I doubt it but here’s hoping

Could this be, finally, the end?

The biggest mass demonstrations for three decades have rippled through Cuba, as thousands took to the streets in cities throughout the island, demonstrating against food shortages, high prices and communist rule.

The protests began in the morning, in the town of San Antonio de los Baños in the west of the island, and in the city of Palma Soriano in the east. In both cases protesters numbered in the hundreds.

With millions of Cubans now with mobile internet on their phones, news of the protests quickly swept to Havana. By early afternoon, thousands marched through central Havana, chanting “homeland and life” and “freedom”.

“I’m here because of hunger, because there’s no medicine, because of power cuts – because there’s a lack of everything,” said a man in his 40s who didn’t want to give his name for fear of reprisals.

“I want a total change: a change of government, multiparty elections, and the end of communism.”

The beginning of the end at least?

Since the pandemic, which has gutted tourism revenue, Cubans have become accustomed to waiting in line for hours to buy basic goods like chicken and detergent.

Nonsense. Chicken and soap have been in short supply for decades.

16 thoughts on “I doubt it but here’s hoping”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    No doubt the usual suspects will be lining up to tell how good their health care system is and that this is all the fault of the Yankee bastards and other assorted neo-liberals.

  2. Isn’t the US about the only nation in the world that has sanctions on Cuba? Couldn’t they just import stuff from the rest of the world?

  3. When this guys say there is no medicine, that does the square with what I’ve been told by Owen Jones et al In respect of the Cuban health service being second only to our own magnificent NHS. The guy must be an imperialist stooge.

  4. @ Henning

    According to the latest UK government figures, total UK exports to Cuba in the four quarters to the end of Q4 2020 amounted to £45 million (an increase of 45.2% or £14 million compared to the four quarters to the end of Q4 2019).

    So yes: while they can’t import Hershey bars from us they can get pretty much everything they need, and increasingly are doing so. The problem is they have no money with which to buy the stuff because of their system of government (obviously).

  5. “I’m here because of hunger, because there’s no medicine, because of power cuts – because there’s a lack of everything,” said a man in his 40s who didn’t want to give his name for fear of reprisals

    How did this get past the Guardian censors?

  6. US sanctions and coronavirus crisis lead to food shortages and high prices…

    Yes, The Graun really does blame the US and the ‘Rona for this.

    The Trump administration hammered the island with more than 200 new sanctions aimed at sabotaging the island’s’ economy and stirring discontent…

    Even from beyond the electoral grave, Trump still haunts the Media.

    The protesters were met by uniformed and plainclothes police officers, who bundled hundreds of demonstrators – many of them violent – into police cars.

    Remarkably neutral reporting here. I wonder if the Guardian will follow up on the fate of these protestors?

  7. I tend to be a bit touchy about the praise singers of Cuban communism. There’s a woman I know in London. Venezuelan journalist, got herself on the wrong side of the Cuban police. I’ve seen the cigarette burns. I’d very much like to meet one somewhere quiet & secluded. Engage them in full & far ranging debate

  8. I wonder if the Guardian will follow up on the fate of these protestors?

    Many of them were “violent” so obviously deserve it…

  9. They might get some sort of Deng Tsao Ping figure. So we must hope, because they surely won’t get a democrat, that is pure fantasy. In elite structures it’s easier to change policy than personnel.

  10. When I saw this reported at Instapundit last night I had a quick scan of the BBC news front page. There was no mention of it on the site but then there’s never any mention of the regular demos in London either. I suppose thousands of people marching through cities calling for liberty isn’t that newsworthy.

  11. Couldn’t they just import stuff from the rest of the world?

    The Americans try to make that difficult. Sherritt was investing in Cuba in the early 2000s and the United States threatened to arrest their Chairman, Ian Delaney, if he crossed the border into the US, presumambly under the Trading with the Enemy Act, or some-such. I can’t recall if Sherritt had any US operations – I would expect them to have come under fire, too.
    It’s not insurmountable (Sherritt still has power generation assets in Cuba, but sold off the hotels), but it is inconvenient, especially if you travel much, since many international flights will go through the US. Obviously a factor for Delaney, since Sherritt was pretty international, although he has retired now.

  12. Is it really so unlikely that the current crisis in Cuba’s economy has been largely caused by the epidemic’s impact on tourism, rather than by Cuba’s system of government? Do we really have to blame everything on Castro? Plenty of other Central American republics are in equally deep shit despite their policy of bum-kissing the USA.

    Not that that makes the demos any more sensible. A virus isn’t the sort of thing you can demonstrate against.

  13. Spiro:
    1) So the Cuban economy was perking along nicely until (say) January, 2020, was it? I think I’d like a citation – my memory is that the Cuban economy has been more-or-less a pancake for at least 30 years, and probably longer.
    2) Well, the two worst are Cuba and Venezuela – do they share any similarities (Venezuela despite massive oil wealth)?

  14. Obummer removed most sanctions on Cuba. Their econ is in the shitter because socialism. Fuck off “Spiro”.

  15. [to dcardno] No the Cuban economy wasn’t perking along nicely until January 2020, much like just about every other central American economy. But that doesn’t mean the current crisis wasn’t caused by the epidemic.

    [to Mr Ecks] Fuck off, you red-nosed cunt. There, I hope that’s satisfied your appetite for rapier-like wit and repartee.

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