Thousands Of Protestors Flood Streets Of Cuba As U.S. Military Requested

( Another Caribbean country is facing turmoil, as thousands of protestors took to the streets over the weekend.

Throughout towns and cities in Cuba, people were calling an end to the dictatorship that has survived there for decades. They were demanding vaccines and food — goods that have become extremely hard to come by during the COVID-19 pandemic.

People throughout the country were recorded chanting “Down with Communism!” and “Freedom!” In all, 25 protests across Cuba were tracked by Inventario, a website that specializes in data tracking in Cuba.

Angry crowds were overturning police cars in angry scenes that don’t often happen in a country whose population has been dominated by Communist rule for so many years.

The last time protestors gathered like this was back in 1994, the Miami Herald reported. But, that incident — called the Maleconazo — happened only in Havana and wasn’t long-lasting. Once former leader Fidel Castro opened the country’s maritime borders, it led to a mass exodus of people.

The State Department had a rather odd take on the protests. The acting assistant secretary for the State Department’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, Julie Chung, tweeted:

“Peaceful protests are growing in Cuba as the Cuban people exercise their right to peaceful assembly to express concern about rising COVID case/deaths & medicine shortage. We commend the numerous efforts of the Cuban people mobilizing donations to help neighbors.”

Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio was one of the first politicians to criticize that tweet, saying it was “ridiculous.” He followed up saying Cubans “are protesting 62 years of socialism, lies, tyranny & misery,” not their displeasure with the government’s response to COVID-19.

The country is going through a terrible economic crisis not seen in Cuba since the Soviet Union fell. Part of the reason for the fall is the pandemic, and part has been blamed on sanctions that were imposed under former President Donald Trump.

The country’s president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, in fact, blamed the U.S. for causing anger within the Cuban people. He said:

“We are prepared to do anything. We will be battling in the streets.”

In response to those comments, Rubio tweeted:

“I am asking [President Joe Biden] and [Secretary of State Antony Blinken] to call on members of the Cuban military to not fire on their own people. The incompetent communist party of #Cuba cannot feed or protect the people from the virus. Now those in the military must defend the people not the communist party.”

Over in Miami, Mayor Francis Suarez went to a demonstration in the city’s section of Little Havana. People there took to the streets to denounce Communism in Cuba.

At the demonstration, the mayor said:

“Cubans are worthy and ready to rule themselves without tyranny. It can end today and it must end today. The implications of this moment can mean freedom for millions of people in the hemisphere, from Nicaraguans and Venezuelans and so many more.”