The recent editorial: ‘The Guardian view on Cuba’s protests’ presents a false image of the situation in Cuba. It also includes distorted arguments which seem to be an attempt to absolve the US blockade of its genocidal nature. The section which covers the protests themselves fails to mention the counter demonstrations in several cities which came out in support of the government and against the US blockade. These demonstrations appear to have been equal to or even larger in number than the initial protests, so your assured statement “biggest protests in decades” is a bold estimate at best.
It is confounding to equate the impact of the blockade on the Cuban economy to any amount of Cuban government policy. Cuba has to grapple with blockade that not only costs them an estimated $12m every day in lost trade, but is also the longest lasting economic blockade in history. Shortages of food, power and medicine are caused by this blockade, not by the people attempting to weather it.
You use the past tense when describing Cuba’s response to Covid-19 as ‘impressive’ but it remains one of the best responses in Latin America. Deaths per million people remain low at 162, thanks to a swift initial response and the country’s amazing health infrastructure, for comparison, Britain currently sits at 1900 per million. If anything is affecting Cuba’s ability to respond to the pandemic then it is the blockade, which stifles their ability to buy vaccine supplies among other things.
Lastly there is a disingenuous argument that ‘While Havana blames the US for stirring up the protests, Joe Biden’s top priorities are domestic.’ this, alongside the claim that Biden is not interested in intervention is contrary to the fact that the US is obsessed with meddling in Cuban affairs, besides the economic blockade. Millions of dollars are spent funding groups as part of regime change programmes, and the US illegally imposes its blockade on Cuba on other countries around the world, threatening them if they attempt to trade with Cuba.
This editorial presents itself as balanced but ultimately sides with the US against the Cuban people, who deserve far better.