Cubans stage rare protests over Covid measures

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  • Coronavirus pandemic

image copyrightReutersimage captionProtesters marched to protest against the government

Thousands of people have joined protests against Cuba's communist government in the capital, Havana, and several other cities.

Videos posted on social media show people calling for freedom, democracy and demanding vaccines to tackle the coronavirus pandemic.

The demonstrations, which are rare in Cuba, come as the country reports a record number of Covid infections.

President Miguel Diaz-Canel blamed the United States for the unrest.

Supporters of the government also rallied in Havana.

On Friday, Cuba approved its home-grown vaccine for emergency use, Abdala Two, a first for Latin America and the Caribbean.

The opposition says these are the biggest anti-government protests on the island in almost 30 years.

One protester, in San Antonio de los Banos, 30km (20 miles) south of Havana, told the AFP news agency people were angry about "the situation with electricity and food".

"The energy situation seems to have produced some reaction here," admitted President Diaz-Canel, blaming "a Cuban-American mafia" for stirring up discontent.

image copyrightReutersimage captionOther crowds demonstrated their support for the government

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