Massive anti-government peaceful protests erupt in Santiago and other Cuban cities

Images that made it onto social media on Sunday showed a massive, peaceful protest with thousands of Cubans taking to the streets, which appears to have begun in Santiago de Cuba and quickly spread to other cities. In the videos, the protesters, who have suffered through food shortages and chronic blackouts, can be heard chanting “Food and Electricity!” The peaceful protests were first reported in Santiago, the island’s second-largest city.

The protests on Sunday are very reminiscent of the spontaneous protests that broke out on July 11, 2021, which quickly spread across the island and led to a violent crackdown by the communist Castro dictatorship. On Sunday, protesters could be heard demanding not only food and electricity, but also chanting “Patria y Vida” (Homeland and Life), the anthem that marked the July 11th protests.

Via Diario de Cuba (my translation):

Santiago de Cuba is the scene of anti-government protests, in which residents in the province chant “Homeland and Life,” as seen in images circulating on social media.

The comedic duo “Los Pichi Boys” posted a video on their Instagram account showing a crowd of people from Santiago chanting the phrase that became an anthem during the July 11th demonstrations.

From the eastern province, a source confirmed to DIARIO DE CUBA that the residents of Santiago went out to protest on the Morro Highway, and in the neighborhoods of Agüero, La Barca de Oro, and El Salado—where there were already protests days before—due to prolonged blackouts and lack of food.

The massive protest in Santiago quickly spread to other towns in Cuba. Reports started coming out that protests were taking place in El Cobre, Bayamo, Santa Marta, Granma, Cardenas, and Matanzas. The dictatorship immediately dispatched police and military to take control and Communist party officials attempted to quell the protests with pleading, but they were met with shouts for freedom.

Via Diario de Cuba (my translation):

More Cubans took to the streets this Sunday to protest in the town of El Cobre, in Santiago de Cuba; Bayamo, Granma, and in Cárdenas, Matanzas, according to videos posted on social media, while the United States urged the regime to respect the human rights of the protesters.

In El Cobre, as well as a few hours earlier in the provincial capital, Communist Party leaders attempted to calm the protesters from a rooftop, while shouts of “nobody chose them” could be heard from the crowd, according to footage from a video published by journalist Mario J. Pentón on his channels.

In another of the videos sent to the reporter, dozens of people can be seen marching down the main street of the town shouting “Freedom!” and a convoy of official vehicles is also shown where leaders, military personnel, and police were mobilized to contain the protest.

In Bayamo, the passage of a protest on Zenea Street was blocked by the Police, according to images published by journalist José Raúl Gallego.

“We want food”; “We want electricity”, “No more nonsense”, “The people, united, will never be defeated”, “We want to pass”, shouted the protesters in that city.

In another piece of material published by activist Magdiel Jorge Castro, a woman from Bayamo shouted “starving to death” and “long live free Cuba” at several defenders of the mobilized regime.

While international media headlines regarding the protests attribute it solely to food shortages and chronic blackouts, Cuban protesters made it clear they are tired of the communist tyranny that has left them living in misery and oppression for the past 65 years.

Via CiberCuba (my translation):

During the spontaneous protests that have taken place this Sunday in Santiago de Cuba, Cubans have demanded “food and electricity,” shouting “Homeland and Life,” but they have also called for “Down with communism,” in demonstrations that authorities have tried to calm by bringing in food trucks.

Unable to stop the protests, the Castro dictatorship resorted to its default mode: violent and brutal repression. In Bayamo, the military and Special Forces viciously beat protesters and arrested dozens of Cubans in an effort to quash the protests.

Via CiberCuba (my translation):

The Cuban regime unleashed repression against protesters in the streets of Bayamo following the protests that have shaken Eastern Cuba this Sunday.

Images circulated on social media show police officers beating and arresting several citizens who were running to avoid being detained.

After the start of the protests in Bayamo, the regime initiated a broad military deployment that included special forces.

With the massive display of discontent and the violent repression of peaceful protesters being displayed to the world on social media, it did not take the Cuban dictatorship long to cut off internet access in the areas where protests were taking place.

Via The Wall Street Journal:

Cuba’s state-run telecommunications company curtailed mobile internet service in parts of the Communist island Sunday afternoon as hundreds of demonstrators took to the streets to protest hourslong power outages and a lack of food, according to residents and a network monitoring firm.

Video recordings posted on social media showed hundreds of demonstrators chanting “electricity and food” in Santiago de Cuba, the island’s second largest city. The demonstrations spread to Bayamo, another city on the eastern end of the cash-strapped country. 

With internet access cut off by late afternoon, it became difficult to get more news out of Cuba. What we do know, however, is that the communist regime is hanging by a thread and if these protests continue and spread to other cities, it may lead to the end of the six-decade long reign of communist tyranny in Cuba.

We can only hope and pray.

2 thoughts on “Massive anti-government peaceful protests erupt in Santiago and other Cuban cities”

  1. The “revolution” has clearly FAILED, and nobody knows it better than ordinary Cubans. Those who stay on the island are simply screwed, indefinitely, and the misery will only fluctuate somewhat, but will NOT end. Unless, of course, the root cause is finally removed for good. There is no other real solution.

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