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World 60 Cubans prosecuted so far over protests: official

01:21  25 july  2021
01:21  25 july  2021 Source:   afp.com

Cuba makes concession to protesters, lets travelers bring in food duty-free

  Cuba makes concession to protesters, lets travelers bring in food duty-free Travelers arriving in Cuba can now bring in food, medicine and other essentials without paying customs, the government said Wednesday in a concession to angry and unprecedented street protests. Prime Minister Manuel Marrero said there would be no limit placed on these goods coming in and the change will be in effect until the end of the year. Cubans took to the streets in droves on Sunday in an explosion of anger over economic hardship marked by shortages of food, electricity and other essentials.One of the protesters' demands was for people arriving in Cuba to be able to bring in food, medicine and personal hygiene items from abroad without paying customs duties.

Cuban government officials on Monday said there had been no more protests as they enacted an internet blackout. This prevented Cubans from sharing images of demonstrations that had gathered momentum behind the protests in the first place. The Trump administration enacted some of the toughest economic measures against Cuba in decades, and so far , the Biden administration seems reluctant to lift them. Biden's review of Trump's policy is still underway, an administration official confirmed. Several months after taking office, he has yet to fulfill his campaign pledge to "go back" to

Thousands of protestors last week filled the streets over frustrations with a crippled economy hit by food and power shortages. President Biden warned Cuba 's government that "this is just the beginning." Cuban President Diaz-Canel Bermudez said his regime was "prepared to do anything" to quell the protests , according to a report from The Washington Post. "We will be battling in the streets," he said, adding that the United States is in part to blame for the widespread discontent in Cuba .

About 60 Cubans have been prosecuted so far for participating in unprecedented demonstrations against the government earlier this month, a senior official said Saturday.

a group of people standing in front of a crowd: Independent observers and activists say at least 600 people were arrested in Cuba for protesting, many of whom remain behind bars © ADALBERTO ROQUE Independent observers and activists say at least 600 people were arrested in Cuba for protesting, many of whom remain behind bars

The cases were over minor charges, and the total number of people detained has not been released amid complaints from relatives seeking information about loved ones.

"Until yesterday, 19 judicial processes had reached the municipal courts of the country -- cases involving 59 people accused of committing alleged crimes (during) these disturbances," Ruben Remigio Ferro, president of the Supreme Court, told reporters.

Cuba’s president admits to shortcomings; takes some blame for protests

  Cuba’s president admits to shortcomings; takes some blame for protests Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who days ago called on revolutionaries to counter anti-government protesters in the streets, acknowledged government shortcomings in the lead-up to protests that broke out across the country.Díaz-Canel, who has been widely criticized for the country’s violent crackdown and Internet blackouts, gave a televised address Wednesday night and acknowledged that his government failures played a role in the protests over food shortages and other problems.

Cuban authorities have pinned the protests on foreign meddling, with President Miguel Diaz-Canel accusing Washington of pursuing a “policy of economic suffocation to provoke social unrest,” referring to decades of US sanctions imposed on the country. Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez went even further , claiming “US-financed mercenaries” helped to fuel the anti-government demonstrations. US welcomes Cuban unrest, but not sea-borne refugees. As unrest grips parts of Cuba , Washington has aired concerns about citizens attempting to flee to the US, even while vocally backing the protesters .

The protests erupted amid Cuba 's worst economic crisis since the fall of the Soviet Union, its old ally, and a record surge in coronavirus infections, with people voicing anger over shortages of basic goods, curbs on civil liberties and the authorities' handling of the pandemic. Thousands took to the streets in various parts of Havana including the historic Reuters witnesses in Havana protests saw security forces, aided by suspected plain clothes officers, arrest about two dozen protesters . Police used pepper spray and hit some protesters as well as a photographer working for the Associated Press.

On July 11 and 12, thousands of Cubans took to the streets, shouting "Freedom," "Down with the dictatorship" and "We're hungry" in the biggest protests since the revolution that brought Fidel Castro to power in 1959.

Hundreds of people were arrested and many face charges of contempt, public disorder, vandalism and propagation of the coronavirus epidemic for allegedly marching without face masks.


Video: Cuba blames US for unprecedented anti-government protests (France 24)

Independent observers and activists have published lists of those arrested with at least 600 names on them.

Ferro said a faster trial system was being used to prosecute the accused, but made assurances that due process was being followed.

The rallies came as the country endures its worst economic crisis in 30 years, with chronic shortages of electricity, food and medicine amid an uptick in Covid-19 cases.

Anyelo Troya, one of the creators of an anti-government rap song adopted by protesters, was sentenced to a year in prison Wednesday for "public disorder," according to his family.

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Camila Cabello explains Cuban protests to followers: 'A 62-year-old story of a communist regime' .
Camila Cabello is the latest celebrity to speak out in support of ongoing protests in Cuba. The singer took to her TikTok over the weekend to share a lengthy video in which she discussed her support for people protesting the country’s Communist regime, noting that she herself is Cuban and has family members currently on the island. "As you guys know, I’m Cuban Mexican, well, I don’t know if you know that, but, I’m Cuban Mexican.

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