September 30, 2022

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Cuba: The government makes the first gesture after the protests

The Cuban government announced on Wednesday the first round of measures to appease the people, especially by facilitating the entry of food and medicine into the island, three days after the historic demonstrations, which agreed to “learn lessons”.

Officials appeared to be with Chancellor Miguel Dias-Canal and several other ministers, who announced on television that Prime Minister Manuel Murro had “decided to grant exceptional and provisional approval for the importation of passengers, in their suitcases, food, health products and medicines, without value-added and customs duty.”

“This is a step we will take until December 31,” he said.

Facilitating access to the island of essential commodities is one of the demands of the Cuban people, who have faced a severe shortage, exacerbated by the economic crisis that has hit the country, the worst in 30 years.

In a recent open letter, a group of artists and intellectuals called for such action.

Economy Minister Alejandro Gill, for his part, announced the end of the salary cap on state-owned enterprises, which are subject to stricter pay levels.

“We are removing the salary cap for state-owned companies as a first step,” he said, adding that “if we produce more wealth, we should earn more, and if we are more efficient”.

Finally, the Prime Minister said that residents could temporarily move to another city and benefit from the distribution book, Libretta, when that was not possible before.

– “Call to Peace” –

The measures were announced three days after Sunday’s demonstrations, with thousands of Cubans taking to the streets in about 40 cities and villages shouting “We are hungry”, “Freedom” and “Down with dictatorship”.

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The mobilization, some of which continued on Monday, left one dead and more than 100 detained, causing concern in the international community.

President Dias-Kennel has changed his speech if he reiterates his accusations against the United States, which he claims to have provoked the protests through a campaign on Twitter with the hashtag #SOSCuba.

“We need to learn from these issues as well and analyze our problems critically,” he said, adding, “there are things we need to address.”

The Communist leader estimated that there were “dissidents” among the protesters.

While acknowledging that the protests “have hurt dozens”, he said, “We have to apologize to those who were taken abused (for trouble) in the midst of chaos at this kind of event.”

The President called for “peace, understanding and respect among the Cubans.” Although we sometimes have different perspectives on some things, what we need to encourage is to try to find solutions above all else.

On Wednesday, peace returned to Cuba, where it was placed under strong police and military surveillance, especially around the Capitol in Havana, the seat of parliament.

In the area, where thousands of Cubans entered on Sunday, several police trucks were parked, AFP said.

– Mobile Internet Reset –

The mobile Internet, disrupted by protests, began to recover, but it remained unstable and inaccessible to social networks and instant messaging applications.

With 3G or 4G, access to things like WhatsApp, Facebook and Twitter is blocked. On the street, residents were able to connect seamlessly to the Internet.

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“Social networks are utterly aggressive, they must carry out murders, assassinations, attacks on people, especially those identified as revolutionaries,” President Dias-Colonel condemned the previous day, according to pictures in the national newspaper.

The text, which he tries to convey (on social media) as “the Cuban government repression (…) is completely false, slander”, accused the networks of “media terrorism”.

Washington reiterated on Wednesday its calls for the immediate release of detained protesters and called for an end to cyber restrictions.

“The voice of the Cuban people, including technological means, can never silence or restrain their legitimate aspirations for freedom for human rights,” said Nate, a foreign ministry spokesman. Price.