- Title: Blinken says it would be 'grievous mistake' for Cuba to blame U.S. for protests
- Date: 12th July 2021
- Summary: WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES (JULY 12, 2021) (STATE TV) STATE DEPARTMENT SPOKESPERSON, NED PRICE, INTRODUCING U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN, WHO WALKS TO THE PODIUM (SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN, SAYING: "The Biden-Harris administration stands by the Cuban people and people around the world who demand their human rights and who expect governments to listen to and serve them rather than try to silence them. Peaceful protesters are not criminals, and we join partners across the hemisphere and around the world in urging the Cuban regime to respect the rights of the Cuban people to determine their own future, something they have been denied for far too long." JOURNALIST ASKING QUESTION (SOUNDBITE)(English) U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE ANTONY BLINKEN, SAYING: "I think it would be a grievous mistake for the Cuban regime to interpret what is happening in dozens of towns and cities across the island as the result or product of anything the United States has done. It would be a grievous mistake because it would show that they simply are not hearing the voices and will of the Cuban people, people deeply, deeply, deeply tired of the repression that has gone on for far too long. Tired of the mismanagement of the Cuban economy. Tired of the lack of adequate food, and, of course, an adequate response to the COVID pandemic. That is what we are hearing and seeing in Cuba. And that is a reflection of the Cuban people, not of the United States or any other outside actor." BLINKEN EXITING
- Embargoed: 26th July 2021 20:38
- Keywords: Antony Blinken Biden administration Cuba Secretary of State embargo protests
- Location: WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Diplomacy/Foreign Policy,Government/Politics,United States
- Reuters ID: LVA001ELJEEKN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Monday (July 12) it would be a "grievous mistake" for Cuba's leaders to interpret protests in the country over the weekend as "the product of anything the United States has done."
Pushing back on Cuban officials' claims of a U.S.-backed effort to foment unrest, Blinken said protesters were criticizing the country's rulers for failing to meet people's basic needs, including food and medicine.
The streets of Havana were quiet on Monday, although there was a heavy police presence. Outages in mobile internet - the only way many Cubans have of accessing the web - were frequent.
Chanting "freedom" and calling for President Miguel Diaz-Canel to step down, thousands of Cubans joined street protests from Havana to Santiago on Sunday in the biggest anti-government demonstrations on the Communist-run island in decades.
At least 80 protesters, activists, and independent journalists had been detained nationwide since Sunday, according to exiled rights group Cubalex.
(Production: Ashraf Fahim)
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