Cubans in Trinidad and Tobago: Dictatorship, blockade causes of the protests

Cuba is going through its worst economic crisis in decades, along with a resurgence of coronavirus cases. [Eliana Aponte/AP Photo]
Cuba is going through its worst economic crisis in decades, along with a resurgence of coronavirus cases. [Eliana Aponte/AP Photo]

Cubans in Trinidad and Tobago hope the protests currently taking place in their country will put an end to internal shortages.

Since July 11, thousands of Cuban citizens took to the streets throughout the country to express their discontent with the government.

The protests have targeted human rights violations, crimes against humanity and the health crisis the island is going through amid a rebound in covid19 cases.

Hundreds of Cubans who live in TT have spoken out on social media, some in support of the protests and others against.

Greisis Regalado told Newsday seeing what is happening in her country has caused her mixed feelings, between sadness and pride.

She said: "We Cubans have been quietly enduring a dictatorship for 62 years, but the hunger of a people is not silenced by anyone and the time has come for our country to rise up against the regime."

Regalado said the youth rising up in Cuba today thirst for freedom and to live like the rest of the countries of the world.

“What Cubans experience internally is very different, because even though the government tells the world there is freedom, medicine is free, studies are free – it is all is a lie, and it is something that, unfortunately, from within Cuba You cannot inform the rest of the world, because there is no freedom of expression,” she said.

Regalado said during the covid19 pandemic, social and especially health conditions in Cuba have worsened.

She said she has been able to communicate with her relatives in Cuba only through phone calls in recent days because of an internet crash.

“The protests are real. They started in my province of Artemisa and the government has wanted to hide it from the world by removing the Internet. My family told me in the last call there is a lot of repression by the government of President Díaz Canel, and that worries all of us who have been able to leave the island for other countries,” she said.

Regalado hopes the protests will lead to the end of what she sees as dictatorship and a new phase of freedom for Cubans will begin.

Diane Núñez also said the protests need to remain strong.

Núñez is a US citizen because her parents were able to leave Cuba in the 1980s. She visited the country on several occasions before coming to TT 14 years ago.

"The internal situation in Cuba is very difficult. Many families suffer to get out and live better. So it is important things change there and the dictatorship ends, because Cubans deserve to live better and be happy," she said.

But other Cubans in TT, such as Alberto Rodríguez, do not agree with the protests and are asking their compatriots to stop the confrontation between brothers.

Rodríguez said: “The current situation of the pandemic is general throughout the world, it is enough to watch the news to realise that there is a global health crisis, it is not only in Cuba.

"I believe those who are protesting are being pressured by people from abroad who do not know the normal life of Cuba. "

Rodríguez called for calm to avoid deaths.

"If there are violent people in the streets, logically the authorities must respond to prevent them from destroying the country, that is why I believe the protests must be controlled before unnecessary deaths occur," said Rodríguez.

María Carmen Pérez said the crisis is being experienced internally in Cuba is not the fault of the government or the Cuban revolution, but is due to the economic blockade imposed by the United States.

"It has been 50 years of anti-human and immoral blockade, even more so in the global emergency of a health crisis in which we find ourselves," she said.

TT has a high number of Cuban refugees who, like Venezuelans, have fled their countries owing to the internal socioeconomic crises and the political problems of two governments which have been friends since presidents Fidel Castro and Hugo Chávez.


"Cubans in Trinidad and Tobago: Dictatorship, blockade causes of the protests"

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