Cuba: biggest anti-government protests since 1994

Thousands of people have taken to the streets in Havana since Sunday to protest against the government, its handling of the pandemic and the rampant economic crisis. They risk being sent to prison because such rallies are illegal in Cuba. More than 100 people have been arrested or gone missing, including foreign journalists, and at least one person has died.

Open/close all quotes
Expressen (SE) /

Declining gradually then suddenly

Sooner or later the regime in Havana will fall due to its failure to reform the socialist system, Expressen predicts:

“Above all, the half-hearted attempts at liberalisation are a fiasco. The fairly new access to mobile phones and the Internet has given the young a glimpse of life on the other side of the Florida Straits. At the same time, the regime has refused to open up the economy as role models China and Vietnam have done, and therefore cannot justify political repression with increasing prosperity. Last year, the economy shrank by 12 percent. 'How do you go bankrupt?" the honorary Cuban Ernest Hemingway once asked. 'Two ways, gradually, then suddenly.' Despotic regimes always fall in the same way.”

Duma (BG) /

US hoping for Maidan-style protests

Worldwide attempts are being made to influence the development of the protests, Duma notes:

“The situation in Cuba has already become international. Russia, Venezuela and Mexico on the one hand, and the US, the EU and Brazil on the other have made their positions clear. The first group is against interfering in Cuba. The second is probably hoping for a Cuban Maidan. ... The US's appetite for the island state has long been known, but it's losing ground - it failed in Venezuela and South America is slowly starting to turn red. The question is whether Cuba will resist a Cuban Maidan without personalities like Che Guevara or Fidel Castro.”

El Mundo (ES) /

Madrid must support the demonstrators

Spain has a historical duty here because of its special ties to Cuba, El Mundo argues:

“The EU always looks to Spain when it wants to define its stance on Latin America. But Spain must be prepared to assume this international leadership role. And the Spanish government, some of whose members are admittedly communists, does not want to do that. Cuba is the Berlin Wall of the 21st century, the Iron Curtain of Latin America. Castrism exports totalitarian ideology to the rest of the continent. ... The US and the EU must clearly and effectively support the Cuban people's cry for freedom. And Spain must abandon the mean-spirited calculations which the extremists within the coalition government impose on it.”