Latin American Weekly Report

15/07/2021 - Cuba convulsed by protests, rocking Communist regime

Another week, another crisis on a Caribbean island. Last week the region and wider international community was shocked by the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moïse; this week the Cuban government was shaken by the most serious protests in a generation. It would be foolhardy to predict the imminent demise of the Cuban Revolution. Ever since its inception in 1959 people have predicted its downfall and it has outlived a dozen US presidents. But the spontaneous protests that erupted on 11 July sent shudders through a regime that has experienced nothing on this scale since 1994. Then Fidel Castro, the father of the Revolution, was at the helm; now President Miguel Díaz-Canel, an apparatchik who commands neither the same respect nor, crucially, fear, is in charge. Seismic activity preceded the political earthquake (notably prominent protests in recent months by the Movimiento San Isidro group of artists and academics demanding political freedom). The aftershocks could also be long and damaging.

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