Cubans Gather in Rare, Mass Protests

Demonstrations are the country's largest in nearly 30 years
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 12, 2021 2:45 AM CDT
Updated Jul 12, 2021 5:19 AM CDT
Cuba Protests Are Biggest in Nearly 30 Years
Government supporters shout slogans as anti-government protesters march in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, July 11, 2021.   (AP Photo/Ismael Francisco)

Thousands of Cubans protested in the streets Sunday in what the New York Times calls an "astonishing" display of dissent in the repressive country. The demonstrations were Cuba's largest in nearly three decades, as anti-government protesters railed against food and medicine shortages and high prices against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic, the AP reports. "Our children are dying of hunger!" shouts one woman in a video clip circulating. Another one shows protesters overturning a police car.

Police broke up a demonstration in the capital city of Havana after protesters started throwing rocks. At least 20 marchers were taken away by police at that point. The pandemic has heightened the economic crisis in Cuba as tourism dollars stopped coming in. Many have been unable to work due to months-long lockdowns, and it often takes hours in line to purchase basic food items. Celebrities were supporting protesters with the hashtag #SOSCuba on social media, and an official in the Biden administration tweeted support. (More Cuba stories.)

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