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Wednesday, 14 July 2021 00:00

CUBA UNDER ECONOMIC PRESSURE AND COVID 19 ATTACK

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Corona pandemic due to Covid 19 virus affects not only the economic sector but also the political sector. In Central America, Covid-19 attack has triggered a wave of protests in Cuba. Havana, the capital of the communist-leaning nation, was flooded with protesters. Thousands of protesters moved on Sunday, July 12, 2021 as they considered the Cuban government failed to control Covid 19 which has worsened economic life in the country. A news agency report said that during the demonstration the protesters called for President Miguel Diaz to step down from the office. There have been several public demonstrations this year. But Sunday's demonstration was reportedly the largest one, even since 1994.

The government not only called for the demonstration to be stopped, but according to the French news agency AFP as quoted by CNN Indonesia, Cuban police officers detained more than a hundred protesters. One person is reported to have died in the riots as a result of the demonstration. Regarding the demonstrations that caused chaos, President Miguel Dias blamed the United States' policy of carrying out an economic embargo on his country.

As people know that during the Donald Trump administration, Washington reimposed a stricter embargo on Cuba. Previously, under the administration of President Barack Obama had relaxed sanctions on his southern neighbor. Economic sanction in the form of trade embargo has been implemented by the United States since 1962 during the John Kennedy administration. The sanction was imposed to protest the overthrow of President Fulgencio Balista by Communist rebels led by Fidel Castro in an event historically known as the Cuban Revolution.

The demonstration on Sunday, July 14, resulted in the escalation of diplomatic relations with the United States. The Spanish government through its Foreign Ministry has asked Havana to respect the freedom of expression of its people. The stance of the Spanish government was caused by the arrest of a correspondent for a Spanish daily newspaper. The government in Madrid asked the Cuban government to release the correspondent.

Although the Cuban government has tried and quelled public demonstrations, it is still uncertain whether the handling by security forces which is followed by the detention of protesters will end the demonstrations. The stance of the United States, which was expressed by President Joe Bidden by stating that he supports the actions of some Cubans, becomes a political sign that the economic embargo will not end yet. Meanwhile, Covid-19 attack which has caused a decline in the number of foreign tourists to Cuba has worsened the economic situation.

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