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Cubans Take to the Streets to Protest Against the Government

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Across Cuba, citizens participated in the largest demonstration against the communist government in years.

What We Know:

  • Despite the possibility of incarceration or execution for speaking against the government, Cubans demanded its leaders make more of an effort to control the country’s coronavirus infection rate. As of Sunday, Cuba reported a record of 7,000 daily infections and 47 deaths.
  • Despite this, the Cuban government has not accepted aid from health organizations such as the World Health Organization (WHO); recently, Cuba elected not to join the WHO’s COVAX agency, which would have provided them with a supply of COVID-19 vaccines. Instead, officials chose to focus on the country’s own vaccine production.
  • Alongside this, Cuba faces its worst economic decline since the fall of the Soviet Union. Due to U.S. sanctions and the pandemic, the state-controlled economy shrank by 11%. As a result, Cuba depleted its foreign currency reserves and cannot buy imported goods to control shortages. Additionally, Cubans spend hours in line waiting for food, which has become severely overpriced. Citizens also face power shortages that cause blackouts for hours at a time.
  • Because of Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s disregard for fixing the situation, Cubans could no longer control their anger. Protests began on Sunday afternoon in San Antonio de los Baños and spread through all the country’s hemispheres. Protestors shouted things such as “down with the dictatorship,” “freedom,” and more. Some demonstrators sang Patria y Vida (“Fatherland and Life”), a reggaeton song that satires “Fatherland or Death,” a slogan made famous by Che Guevara during his United National Assembly speech in 1964. Guevara played a crucial part in helping Fidel Castro take control of the island.

  • Officials quickly took action in trying to silence the protestors. NBC News‘ Spanish broadcasting company Telemundo confirmed that the government caused service outages to prevent live broadcasts. President Díaz-Canel also appeared on national television and called on the Army and revolutionaries to confront the demonstrators. On Monday, he publicly accused the United States of provoking the citizens’ unrest. People waved the American flag throughout the protests. Demonstrators uploaded footage of protests on social media and asked people from other countries to share it before the country removed it.

 

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A post shared by La Familia Cubana (@lafamiliacubana)

  • The United States avidly supports the demonstrators. President Joe Biden released a statement Monday morning in which he called for the Cuban regime to hear their citizens’ complaints. Biden also declared the Cuban people are “bravely asserting” their human rights to protest and determine their own future.

“The United States calls on the Cuban regime to hear their people and serve their needs at this vital moment rather than enriching themselves,” Biden writes.

  • In Miami, Cuban exiles and their families celebrated the uprising. Across the city, people gathered around in streets and restaurants to show support for their Cuban brothers and sisters. The largest crowds were found among Little Havana’s Versailles Restaurant and Hialeah’s 49th Street. These people hope the latest uprising will create actual change after almost 62 years of communist control.
  • The last big protest that occurred in Cuba took place in 1994. Known as the Maleconazo, Cubans demonstrated in Havana and pleaded with Castro to allow them to flee the country in boats and rafts.

Black News Alerts stands with the Cuban citizens while they fight for better lives for themselves and future generations.

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Headlines

Senate Prepares to Move Forward with Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

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On Monday, the Senate pushed to pass the bipartisan infrastructure bill just hours after its legislative language was completed and unveiled. Senators who created the proposal expect it to clear the upper chamber in the following days.

What We Know:

  • Senate negotiators completed the 2,702-page bill on Sunday night. The bill, known as H.R. 3684, aims to provide $550 billion to fund the nation’s roads, bridges, railways, and public transit systems.
  • Since then, the Senate began taking up two amendments to the proposal. In addition, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer previewed three bipartisan amendments for consideration. Currently, it is uncertain how many amendments the Senate will consider. However, Schumer wants to vote on amendments quickly; he also noted that the first three “constitute only the first tranche of potential amendments.”
  • Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell commented that H.R. 3684’s text lays out “a good and important jumping point for what needs to be a robust and bipartisan process” on the Senate floor. McConnell added that an “artificial timetable” must not affect the Senate’s “full consideration” of the bill.
  • On July 28, the bipartisan group of Senators and the White House reached an agreement on H.R. 3684’s details. Officials also voted 66-28 on the deal, which opened the package to potential changes during the amendment process. After this, Senators worked throughout the weekend to hammer out the legislative language.
  • If the Senate passes H.R. 3684, it will be a significant victory for President Joe Biden. A key proposal in his economic agenda, Biden boasted on the impact H.R. 3684 will hold on the nation. On Sunday, he tweeted that the deal is the most important investment in America’s public transit history. He additionally stated the bill will impact the U.S. just as much as the invention of the Amtrak 50 years ago.

If Congress approves H.R. 3684, it will ensure that Democrats may begin work on a $3.5 trillion proposal that focuses on Biden’s plans for childcare, healthcare, education, the environment, and possibly immigration. Doing so will ensure another success on Pres. Biden’s behalf.

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Coronavirus

Florida Breaks Record for COVID-19 Hospitalizations

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Florida recently saw 10,207 hospitalizations caused by coronavirus cases, the highest number since July 23, 2020.

What We Know:

  • On July 23, 2020, Florida reached a high of 10,170 hospitalizations, just six months before the COVID-19 vaccine became available. The new record makes Florida the leader in per capita hospitalizations for the virus.
  • Most of the new cases come from the highly contagious Delta variant. On average, Florida sees 1,525 adult and 35 children hospitalizations daily. In addition, Saturday revealed a peak in positive numbers, as the stated reported  21,683 occurrences of COVID-19. The day prior, the Sunshine State saw 17,093 cases.
  • Many hospital employees believed the excess hospitalizations would end soon because of an increase in vaccinations. However, the Delta variant changed all this. The Associated Press wrote that several hospitals, including the Mayo Clinic Florida and the UF Health North emergency room, needed to operate overcapacity and put beds in hallways to treat patients; the Mayo Clinic will continue to do so until the current surge ends. In Tampa, some local ambulances already needed to divert ambulances to other locations because of capacity concerns.
  • The higher numbers also are a direct result of a loosening of restrictions and a governor’s stubbornness. Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis actively declares he will not enact any more mask mandates and vaccine requirements. Along with the state Legislature, this makes it difficult for local officials to impose restrictions that will ease the positive numbers.
  • Medical officials scorned DeSantis for his adamance on the issue. Dr. Bernard Ashby, a Miami-based vascular cardiologist and Florida State Lead for the Committee to Protect Health Care, commented that the state would not be in its position now if DeSantis focused more on lowering cases than proving Dr. Anthony Fauci wrong. Gainesville infectious disease expert Dr. Frederick Southwick agreed with Ashby’s statement, saying that DeSantis needed to stop acting like “Florida won the pandemic.”

DeSantis recently announced that Florida would resist any federal authorities’ campaigns to enforce mask mandates inside schools despite the criticism.

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Headlines

NY Attorney General: Gov. Cuomo harassed women, tried to retaliate against accuser

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NEW YORK — Attorney General Letitia James on Tuesday announced the findings of her inquiry into accusations against Andrew Cuomo, concluding that the governor sexually harassed multiple women. James said victims included current and former employees, and that Cuomo tried to retaliate against at least one woman who came forward. Over 179 people were interviewed.

This is a breaking news story and will be updated.

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