Michael Cardinal, FISM News
As the situation in Cuba heats up with protesters taking to the streets and demanding a change in the communist country, radio and television host Dan Celia encouraged the American citizens to do our part to “get behind this [movement]” on his show on Monday.
He encouraged listeners to begin “calling your Democratic senator in your district, and …[to] write your Republican senator in your district” to demand that the American government supports the people of Cuba. He also warned about the possibility of the Biden administration reverting back to Obama era policies in which America loosened restrictions on the country. He warned that these pro-Cuba policies would not help the people of the country, but would instead bolster the Communist government.
Since Sunday, over 100 protesters were arrested by Cuban police who are doing everything they could to put an end to demonstrations against the government. Several well known government dissidents and human rights activists were among those arrested and many of their whereabouts are still unknown. The regime is also using arbitrary police violence and internet outages as a way to stop protesters from communicating with each other and to keep the outside world from seeing the reality of what was happening in the country.
Protesters were heard chanting “Freedom,” “Unite,” and “Enough,” highlighting the fact that the people of the Caribbean nation desire a change from the oppressive communist rule. The underlying unrest reached it’s boiling point over the weekend due to food shortages and lack of resources that has become unbearable for Cuban citizens. Many of the protests happened in the nation’s capitol, but several took place in other towns throughout the country as well.
As was predicted by the caller into Celia’s show, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel blamed the unrest on the US embargo, as well as saying that the economy is suffering “in the face of a policy of economic asphyxiation intended to provoke a social uprising.” Diaz-Canel also blamed Cuban-Americans for stirring up unrest through social media.
So far there has been a show of support for the protesters from American lawmakers including Biden, who said America stands “with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering to which they have been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime.”
As is the case with many things in the news cycle, however, it would be easy to move on to other issues as the situation dies down. It is vital that American citizens and lawmakers does not lose focus on this issue and continue to support the people’s cry for freedom.