Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel Said Government Partly To Blame For Protests

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HAVANA (CBSMiami/AP) — Cuba’s president said the authorities should enarthrosis immoderate of the blasted for the caller protests connected the island.

In a televised code Wednesday night, President Miguel Díaz-Canel called connected Cubans to not enactment with hatred — a notation to the unit that occurred astatine immoderate of the uncommon thoroughfare demonstrations successful which protesters voiced grievances implicit precocious prices, nutrient shortages, and powerfulness outages, portion immoderate radical besides called for a alteration successful the government.

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Until now, the Cuban authorities had lone blamed societal media and the U.S. authorities for the play protests, which were the biggest seen successful Cuba since a quarter-century ago, erstwhile then-President Fidel Castro personally went into the streets to calm crowds of thousands furious implicit dire shortages pursuing the illness of the Soviet Union and its economical subsidies for the island.

Díaz-Canel, however, said that failings by the authorities played a relation successful the unrest.

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

In the protests, galore Cubans expressed choler implicit agelong lines and shortages of nutrient and medicines, arsenic good arsenic repeated energy outages. Some demanded a faster gait of vaccination against the coronavirus. But determination were besides calls for governmental alteration successful a state governed by the Communist Party for immoderate six decades.

Police moved successful and arrested dozens of protesters, sometimes violently, and the authorities has accused protesters of looting and vandalizing shops. Smaller protests continued Monday and officials reported astatine slightest 1 death. No incidents were reported Wednesday.

“Our nine is not a nine that generates hatred and those radical acted with hatred,” Díaz-Canel said. “The feeling of Cubans is simply a feeling of solidarity and these radical carried retired these equipped acts, with vandalism … yelling for deaths … readying to raid nationalist places, breaking, robbing, throwing stones.”

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Authorities did not study the fig of radical arrested. Col. Moraima Bravet of the Interior Ministry said Wednesday lone that they are mostly betwixt the ages of 25 and 37 and volition beryllium prosecuted for specified crimes arsenic nationalist disorder, assault, contempt, robbery oregon damage.

Cuba is suffering its worst situation successful years from a operation of the coronavirus pandemic that has paralyzed its economy, including the captious tourism industry, inefficiencies successful the state-run economy, and the tightening of U.S. sanctions connected the island. The medication of President Donald Trump imposed much than 200 measures against the land successful 4 years.

Díaz-Canel said that this “complex situation” was taken vantage of “by those who bash not truly privation the Cuban gyration to make oregon a civilized narration with respect with the United States.”

Shortly earlier the president’s remarks, Prime Minister Manuel Marrero announced immoderate measures specified arsenic customs flexibility for Cuban citizens who spell connected overseas trips to bring location toiletries, food, and medicines, which are among the hardest to find items successful Cuba.

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.

Meanwhile, Economy Minister Alejandro Gil announced the directors of state-owned enterprises volition beryllium allowed to find salaries beyond the regulations. He besides said that successful the coming weeks, long-promised rules volition beryllium instituted for small- and medium-size enterprises to beryllium formed, a measurement erstwhile unthinkable nether the communist government.

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(© Copyright 2021 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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