Biden Asks Cuban Leaders to Listen to Demonstrators, Following Large Protest in Cuba
American President Joe Biden asked Cuban leaders to listen to the people after thousands marched to protest food shortage and high prices during the pandemic.
In a statement, Biden said: "We stand with the Cuban people and their clarion call for freedom." Biden also called on the Cuban government to "hear their people and serve their needs."
On Sunday, thousands of Cubans marched in the capital city of Havana saying "Freedom," "Enough" and "Unite." The protests came as people complain about food supply, financial problems and a lack of access to a COVID-19 vaccine.
The Associated Press said one man, who did not want to be named because he was worried about being arrested, said "we are fed up" with the lack of supplies and the constant waiting in line for basic services.
Experts who follow Cuba say the protests were the biggest in about 30 years.
Cuba is in the middle of its worst crisis in many years due to the combination of restrictions from the international health crisis and economic penalties — known as sanctions — imposed by the administration of former U.S. President Donald Trump.
The Cuban government blamed the protests on the U.S. economic sanctions and said a U.S.-based social media campaign stirred up the emotions of its people. Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador also asked the U.S. on Monday to end its economic restrictions to help the Cuban people.
The largest protest in years
On Sunday, thousands of Cubans marched on Galeano Avenue in Havana as police tried to move the crowd by using tear gas. People living alongside the street watched and cheered the protesters.
A group of about 300 pro-government protesters also arrived, making statements in support of former Cuban leader Fidel Castro and the Cuban Revolution of the 1950s.
The Cuban government shut down the internet on Sunday to prevent people from sending live videos with their mobile phones.
After about two-and-a-half hours, some people pulled stones from the streets and threw them at the police. At that point, the Associated Press reports about 20 people were taken away by police.
Jorge Luis Gil is a Roman Catholic priest who watched the protest.
"The people came out to express themselves freely and they are repressing and beating them," he said.
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel denounced the behavior of people who threw stones at police and government-run shops. He said pro-government supporters restored order after they received instructions to fight back and "defend the revolution."
Those critical of Cuban leaders said the country's problems continue because it follows a Soviet Union-style government system.
I'm Dan Friedell.
1. be fed up with 厌倦的；厌烦的；腻味的；
People are fed up with all these traffic jams.
2. in the middle of (某件事或某段时间的)中期；
Guido Mantega, Brazil's finance minister, had the courage to say what many were thinking: that the world is in the middle of a currency war.
3. stir up 挑起，引起(不愉快的情绪或事态)；
As usual, Harriet is trying to stir up trouble.
4. take away 带走，抓走(送去监狱、医院等)；
Two men claiming to be police officers called at the pastor's house and took him away.
拜登在一份声明中表示，“我们支持古巴人民和他们对自由的呼声 。”拜登还呼吁古巴政府”倾听他们人民的声音，满足他们的需求 。”
周日，数千名古巴人在首都哈瓦那举行游行，高呼“自由”、“受够了”和“团结” 。人们抱怨食品供应、财政问题以及无法获得新冠肺炎疫苗，由此引发了抗议活动 。
古巴政府将抗议活动归咎于美国的经济制裁，并称美国的社交媒体活动煽动了古巴人民的情绪 。墨西哥总统安德烈斯·曼努埃尔·洛佩斯·奥布拉多周一也要求美国结束经济限制，以帮助古巴人民 。
上周日，数千名古巴人在哈瓦那市加莱亚诺大街游行，警方试图用催泪瓦斯驱散人群 。沿街居民围观并为抗议者欢呼 。
大约两个半小时后，有人从街边搬起石头扔向警察 。据美联社报道，当时约有20人被警方带走 。
古巴国家主席米格尔·迪亚兹·卡内尔谴责向警察和政府经营商店投掷石块的行为 。他表示，亲政府支持者在接到反击和“保卫革命”的指示后恢复了秩序 。