On July 11, Cubans took to the streets in the largest anti-government demonstrations the country has seen in decades protesting the absence of democratic rights under the country’s authoritarian regime, as well as worsening economic conditions amid the COVID-19 pandemic that led to food and medicine shortages.
Thousands of protesters gathered in the island’s capital, Havana, holding banners bearing such slogans as “freedom” and “exhausted,” and demanding the resignation of President Miguel Díaz-Canel.
U.S. President Joe Biden took to social media to voice support for the Cuban people and their right to peacefully demonstrate and protest.
“We stand with the Cuban people as they bravely assert their fundamental and universal rights, and as they all call for freedom and relief from the tragic grip of the pandemic and from the decades of repression and economic suffering,” Biden said.
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Nancy Pelosi tweeted: “The call for freedom and basic rights by the people of Cuba peacefully taking to the streets and marching is an act of great courage. I support the Cuban people in their pursuit of liberty and condemn any violence or targeting of those exercising their rights.”