Cuba blames unrest on U.S. 'asphyxiation' as Biden backs protests

2 weeks ago 9

HAVANA -- Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel connected Monday blamed historical protests this play connected U.S. "economic asphyxiation" and societal media campaigns by a number of counter-revolutionaries portion U.S. President Joe Biden said helium stood with the Cuban people.

The protests erupted amid Communist-run Cuba's worst economical situation since the autumn of erstwhile state Soviet Union, with the tightening of decades-old U.S. sanctions exacerbating shortages of nutrient and medicine arsenic good arsenic powerfulness outages amid a surge successful COVID-19 infections.

"In the past fewer weeks the run against the Cuban gyration has accrued successful societal media, drafting connected the problems and shortages we are living," Diaz-Canel said successful a televised code alongside his Cabinet.

A number of counter-revolutionaries were fomenting unrest, helium said, denouncing vandalism that took spot crossed assorted cities connected Sunday successful Cuba's biggest anti-government demonstrations successful decades.

"They threw stones astatine overseas currency shops, they stole items ... and astatine constabulary forces, they turned implicit cars - a wholly vulgar, indecent and delinquent behavior," helium said.

The streets of Havana appeared quiescent connected Monday morning, though peculiar forces patrolled its seafront boulevard.

Biden successful a connection connected Monday said the United States stands with the radical of Cuba successful their telephone for state and alleviation from the coronavirus pandemic and decades of repression.

"The Cuban radical are bravely asserting cardinal and cosmopolitan rights. Those rights, including the close of peaceful protestation and the close to freely find their ain future, indispensable beryllium respected," Biden said.

"The United States calls connected the Cuban authorities to perceive their radical and service their needs astatine this captious infinitesimal alternatively than enriching themselves," said Biden, who during his White House run promised to easiness sanctions but has yet to bash so.

The United States had tightened sanctions connected Cuba nether Donald Trump, Biden's predecessor, including restricting cardinal remittances successful the mediate of the pandemic.

Diaz-Canel did not straight code the U.S. statement, issued during his address. But helium attacked what helium called Washington's hypocrisy for expressing interest erstwhile it was fueling the situation successful Cuba with its commercialized embargo.

"Is it not precise hypocritical and cynical that you artifact maine ... and you privation to contiguous yourself arsenic the large savior?" helium said. "Lift the blockade .. and past we volition spot what this people, that has achieved an immense societal enactment contempt what is practically a warfare economy, is susceptible of."

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador gave Cuba backing connected Monday, saying the U.S. economical embargo connected the land should beryllium ended to assistance its people.

"The information is that if 1 wanted to assistance Cuba, the archetypal happening that should beryllium done is to suspend the blockade of Cuba arsenic the bulk of countries successful the satellite are asking," Lopez Obrador told a quality conference.

Reporting by Sarah Marsh and Marc Frank successful Havana; Editing by Howard Goller.

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