Africa 

Protesters and police clash in Cuban capital in rare anti-government protest

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Thousands of Cubans took to the streets on Sunday attempting to reach Havana’s seaside Malecón Avenue to protest against the shortages and high prices of food in the midst of the health crisis caused by the coronavirus and what they consider the lack of response from the authorities. These are the most numerous protests in decades against the government of the island. Demonstrations were also held in other parts of the island, such as in the small town of San Antonio de Los Baños, where a group of people protested over power cuts. President Miguel Díaz-Canel appeared in the town and spoke with people that confronted him shouting out their concerns. Meanwhile, under the hot sun of a Havana afternoon, people began to arrive from all corners of the capital, including many young people, to join the protest, cut off the circulation of vehicles and headed towards the Malecón. “Freedom”, “Enough” and “Join” they chanted as the police arrived, who until then closely followed the protesters. The protesters numbered about 4,000 in the vicinity of Avenida de Galeano, where the run-ins and the launching of tear gas by the police failed to dissuade people. The protesters were applauded from many balconies on the central artery of the downtown Havana neighborhood. Despite the fact that many people tried to take out their cell phones and broadcast live, the internet service was cut off by the authorities throughout Sunday afternoon. The march through the streets in the centre of Havana lasted about two-and-a-half hours, while the police violently arrested protesters. A group of people related to the government arrived in the area shouting slogans in favor of late President Fidel Castro and the revolution while attacking a cameraman and an AP photographer was beaten by police. Cuba is going through the worst economic crisis in decades adding to a resurgence of the coronavirus. 

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