Cubans denounce "misery" in biggest protests in decades

Shouting “Freedom” and other anti-government slogans, hundreds of Cubans took to the streets in cities around the country on Sunday to protest food and medicine shortages, in a remarkable eruption of discontent not seen in nearly 30 years.

Hundreds of people marched through San Antonio de los Baños, southwest of Havana, with videos streaming live on Facebook for nearly an hour before they suddenly disappeared. As the afternoon wore on, other videos appeared from demonstrations elsewhere, including Palma Soriano, in the country’s southeast. Hundreds of people also gathered in Havana, where a heavy police presence preceded their arrival...

The protests were set off by a dire economic crisis in Cuba, where the coronavirus pandemic has cut off crucial tourism dollars. People now spend hours in line each day to buy basic food items. Many have been unable to work because restaurants and other businesses have remained on lockdown for months...

Mr. Díaz-Canel said in televised remarks on Sunday that the protests were a form of “systemic provocation” by dissidents doing the bidding of the United States. He said Washington in recent months had sought to destabilize and weaken the island’s economy as part of a policy designed to “provoke a massive social implosion.”