Nearly 6,000 protests in Cuba in 2023

Mothers from Maisi stage a protest calling for the reestablishment of running water and food distribution.

While the world spent its 64th consecutive year averting its eyes from the crimes against humanity taking place in communist Cuba, Cubans continued taking to the streets in protest. 2023 did not have a massive island-wide protest Ike we saw on July 11, 2021, but in 2023, there was a significant increase in protests. By the end of the year, human rights observers had documented a total of 5,749 protests in response to a worsening economic crisis and an increase in oppression by the regime.

Via Periodico Cubano (my translation):

Cuba saw a notable increase in public protests in 2023

The Cuban Observatory of Conflicts (OCC) documented an increase in public protests on the island during 2023. According to its latest report, the country recorded 5,749 instances of social discontent in the recently concluded year, representing a 32.07% increase compared to the 3,923 documented in 2022.

The report also indicates that in December, 121 complaints related to the ongoing food crisis affecting the largest island of the Antilles were recorded. Delays in the distribution of basic food items and soaring prices of food outside the rationing system have heightened the desperation among families.

“The holiday season highlighted how many Cubans do not earn enough to afford it, with a pound of pork priced at over 500 pesos, around a quarter of the minimum monthly wage and a third of a pension,” the report states.

Protests related to citizen insecurity ranked second in December with 106 events. Among the most alarming data were cases of women murdered by their partners or ex-partners, robberies, and the settling of scores. Additionally, there were at least 13 reports of missing persons.

In the realm of housing, Cubans staged demonstrations to denounce situations related to collapses during heavy rains in Havana and the lack of maintenance by the regime in residential buildings. Among these protests, one carried out by residents of Luyanó who have been living in temporary shelters for five years stands out.

Furthermore, complaints in the healthcare sector revealed an increase in requests on social media for medicines, public charity, and even searches on the black market, due to shortages in pharmacies and hospitals.

The OCC report underscored the ongoing repression against political prisoners, who continue to endure inhumane conditions in isolation cells, suspension of visits and phone calls, contract killings, and extensions of sentences.

The observatory also reported that actions such as public road blockades, pot-banging protests, messages of disapproval directed at President Miguel Díaz-Canel, hunger strikes, and resistance to re-education in prisons took place in December.

Throughout the recently concluded year, there were also protests by Cuban mothers, seeking to find a safe place for their children or to guarantee access to basic services, such as clean water.

The OCC suggests that it is unlikely that the total number of protests in 2024 will be lower than the 5,749 compiled in 2023, as Cuba requires urgent attention and effective solutions to its social crisis.

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