Cubans rally in support of the revolution, 11 July in San Antonio de los Baños (photo: Periódico Las Tunas Cuba)

Main article image: Cubans rally in support of the revolution, 11 July in San Antonio de los Baños (photo: Periódico Las Tunas Cuba)

On Sunday 11 July, protests in Cuba involving hundreds of people occurred in the town of San Antonio de los Baños and the city of Palma Soriano, with similar and smaller demonstrations following in other areas including Havana. As acknowledged by the country’s revolutionary leadership, these protests would never have occurred in Cuba in normal times, but discontent over shortages of basic goods and services, deliberately exacerbated by targeted US sanctions, has been building in some areas of the island. These protests have been attended by counter-revolutionary forces, opportunistically taking to the streets waving US flags, looting and violently attacking the police. Miami-based social media accounts, run by exiled Cuban anti-communists, have been offering material rewards to Cubans to incite violence. The shortages, the counter-revolutionary Cubans and the Miami exile propaganda have all been fomented by the US and other imperialist powers over decades, intensifying during the Covid-19 pandemic, as documented in Fight Racism! Fight Imperialism! in our consistent coverage of Cuba’s popular revolutionary process.

British, US and other international media outlets have leapt into action at the first signs of protest, attacking the Cuban state’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic – which has been marked by exemplary socialist internationalism. As such, it is urgent that all supporters of the Cuban revolution take immediate action in defence of Cuba’s sovereignty, its popular democracy and its socialist achievements. In this we must not only use social media, but follow the example of the many thousands of ordinary Cubans who, on the same day that anti-government protests occurred, took to the streets in defence of their revolution, responding to the call of Cuba’s communist leadership at a moment’s notice.

This transcript of a televised statement from Cuba’s president and First Secretary of the Communist Party, Miguel Diaz-Canel, explains the situation and the context that led up to it, as well as the Cuban state’s response (Spanish): Díaz-Canel al pueblo de Cuba: "La orden de combate está dada, a la calle los revolucionarios" | Cubadebate

An unofficial English translation of the statement by the US-based Party for Socialism and Liberation is available here: Cuban President Díaz-Canel: Revolutionaries to the Streets! – Liberation News