The government of Cuba reversed this Wednesday, in an “exceptional” way, to the measure of restricting the importation of food and sanitary products, until the end of the year.
“The importation by the passenger of food, toilets and medicines is exceptionally authorized, without limit of import value and free of payment of tariffs until December 31, 2021”, indicated the official Cubadebate site after the televised intervention of the president Miguel Díaz-Canel on Wednesday afternoon.
The information was offered by Prime Minister Manuel Marrero three days after the most notorious public protests in decades broke out, which have left at least 150 detainees, according to Amnesty International and one deceased, reported by official media.
What will be the next step for US policy toward Cuba?
Relieve the economic embargo on the island, press for more sanctions … The United States’ policy towards Cuba regains prominence on the agenda after the wave of protests that have taken place since Sunday in the Caribbean nation.
The measure does not apply to those who enter through the airports of the northern keys or the Varadero resort, the latter located in Matanzas, where the outbreak of COVID-19 put the island’s health system in check in recent weeks.
Many, however, have already questioned the real impact of the measure due to other impediments, such as the quarantine that must be kept when entering the country or the shortage of flights arriving on the island. Among the critical voices was that of the blogger Yoani Sánchez, who did not hesitate to describe the measure as “crumbs.”
“Blood was not spilled to be able to import a few extra suitcases,” lamented the activist on social networks.
No, we don’t want crumbs. We want freedom. Blood was not spilled on Cuban streets in order to import a few extra suitcases. Most of the injured or detained do not even have someone to bring them something in their luggage. #SOSCuba #11JCuba #HumanitarianRunner pic.twitter.com/yiZPsG629e
– Yoani Sánchez 🇨🇺 (@yoanisanchez) July 14, 2021
During the protests, thousands of citizens complained, in addition to the economic situation, for the management of the pandemic by the Executive. Díaz-Canel has denied the legitimacy of the claims, blaming them on interference from the United States government.
Other official messages
In the televised conversation in which Marrero made the announcement, the president himself and the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Planning, Alejandro Gil Fernández, were also present, who also advanced some economic measures regarding companies and wages.
For his part, Díaz-Canel announced that those who participated in the demonstrations “will receive the application of the laws in their fair measure, without abuse, and evaluating the situation of young people,” the latter having a leading role in the lawsuits.
However, assured the first secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba – the only one allowed on the island – “it will be necessary to apologize to those who were unjustly mistreated in the midst of the confusion.”
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