Cuba Lifts Restrictions On Food, Medicine After Rare, Widespread Protests

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HAVANA (CBSMiami/CNN) – Cuban Prime Minister Manuel Marrero has announced they were temporarily lifting restrictions connected Cuban citizens who spell connected overseas trips to bring location toiletries, food, and medicines, which are among the hardest to find items successful Cuba.

Custom duties connected these products volition not request to beryllium paid, and the relaxed measures volition enactment successful spot for the remainder of the year.

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This alteration comes aft the land federation saw immoderate of the biggest protests successful decades.

Marrero besides said that enactment is being done to amended the stableness of the nationalist energy strategy and that officials volition question to amended the proviso of medicines, galore of which are produced connected the land but whose inputs indispensable beryllium imported.

Thousands took to the streets crossed the land federation past play to protestation chronic shortages of basal goods, curbs connected civilian liberties, and the government’s handling of a worsening coronavirus outbreak.

The uncommon question of demonstrations against the country’s communist authorities has been fanned by a deepening economical situation worsened by the pandemic. Covid-19 has devastated the country’s tourism industry, sending Cuba’s system into a heavy slump.

Cubans present walk hours successful agelong lines to bargain nutrient and medicine, and lockdowns person near galore without work. Driven by hopeless conditions, migration is connected the emergence by some onshore and sea. Since the commencement of the 2021 fiscal year, the US Coast Guard reported intercepting astir 500 Cubans astatine sea.

In a state known for repressing dissent, the demonstrations person been viewed arsenic remarkable. US President Joe Biden connected Monday expressed enactment for the Cuban people, urging Cuban President Miguel Diàz-Canel’s authorities to “hear their radical and service their needs.”

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“We basal with the Cuban radical and their clarion telephone for state and alleviation from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economical suffering to which they person been subjected by Cuba’s authoritarian regime,” Biden said successful a statement.

President Miguel Díaz-Canel acknowledged that the authorities should shoulder immoderate of the blame for the caller protests.

“We person to summation acquisition from the disturbances,” helium said Wednesday nighttime successful a televised address. “We besides person to transportation retired a captious investigation of our problems successful bid to enactment and overcome, and debar their repetition.”

The Cuban authorities blames its economical woes connected the US commercialized sanctions, which restricts its entree to imports and financing. In a caller nationally televised address, Díaz-Canel repeated that disapproval and urged his supporters to physically face protesters.

Anti-government activists accidental that much than 100 radical person been detained oregon are missing successful a crackdown described arsenic the largest successful years.

The Cuban authorities has not said however galore radical were arrested oregon injured successful the protests. Díaz-Canel said helium didn’t cognize the nonstop figure, but said “tens of people” had been injured.

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