After protest, Cuban president summons revolutionaries

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Fed up with the economic crisis, thousands of Cubans demonstrated this Sunday (11) in various regions, shouting “Freedom!” and “Down with the dictatorship!”, while the president Miguel Diaz-Canel he summoned his supporters to take to the streets.

“The order of combat is given: the revolutionaries to the streets,” Díaz-Canel said in a televised speech in which he accused “the Cuban-American mafia” of being behind the uprising.

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“We call on all the revolutionaries in the country, the communists, to take to the streets wherever these provocations take place, from now on and all these days. And to face them decisively, firmly, with courage,” he added.

At dusk, several groups of government supporters gathered in different parts of the capital to prepare the counter-demonstration, AFP found.

The anti-government protests, widely publicized on social media, began spontaneously in the morning, an unusual fact in this country ruled by the Communist Party, where the only authorized concentrations are usually those of the single party itself.

cuvba protesto pro governo After protest, Cuban president summons revolutionaries Regime supporters gather after unprecedented demonstrations against the government

Regime supporters gather after unprecedented demonstrations against the government (YAMIL LAGE/AFP)

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“Down with the dictatorship!”, “Let them leave!” and “Homeland and life!” – title of a controversial song -, thousands of protesters shouted in the streets of San Antonio de los Baños, a small town of 50,000 inhabitants about 30 km from the capital Havana.

“Freedom!” chanted hundreds more at various gatherings in Havana, where clashes broke out between protesters and the police, who used tear gas.

At least 10 people were arrested while the city was under heavy military and police mobilization.