Cuba, a country with a history of political feculence, is undergoing a period of public social uprising. Cubans have taken to the streets to protest government apathy and other policies that have resulted in economic crises. And with the Trump-imposed embargo against the Caribbean nation, its citizens can’t receive much-needed aid from family members in the United States. The movement is called #SOSCuba and it is gaining attention around the world.
On Sunday, Cubans in cities across the United States took to the streets in solidarity with their countrymen on the island to protest crucial shortages in basic supplies in what the New York Times called the biggest eruption in 30 years.
Demonstrations of this type in Cuba are rare due to a highly dictatorial government that penalizes any effort to publicly denounce it. But, due to a lack of crucial resources like money, food and medicine, many Cubans have decided that enough is enough.
Like most countries, the COVID-19 pandemic hit the island hard. But, unlike other countries, restrictions that former President Obama eased but were put back in place by the Trump administration, have made getting the citizens the vital nutrition and supplies they need extremely complicated to do.
Protesters are also calling for President Miguel Diaz-Canel to resign due to a lack of access to the coronavirus vaccine. Diaz-Canel has blamed the state of the country on the Trump administration. In fact, Cuba’s access to medicines alone has been strained since last year.
As the uprising progresses, the country’s armed government forces have dressed as civilians and begun firing at its own citizens.
Twitter user @RONINY28 posted a graphic that translates to, “In Cuba, it’s illegal to have a firearm. There’s no access to them. If you see shots being fired in videos, it’s the police or military dressed as civilians shooting at unarmed citizens. All we have are rocks and sticks.”
— RONIN (@RONINY28) July 13, 2021
What could be more American than Cuba dressing up its law enforcement as civilians and placing them amongst protesters?
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Both the U.S. State Department and the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies found that 62% of the population is Black, while its leadership is mostly white. Therefore, #soscuba is another Black liberation battle that deserves attention.
The Biden administration, to date, has failed to ease restrictions or lift the embargo. Between Trump’s ban on the remittance of money from the United States through Western Union and the lack of aid in the face of severe food and medicinal scarcity, to keep the embargo in place could be viewed as a form of constructive genocide