In a televised speech, Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Colonel said the government was handling the country’s crisis badly. Cuban researcher Vagard Pie believes this indicates that the president’s position in the Communist Party is weakening domestically.
So far, the Cuban government has blamed social media and the United States for the protests this weekend, the largest the country has seen in years.
In a televised speech to the public, Theas-Colonel takes up self-criticism for the first time. He acknowledged that the government had failed and that it had played a role in the fight against food shortages, rising prices and other challenges facing the people.
– We must learn from restlessness. We need to analyze our problems to act and avoid recurrence, ”he said in the speech.
Reaction to demonstrations
As thousands of Cubans filled the streets of cities across the country this weekend, the text was a reaction to food and drug shortages and sustainable power outages. Many also demanded a quick vaccination against corona.
There were also demands for political change in a country ruled by the Communist Party, which had a monopoly power after the 1959 revolution.
“Our community is not a community that creates hatred, these people acted with hatred,” said Theas-Colonel, who accused some of the protesters of robbery and vandalism.
– The expression that “old comrades” should come back inside
Pi tells VG that the speech may reflect a weak internal position in the president’s party. The researcher also points out that the late President Raul Castro was invited to attend the Politburo in Havana.
– Theos-Colonel has turned out very badly, and I think there is a very widespread perception within the organization that Raul Castro’s attempt to hand over control to the next generation under the leadership of Colonel-Diaz has failed.
He also highlights the video of Ramiro Waltz Mendez, who has been foreign minister for many years, meeting protesters on the street in a kind of conversation.
– It reveals that the “old comrades” have to come back in and that Theos Colonel’s choice has failed. This is an obvious sign of an internal power struggle.
– May be the first step towards conversation
At the same time, he believes the approval is an expression of the president’s acknowledgment that he is in deep water and unable to handle the situation.
– This may be the first step in the conversation, which is positive. In this quiet period after the demonstrations, it is important to start a conversation before it erupts again, because it is only a period of time, Pi says.
Pi says the protests are more than just electricity, medicine and food.
– This is the most fundamental collapse of Cuba’s entire political and economic system.
The Cuban economy has been hit by the worst crisis in years due to the collapse of the tourism sector following the Corona epidemic, US sanctions and ineffective governance.
Former President Donald Trump has tightened the siege on the country, with President Joe Biden not taking action to ease sanctions.
In the speech, Dias-Colonel opponents accused him of exploiting what he called a “critical situation” because “the revolution did not want to win or Cuba did not want to develop a civilized and respectful relationship with the United States.”
The researcher says work is underway behind the scenes to launch an international call and conversation.
– The great demand is that there must be an end to abuse and that there must be democratic change and national dialogue in Cuba. It must liaise with the opposition and representatives of the opposition to seek a political community, political solutions and economic reforms.
The three-digit number was arrested
It is not clear how many protesters have been arrested. So far, only a few hundred arrests have been verified.
– I’ll try to find more definite numbers. There are many rumors that more people have been killed than reported. Pi says the situation is constantly evolving.
Currently Death confirmed by Cuba’s Interior Ministry, 36-year-old Tupis Lorenzio Tejeta.
Oslo University researcher Stale Wick says the number of arrests is rising.
“There are many unconfirmed videos of people not being arrested in their homes and videos and reports of murders, gunshot wounds and other injuries,” Vic said.
A video has also been released, filmed from a balcony in Havana in recent days, showing at least ten buses, loaded with police in public attire, taking to the streets with assault weapons in hand.
– They stop to give the impression that the “people” against the protesters are rising up against them, Pi comments.