Cuba awaits detainees and return of the Internet

Cubans in Miami order to stop the music and ask for concrete steps in front of Cuba
Protestas en Cuba


The Cuban government maintains three days after the massive protests a strong police deployment in the streets of the island, where there have been no new verifiable demonstrations and the population is looking for detained relatives while trying to circumvent the mobile internet blackout. 
In Miami, a concert by popular Cuban artists in support of the protests in Cuba was disrupted by attendees who said they did not want music but concrete steps by U.S. authorities to support the people of the island.

The actual number of detainees remains a mystery on Wednesday, as the authorities have not yet offered official data, while international organizations, activists and lists circulating on social networks put the number in the hundreds.

In the face of calls from the international community for the release of the detainees, Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel affirmed today on state television that those arrested will have "procedural guarantees" and "will receive the application of the laws in their just measure, without abuses".

Protestas en Cuba

Díaz-Canel appeals to constitutional order

The president said that in the demonstrations "acts against the Constitution" were committed and justified the police action, although he admitted that "we must apologize to those who in the midst of the confusion were unjustly mistreated".

"Without the response of the forces of order, violence would have prevailed", affirmed the ruler, who assured that the call he made to his supporters to go out to the streets and confront the demonstrators has been misinterpreted and that the citizens have the right to "defend the constitutional precepts".

The actions of the security forces and para-police brigades against the demonstrators in the events that shook the country days ago have been condemned and described as excessive by human rights organizations and by some foreign governments and political formations, as well as hundreds of Cubans in social networks.

Protestas en Miami

Artists condemn the violence

Several renowned Cuban artists from inside and outside the island, such as multi-awarded jazzman Chucho Valdés, composer and guitarist Leo Brouwer, the idolized salsa orchestra Los Van Van and soneros such as Adalberto Álvarez, Pupy Pedroso, Elito Revé and Alaín Pérez, have also done so in the last hours.

Among those voices criticizing the repression and violence were also those of actors and actresses such as Jorge Perugorría, Luisa María Jiménez, Laura de la Uz and dancer Carlos Acosta, among others.

With no new verifiable protests, attention has also been focused today on the mobile internet data blackout, in effect since shortly after the events broke out on Sunday morning.

The service was disabled as protests by Cubans spread throughout the country, encouraged by a video in which residents of San Antonio de los Baños (30 km east of Havana) took to the streets to protest the lack of food and medicine and the power cuts, in the midst of a serious economic and health crisis.

Experts believe that the government has cut the Internet to prevent this from happening again, although they also consider that the measure could be counterproductive by increasing the discontent of the population with the authorities, since access to the network is for the population an escape route from the difficult situation they are living, and the main channel of communication with their families abroad.

Protestas en Cuba

Cuban ingenuity to recover Internet

During the day the connection has returned intermittently for some users but it is still very unstable for most of them.

Some young people, meanwhile, resorted to ingenious tricks and the help of VPN platforms to regain access to the 3G and 4G network on their devices, the main way in which Cubans access the Internet, as there is still a small minority of households that can afford an ADSL connection.

The protests, the strongest to occur in Cuba since the so-called "maleconazo" of August 1994, took place with the country mired in a severe economic and health crisis, with the pandemic spiraling out of control and severe shortages of food, medicine and other basic goods, as well as lengthy power outages.

Three days after Cubans took to the streets, the Government lifted the limits and tariffs for bringing food, toiletries and medicines into the island, a measure that will be in force until the end of the year.

Travelers arriving to Cuba by air will be able to bring in an unlimited amount of these basic products, something Cubans have been asking for months in view of the serious shortages the country is suffering.

Concierto en Miami

Cubans in Miami send music to a halt and ask for concrete steps against Cuba

A concert of popular Cuban artists in Miami to support the protests in Cuba was interrupted by attendees who said they did not want music but concrete measures from the U.S. authorities to support the people of the island.

Slogans such as "Biden pa'cuando, the people are waiting" were chanted by the crowd that came to the Versailles restaurant to attend the concert of some of the artists of "Patria y vida", the song that has become an anthem for change in Cuba.

One banner read that if there is no "intervention" in Cuba that at least let Cubans go to the island to help their brothers and in another, in English, "let us go in with our own weapons."

The crowd remains firmly in place, as happened this Tuesday on a Miami highway that was occupied by demonstrators in support of those protesting in Cuba and, eight hours later, almost at 10 p.m., they agreed to leave.

The concert in front of the Versailles, Miami's favorite exile gathering place, began with the duo Gente de Zona, who performed "Patria y vida" and then came down from the stage to embrace the audience.

When the time came, they asked Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who was also there, to stop the music because what they wanted was concrete actions to achieve a "free Cuba".

Protestas en Cuba

Shouts of "down with the dictatorship" and "we need intervention", insults to the Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, and demands to Biden, whom some accused of not doing anything to prevent those protesting on the island from being killed, were heard for hours between chants and a great exaltation of the demonstrators.
Since the protests broke out on July 11 in San Antonio de los Baños, near Havana, and the government ordered to repress them, voices have been raised from the Republican Party calling for an "intervention" in Cuba by the Biden administration.

Former President Donald Trump, whom the Cuban-American electorate favored in the last elections, accused Biden of not having pronounced himself immediately after the protests broke out and of not doing anything for the Cubans.

For some that intervention should be military, for others humanitarian and with the US leading an international coalition.

In addition to occupying the Palmetto Expressway, some of Tuesday's protesters went to the Southern Command to call for military intervention.

The White House said today that the protests will definitely have an "impact" on Cuba policy and the government will seek to "encourage a change in the behavior" of the Cuban regime.