A day after thousands of demonstrators took to Cuba's streets in rare protest of the island nation's economic crisis, large contingents of police were dispatched to patrol in the capital of Havana and the island nation's president blamed a U.S. embargo for the widespread shortages of food, fuel, medicine and other goods during the pandemic.
President Miguel Díaz-Canel said Monday that a "politics of economic asphyxiation" was having a “cumulative effect” throughout Cuba.
He and representatives from his government said U.S. sanctions against Cuba had contributed to power outages and limited access to food and medical supplies during the pandemic.
Speaking of the economic issues in Cuban society and the reasons some have been protesting, Díaz-Canel said, "What is their origin, what is their cause? It is the blockade."
Díaz-Canel said the Cuban protests were the result of a U.S. and social media campaign to manipulate people while the island is facing hardship during the pandemic.