine, to Cuba. In January 2021, outgoing President Donald Trump hit Cuba with new sanctions in the last days of his administration, redesignating the country as a “state sponsor of terrorism.”

Some of the information in this report came from The Associated Press and Reuters.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

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