Monday, July 12, 2021

Cuba Protests; Haiti Conundrums (July 12, 2021)


On Sunday thousands of Cubans went out into the streets "to protest food shortages and high prices amid the coronavirus crisis, in one of biggest anti-government demonstrations in memory," according to an Associated Press article accompanied by a dozen remarkable photos. Reuters reports that they started "around midday in San Antonio de los Baños municipality in Artemisa Province, bordering Havana." In Havana they seemed to have"started around 3 p.m. and fizzled out around 8 p.m., with some protesters giving up after security forces thwarted their attempt to reach Revolution Square," according to a separate Reuters story. Cuba's president Miguel Díaz Canell made a personal, public showing in San Antonio yesterday afternoon calling for "the countries' revolutionaries" to come out to the streets, according to Radio Rebelde.
  • Among the competing hashtags#EliminaElBloqueo and #SOSCubaAlso: "Although many people tried to take out their cellphones and broadcast the protest live, Cuban authorities shut down internet service throughout the afternoon," according to the Associated Press. 
  • The Washington Post and the New York Times are only able to report from Miami; NYT's Frances Robles writes says that "I have been covering Cuba since the 1994 rafter crisis. I have never ever seen anything like the protests today." (check out her Twitter feed).
  • "While hundreds protested in Cuba, thousands protested in southern Florida, according to the Miami Herald. Nicaragua's social activists expressed their solidarity with Cuba's government, according to Cuba's Prensa Latina
  • The violent harassment of Associated Press' photographer, Ramón Espinosa, went viral (at least on my screen).
  • Yesterday 's daily COVID-19 update from Cuba's Ministry of Health: 6,923 new cases for a total of 238,491 cases nationwide.

Reporters are still trying to piece together how the assasination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. Sunday's New York Times tried to tap into the Colombian connection in Haiti's "Murder Mystery: At least 20 Colombians have been implicated by Haitian officials in the plot to assassinate the president. But their role in the killing, if any, is murky." The Guardian and the Washington Post focus on Christian Emmanuel Sanon who police said, "planned to assume the presidency and hire some of the men involved in the attack on Moïse as his security team." There were reports that Sanon was arrested Monday morning.
  • The Associated Press' Joshua Goodman tweeted, "All this intrigue leaves lots of questions unanswered. Why did the alleged assassins post on Facebook photos of themselves at tourist spots in the Dominican Republic if they were on such a sensitive mission?And not a single member of the president's security detail injured?"
  • Roaming gangs are all the more prevalent in today's Port au Prince, according to the Associated Press. They are "financed by powerful politicians" and have "driven thousands of people from their homes as they battle over territory, kill civilians and raid warehouses of food." Reuters interviews one gang leader about his plans to join street protests.
  • Martine Moïse, Moïse's widow, made a political pronouncement over the weekend, according to The Times. She is in Miami recovering from the attack.
  • The Post and The Times publish columns trying to make sense of the challenges ahead.


  • The conservative-leaning O Estado de São Paolo's lead editorial yesterday called for President Bolsonaro's resignation declaring "Chega de Chantagem" ("Enough of this")   The Guardian has a summary not behind a pay-wall. “Jair Bolsonaro is no longer in a position to remain in the presidency.” Meanwhile, a new DataFolha survey shows that, "for the first time, a majority of Brazilians support impeaching President Jair Bolsonaro,", according to Reuters. "54% of Brazilians support a proposed move by the country's lower house to open impeachment proceedings against Bolsonaro, while 42% oppose it."

  • Podcast:  The Los Angeles Times just posted their podcast with their reporter Julia Barajas about a recent crackdown on opponents of Ortega in Nicaragua as well as political cartoonist Pedro X. Molina who is now "living in exile after having drawn one too many unflattering portraits of the president."

Democracy (in Chile, Peru and Nicaragua)
  • The BBC profiles Elisa Loncón, Chile's Constituent Assembly's new president: "Her mother was a housemaid who loved poetry. Her father, a carpenter, had taught himself how to read at the age of 17. ... She eventually left the village called Lefweluan ... went on to earn a PhD in from the University of Leiden, and another PhD from the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, before becoming a professor at the University of Santiago."

  • The Economist's Bello column previews the pending announcement of Pedro Castillo as president of Peru. "For a democracy to survive, it needs democrats," it declares, before showing that Keiko Fujimori and her supporters are not showing their democratic stripes.

  • Clashes between gangs and police have resulted in the deaths of at least "22 suspected gang members and four police," according to the BBC. "Four people were killed by stray bullets," according to Reuters.

  • The Financial Times reports on how COVID-19 in Brazil impacts "pregnant women especially hard: inadequate access and a more contagious variant blamed for jump in maternal deaths."
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced "the donation of more than one million Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses to Bolivia."

Copa América Into Overtime
  • Buenos Aires' Clarín published a series of photos of yesterday's Copa America championship match between Argentina vs. Brazil where Messi finally was able to add this victory to his many wins. Copa America's Twitter featured Maradona looking on from above as well as Messi and Neymar being best buds.

It's Eduardo here filling in for Jordana: let me know if I missed or misinterpreted something or perhaps you have a different take. 

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