- On Saturday, the Cuban government organized a rally in the capital city of Havana, bringing in tens of thousands of supporters of the current government. The rally took place a week after the “unprecedented” protests of Sunday, July 11th, when Cubans took to the streets against current shortages of basic goods and the communist regime.
- Communist govt. definition: " … a system of government in which the state plans and controls the economy and a single - often authoritarian - party holds power …"
- Former president Raul Castro was in attendance Saturday along with the current president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, who gave a speech blaming the recent turbulence on the U.S. trade embargo and economic sanctions: “We convened you to denounce once more the blockade, the aggression and terror."
- After last week’s protests, the Cuban govt. announced Wednesday that it would lift restrictions on travelers to Cuba bringing in medical supplies and food, among a few other measures taken.
- On the recent ease in restrictions, the director of the independent newspaper El Toque wrote: “The Cuban government has just shown that it could have allowed the entry of food and medicine without quantity limits or tariffs all along but chose not to do so for more than a year of the pandemic."
- Though some restrictions lifted, Cuban officials made it clear the current political model would not be changed.
**Why It Matters: **The Cuban govt. has arrested “those it suspects of instigating unpatriotic unrest or carrying out vandalism” (Reuters), but they have yet to release the official numbers of those detained. On Friday, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet said: _“All those detained for exercising their rights must be promptly released …” _Questions remain about the role President Biden’s administration, which confirmed support for the Cuban people, will play in the events unfolding in Cuba - if any at all, and whether the communist regime will keep control.