Cuba's Dictator Blames America for His People Demanding Freedom from Communism
Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel claims U.S. to blame for unrest amid uprising
Cuba's communist dictator, President Miguel Diaz-Canel, has claimed that America is to blame for Cubans rising up against his regime and demanding freedom from communism.
The country has been experiencing the most widespread unrest in Cuba for 30 years.
On Sunday, thousands took to the streets across Cuba in a remarkable show of defiance against the far-left government.
Protesters, many of whom were seen waving American flags, called for democracy and chanted: "Freedom!"
On Monday, Diaz-Canel addressed the nation and pointed the finger directly at the United States.
Referencing the embargo which has stood since 1962, Diaz-Canel criticized U.S. "politics of economic asphyxiation" toward the island nation.
"Is it not very hypocritical and cynical that you block me, and you want to present yourself as the big savior?" Diaz-Canel said, according to Reuters.
"Lift the blockade and then we will see what this people, that has achieved an immense social work despite what is practically a war economy, is capable of."
The Cuban president also alleged that mercenaries hired by the U.S. intentionally manufactured the anti-government protests to destabilize Cuba, the BBC reported.
Diaz-Canel, 61, serves as the first secretary of Cuba's Communist Party in addition to being the country's president.
He was named president in 2019, and in April took over as first secretary - a powerful role that previously had been filled by only Fidel Castro, who died in 2016, and his brother Raul Castro, now 90.
"Who is bothered by the regime, the alleged regime, in Cuba?" Diaz-Canel said.
"Who is bothered by the Cuban political system, the way we do things?
"Not our people, not the majority of our people, because they are the ones who have built that system.
"Who is bothered?" he asked.
"The government of the United States, because they don't see the virtues of this system of government in Cuba that is capable of working with all and working for all."
In an address to the country on Sunday, Diaz-Canel said: "We are prepared to do anything.
"We will be battling in the streets."
In the U.S., Miami Mayor Francis Suarez appeared at a demonstration in the Little Havana district, where hundreds gathered outside the famous Cuban Versailles restaurant to denounce the Communist regime on the island.
"Cubans are worthy and ready to rule themselves without tyranny," Suarez said on Sunday.
"It can end today and it must end today.
"The implications of this moment can mean freedom for millions of people in the hemisphere, from Nicaraguans and Venezuelans and so many more."
The images of protests in Cuba that have gone viral on social media prompted officials in the United States to call for an American-led intervention to topple the ruling government in Havana.
Cubans marched on Havana's Malecon promenade and elsewhere on the island to protest food shortages and soaring inflation, which some economists believe could hit 900 percent this year.