Cuba Closes the Semester with More Than 2,300 Protests in all Provinces

The residents of the town of Guatemala, in the municipality of Mayarí (Holguín), took to the streets to demand the restoration of the water service. (Facebook)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 7 July 2023 — The Cuban Conflict Observatory (OCC) counted a total of 414 public protests on the island in June. In total, there are 2,337 demonstrations in the first half of 2023. The index for June, which constitutes an increase of 60.46 % compared to the same month of the previous year, also exceeded the average of 384.6 monthly protests for the first records of the year, and increased by 22 events compared to May.

In Havana, a province designated by the Observatory as the most active territory, 172 “rebellious expressions” were found (ten more than the previous month), among which the Miami-based organization includes a musical staging of Los Misérables, on June 25 at the Martí Theater in the capital. However, although the work includes a song to freedom, it was not a demonstration, as reported by this newspaper.

The platform also assures that the conflicts spread throughout the 15 Cuban provinces and the special municipality of Isla de la Juventud, this being a sign of widespread disagreement with the state administration and “the abandonment of the population by the Government”.

Of the more than 400 events, 229 –55.3% of the total– were related to economic and social rights

Of the more than 400 events, 229 –55.3% of the total– were related to economic and social rights, 95 were generated by citizen insecurity and the rise in violence (robbery, begging, femicides), 44 were related to food insecurity and another 47 to deficiencies in health, water and electricity services.

The report includes, as an example, the complaints of the population after the heavy rains in the eastern part of the country due to landslides and power cuts, the so-called “downed rudders” strike in Havana –when the government tried to limit the prices of private carriers despite the scarcity of fuel and its high price in the informal market– and the “empty pallets” strike by vendors in agricultural markets in Sancti Spíritus.

For their part, protests related to civil and political rights totaled 188 events (45.4% of the total). Of these, 124 were triggered by repressive actions against opponents, independent journalists, and activists.

The Cuban Observatory for Human Rights, registered in its monthly report at least 291 repressive actions in the month of July

The Observatory registered within this category, in addition to the staging of Les Misérables, the protest of the Assembly of Cuban Filmmakers for the unauthorized transmission on Cuban Television of Fito’s Havana, by director Juan Pin Vilar.

Another organization, the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights, recorded in its monthly report at least 291 repressive actions in the month of July on the island. Nearly 80 were arbitrary arrests, according to the platform, and 211 were carried out against the civilian population, among them those that include common prisoners and relatives of opponents and activists.

The figure for June, grouped with the rest of the reports for the first five months of the year also written by the platform, documents a total of 1,940 government repression events in the first half of 2023 alone.

Translated by Norma Whiting


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