In an unprecedented move, thousands of Cubans took to the streets in over 40 different cities last Sunday to protest their government. Cuba is a socialist dictatorship that has been ruling the island nation for over 62 years. Ever since Fidel Castro took over in 1959, Cuba has been subjected to a one party rule (the Communist Party of Cuba), which controls all forms of mediums and does not protect the right to free speech or assembly for its citizens.
The protests come as the country is facing severe economic scarcities in food, water, and other basic necessities. The Cuban government’s domestic inefficiencies, combined with the U.S. embargo, has crippled the economy for decades. Adding fuel to the fire has been the pandemic, as Cuba heavily relies on tourism.
However, while citizens shared their grievances for the economic situation, they also protested their government. Chants like “libertad” (“freedom”) and “Patria y Vida” (homeland and life), as well as explicit cries about the current president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, were heard everywhere.
After news broke about the protests, the Cuban exile community all over the globe rallied together with the protesters asking for the end of a dictatorship.
If you’re looking for ways to show your support for Cuba, read on for how to help right now.
Write to your representatives.
One of the most critical things you can do is write to your senators, congressmen, and congresswomen about the current situation in Cuba. Reaching out to them not only increases visibility on the topic, but it also pressures them to recognize the dictatorship. Asking the U.S. for humanitarian intervention can help alleviate the dire situation citizens are in. You can find your representatives by using this link.
Listen to Cuban voices.
Independent journalists and bloggers risk their freedom every day to report the current situation in Cuba. Yoani Sanchez at 14yMedio, El Toque, and Abraham Jimenez Enoa are just some of the journalists and blogs in Cuba worth noting and reading.
Donate recharges to cell phones.
Internet in Cuba is extremely expensive for the average Cuban; the government’s tight control of the internet sets prices that are unattainable. Providing citizens with internet is essential to getting their stories out. Cubanos Pa’lante has been on a recharge (recarga) campaign that you can donate to here.
Drink some Cuba libres in Miami.
From July 16 to July 23, local spots in Miami will be selling Cuba libres with proceeds being donated to the Center for a Free Cuba. Bacardi, which has its origin in Cuba, has donated its Real Havana Club rum to local Cuban-owned businesses to make these drinks. Bacardi has also pledged $10,000 to add to all the proceeds going to the organization.