With additional protests looming in Cuba from activists pushing back against their government, the country’s president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, is publicly stating that the plans are being “orchestrated by the exterior.” The “exterior,” in this case, is the United States.
“The declared objective of the United States government is to topple the Cuban revolution,” Díaz-Canel said in a speech on Sunday (October 24). He added that the current U.S. administration’s plan is driven by its “desire to win the Florida vote,” a voting bloc he says that is controlled by the “Cuban American mafia in Miami.” He also says the U.S. Embassy in Havana is “subverting the internal order of our country.”
A national protest is scheduled to take place on November 15. It is headed by Yunior García, an artist and opposition leader. Massive protests in Cuba have been taking place since this past summer with citizens demanding an end to the country’s dictatorship, which they say has led to economic instability and a lack of food and medicine. The Cuban government has arrested hundreds of demonstrators for taking to the streets during this time.
“We know we can go to prison,” García, 39, told NBC News last week about the planned protest that is less than three weeks away. “We know terrible things can happen. We are already living them.”
The Cuban government also seems to be preparing itself for whatever happens on November 15. According to NBC News, Cuban government officials are preparing for a possible invasion by “the enemy” in the province of Matanzas. Cuban state TV is airing videos on how to respond to an attack.
The U.S. State Department says that the U.S. government “supports the right of Cubans and people everywhere to exercise their freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly.” It called on the Cuban government to “respect these rights and see this not as an attack, but as an opportunity to listen to the Cuban people and do what is right for Cubans and for Cuba.”