“Down with the Dictatorship” and “Freedom” Shout Thousands of Protesters in the Streets of Cuba

Site manager’s note: This article was originally posted the actual day of the protests, but slipped by our translators.  We are filling in the gap here and ensuring we have it as a reference of the coverage of July 11th.

Hundreds of Cubans in San Antonio de los Baños come out to protest against the Government. (Collage)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 11 July 2021 — With cries of “freedom,” “down with communism,” “homeland and life,” “we want medicines,” and “Díaz-Canel singao [motherfucker],” thousands of Cubans came out to protest in the streets of San Antonio de los Baños, in the province Artemisa, this Sunday in the midst of the severe crisis that the country is experiencing due to the pandemic and the shortage of basic products.

In a live broadcast on Facebook, residents can be seen march through several central streets of that municipality and vehemently shouting “we are not afraid,” “we want freedom,” “there are more of us,” “down with the dictatorship,” while listening to several protesters saying that the people are tired, and showing several agents of the State Security who are watching the protest and those who are saying about them: “They are scared.”

The broadcast lasted a little more than 50 minutes, until it was suddenly interrupted, and in the images you can see people joining in as the crowd roamed the streets. Among the participants of the protest, many young people are noted, as are women and children.

In several telephone calls to San Antonio de los Baños, 14ymedio confirmed that the internet connection is currently interrupted. “There is no access to anything but people found out very quickly and right now they are trying to get to the place of the protest,” a resident explains to this newspaper.

“I am going to join but I do not want to take my mobile phone in case they arrest me and take it from me,” adds the woman who explains they are in “a desperate situation with this pandemic, quarantine and lack of food. We are crossing Niagara on a bicycle,” she adds.

“Here we have suffered a lot, not only the confinement but also the blackouts, practically every day they cut the electricity. The police are really harassing the vendors and there is practically no way to make a living. This has been a time bomb for a longtime now,” adds Carmen, a retiree living in downtown San Antonio.

“In my house we have been cooking with a wood stove for days because there is no electricity to cook with and there is no liquefied gas,” adds the lady. “Young people got tired of so much misery and in the street today there were many kids, people under 20 years old were the ones who shouted the most.”

Adriana, a 21-year-old resident of San Antonio, also told this newspaper that in that city “they only have the electricity on for six hours a day, there is no food, what else can we do if not go out and protest.”

From Palma Soriano, in the province of Santiago de Cuba, hundreds of Cubans also took to the streets shouting “freedom” and “get out,” in reference to the Government. “Palma Soriano heated up,” said an emotional man from Santiago who broadcast the protest live on Facebook for more than 15,000 users.

The official media have not made reference to the protests this Sunday. Many Cubans were expectantly watching the noon television news and not a word was said about the events that occurred on the island’s streets.

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