The Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has called for a return to calm, peaceful assembly and dialogue in Cuba and a cessation of violence and vandalism amid protests in the country.
A CARICOM statement released on Monday said the organisation has taken note of the protests, brought about by socio-economic challenges, further exacerbated by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of natural hazards.
While urging a return to calm, the community reiterated its calls for the immediate lifting of the trade, financial and economic sanctions as recently reiterated by the United Nations General Assembly.
The Cuban government has accused independent media outlets largely based in the Miami area of provoking the unprecedented, spontaneous protests that spread across Cuba, according to Reuters News Agency.
The people of Cuba have been expressing anger over shortages of food and medicine, rising inflation and power outages, amid the challenges of coping with the COVID-19 pandemic in a country that has been ruled for over six decades by a Communist government.
NBC News reported that in response to the protests, Cuba’s government announced it would temporarily lift restrictions on the amount of toiletries, food and medicine that Cuban citizens can bring back home when they take foreign trips.
But it said that for many protesters on the island, it’s a small concession compared to their demands, and out of touch with their basic needs.
And while Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel recently accepted some blame for the unrest citing failings by the administration, he nevertheless asserted that the United States is chiefly at fault.