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Democracy Now!

'We Just Want the Basics:' Rare Protests in Cuba Amid Deep Economic Crisis, Ongoing U.S. Blockade

"Democracy Now!" goes to Havana, Cuba, to look at what is behind protests that brought thousands of people into the streets of Havana and other cities in rare anti-government protests denouncing the island’s economic crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cuba is facing its harshest phase of the pandemic with skyrocketing infections, and people are scrambling to cope amid shortages of medicine, food and other resources due to catastrophic U.S. sanctions. Thousands of others in Cuba led counterprotests in support of the Cuban Revolution and President Miguel Díaz-Canel.

Cuban journalist Daniel Montero, a journalist with the independent news organization Belly of the Beast, says many people were demanding an end to communism on the island, but the protests were not entirely driven by ideology. "We just want more food. We just want medicine. We just want the basics," he says many protesters told him in interviews.

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