In July, Cuba witnessed rare public protests over rising living costs, food shortages and the continuing US embargo.
Cuba has accused the United States of trying to destabilize the island as Cuban opposition groups plan to hold protests next week despite a government ban on the protests.
The banned Cuban opposition said it would defy Monday’s ban on change and violence in the capital, Havana, and six other provinces.
The country has been torn apart rare public demonstrations in July, when protesters took to the streets for two days anger among others about the rising cost of living, food shortages and the continuing US embargo.
Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez said on Wednesday that the government would not allow “the persistent aggression by the US government, its intense and ongoing efforts… to create conditions for internal destabilization, to calm the citizens’ peace and security. does not change ”.
Last month, Cuba rejected the protest organizers’ request to demonstrate, claiming that the so-called “Civic March for Change” would be a “provocation” supported by the US with the aim of leading to regime change.
“There have been 29 statements by the U.S. government and influential figures in that nation’s Congress since September 22 alone … all aimed at encouraging, leading, inciting destabilization actions in our country,” Rodriguez said.
Havana’s state prosecutor’s office has warned protest organizers of the “criminal consequences” they face if they continue with their plans – but the opposition remains adamant and has promised to hold the protests.
Monday’s protests will coincide with Cuba reopening its tourism sector and primary schools after months of disruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while the capital will celebrate the 502nd year since its inception.
The government announced it will also do annual military exercises on Monday.
Michael Bustamante, an expert from Cuba at the University of Miami, said the timing of the opposition protests could explain “the intensity of the state’s response”.
“This is the moment when the Cuban state wants to turn around what was a very bad year … and here you have this group that says, ‘no, we are choosing this particular moment to insist on political change’, “Bus men told the Reuters news agency.
The Cuban authorities prosecute dozens of people in connection with the protests on 11 and 12 July.
Hundreds of people were arrested during those protests and many stood trial on charges of contempt, public disorder, vandalism and spread of the coronavirus because they allegedly marched without face masks. At least one person was killed during the two days of unrest.
US President Joe Biden’s Administration new sanctions imposed on Cuba after the protests.
“We hear the cries of freedom coming from the island. “The United States is taking joint action to strengthen the cause of the Cuban people,” Biden said at the start of a White House meeting with Cuban Americans at the end of July.
The upcoming protests on the island are planned on Facebook by the Archipelago group, which says it has about 20,000 members, many of whom live outside the country.
On Wednesday, Foreign Minister Rodriguez claimed Facebook helped the dissidents by allowing groups to simulate a large presence on the island.
Rodriguez told a group of foreign diplomats in Havana that dissidents in Facebook groups violated the social media platform’s own policies by “changing algorithms, changing the geolocation mechanism to simulate the massive presence in Cuba of people in accounts who are known to live outside our country and fundamentally in Florida and US territory ”.
Rodriguez said these practices violated both U.S. and international law. “As has already happened, Facebook can be perfectly, with strict compliance with the laws, sued for these practices against Cuba,” he said.
Facebook, which recently changed its company name to Meta, did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.