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Cubans take to the street in defence of the revolution

THOUSANDS of Cubans took to the streets in defence of their revolutionary government on Saturday as President Miguel Diaz-Canel vowed to defend the country from outside interference.

“We are going to put our hearts into Cuba — together we can — because Cuba is love, peace and solidarity,” he said.

Demonstrations took place in the capital Havana and other cities in a rejection of the messages circulating on social media aimed at destabilising the country.

Mr Diaz-Canel denounced the “unconventional warfare” being waged against Cuba: a reference to the social media campaign using the hashtag #SOSCuba, which has its origins in the United States and organisations linked to the shady National Endowment for Democracy, as reported in the Morning Star last week.

It is part of efforts to present a picture of Cuba to the world that “is a lie,” he said, adding that “imperialism tried to silence any information about the true reality of our country.”

International media have reported on growing unrest in Cuba in the face of an economic crisis and shortages of vital medical equipment to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

But they have studiously ignored mass support for the government and calls for an end to the US-imposed blockade that has cost the Cuban economy some $754 billion (£547bn) since it was imposed in 1959.

US President Joe Biden’s professed support for the Cuban people has been dismissed as opportunism, as he refuses to end the devastating embargo — the US voted against a motion calling for it to be lifted at the United Nations general assembly last month.

And US-led calls for humanitarian aid have also been rejected, with Mr Biden attaching strings to any offers of support as he labelled Cuba “a failed state” last week.

Youth Communist League spokesman Aylin Alvaraz warned that “the revolutionary Cuban people do not believe in false humanitarian aid that brings with it foreign interference,” while the Cuban government continues to press demands for an end to the blockade.

Despite countless efforts in six decades, including invasion and hundreds of attempts to assassinate late leader Fidel Castro, the US has failed to overthrow the Cuban government.

Last week Miami Mayor Francis Suarez called for US military intervention, including air strikes against Cuba. But Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said that Cuba’s enemies should not underestimate the determination of its people.

“Those who question the loyalty and support of millions of Cubans to their revolution ignore the tradition of struggle and victory of an entire people, who will not let the freedom, sovereignty and independence … be taken away.”

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