Nearly 700 protests in Cuba during the month of February

Cubans protesting in Playa.

The popular discontent of the Cuban people, who are struggling to survive among food shortages and brutal communist oppression, continues to grow. In February, a total of 661 protests in Cuba against the government were documented by the Cuban Observatory of Conflicts, a dramatic 40% increase over the total recorded during the same month a year ago.

Via CubaNet (my translation):

Cuban Observatory of Conflicts documents 661 protests in February

Social discontent in Cuba has risen to new heights according to the latest report from the Cuban Observatory of Conflicts (OCC) for the month of February 2024. During this period, a total of 661 spontaneous public protests were recorded nationwide, representing an increase of 5.3% compared to the figures gathered in January and a 40.25% increase compared to the same month of the previous year, where 395 spontaneous protest demonstrations were counted.

The report details that the manifestations of discontent spread across the 15 provinces of the Island, with Havana leading the list as the most active territory, closely followed by Holguín, Matanzas, Guantánamo, Villa Clara, Camagüey, Santiago de Cuba, and Pinar del Río.

Among the main causes motivating the protests are denunciations of repressive acts, which for the second consecutive time topped all categories of the monthly report. Protests over the food crisis, exacerbated by inconsistency in the delivery of basic food basket quotas, “ended the month virtually tied with those derived from the growing wave of social violence in the country.”

Examples like the case of Aniette González, sentenced to three years in prison for posting photos with the Cuban flag, or that of Duniel Boladeres, accused of contempt for demonstrating on social media, illustrate the situation of repression in the country.

In the economic sphere, despite the halt of a “Package” of price increases and the dismissal of two ministers, difficulties persist in food, inflation, and agriculture. The dollar exchange rate at 310 Cuban pesos has drastically reduced the purchasing power of the population, while problems in the supply of food and basic services such as water and electricity have generated widespread discontent.

Citizen insecurity also contributed to the increase in protests, with alarming figures of femicides, homicides, disappearances, and robberies. The Cuban population, increasingly desperate, has resorted to various forms of expressing discontent, including demonstrations for the lack of public services, problems in public health, and other social incidences such as suicides and alcoholism.

Amidst the increase in repression, protests have been registered at police stations to calls for a national strike and resistance actions online. The situation has led some observers, such as comedian Ulises Toirac, to point out that Cuba is not simply facing resistance, but a “wild survival,” characterized by a growing gap between a small layer of beneficiaries and a vast majority mired in poverty.

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