US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday (12) that it is a “serious error” to accuse the country of being behind popular protests in Cuba.
According to Blinken, the protests are a “reflection” of a people “deeply tired” with “mismanagement and repression” by the Cuban authorities.
At a press conference, the US secretary of state responded to the accusation made by Cuban dictator Miguel Díaz-Canel that “mercenaries paid by the US government” had organized the protests.
Díaz-Canel also blamed the US trade embargo on Cuba for much of the serious humanitarian and health crisis facing the Caribbean country.
“It would be a serious mistake for the Cuban regime to interpret what is happening in dozens of localities as the product of (an action by) the United States,” the head of US diplomacy said at a press conference.
The protests, according to Blinken, come because the Cuban people are “deeply tired” of the “repression, mismanagement of the economy, lack of adequate food and a weak response to the covid-19 pandemic” by Cuban authorities.
Sunday’s protests were the strongest to take place in Cuba since the so-called “maleonazo” of August 1994.
US assesses how to help Cuban people
The White House also said on Monday that the unprecedented protests in Cuba were “spontaneous” and denied that the embargo imposed by the United States had exacerbated the economic crisis that provoked them.
In addition, the US government said it is evaluating how to “directly” help the Cuban people.
At her daily press conference, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said that, at the moment, she had no announcements about a possible change in US President Joe Biden’s policy on Cuba.
“(But) obviously, given the protests that have taken place in the last 24 and 48 hours, we are looking at how we can directly help the people of Cuba,” he said.
In April, Psaki assured that changing Cuba’s policy was not a priority for Biden, even though his predecessor, Donald Trump, had pressed numerous measures to reverse the “thaw” in relations with the Caribbean country that had hit the Cuban economy hard.
Asked whether, in light of the protests, Biden now sees Cuba’s policy as a priority, the spokeswoman avoided answering with a “yes” and simply stated that Washington would follow closely what happens on the island.
At Sunday’s protests in Cuba, Psaki said “everything indicates” they were “spontaneous expressions of people who are tired of economic mismanagement and government repression.”
Cuban dictator Miguel Diaz-Canel accused “mercenaries paid by the US government” of organizing the protests and blamed the US trade embargo for the crisis.
When asked about this, Psaki argued that the US embargo imposed 60 years ago “allows humanitarian goods to reach Cuba” and that Washington “expedites any requests” it receives to “export medical or humanitarian supplies” to the island, as well as goods. agricultural.
Psaki addressed the situation in Cuba hours after Biden himself spoke about the protests, which he described as “a call for freedom” in the “courageous” exercise of “fundamental rights”.