St Vincent and the Grenadines government says it rejects “completely the attempts by certain unprincipled forces” to reverse the Cuban Revolution and urged calm and peace in the Caribbean country following protests there last weekend.
The government said that it was against any attempt to make Cuba and its people “prisoners of Presidential and Senatorial politics of Florida” and that the “Cuban government and people (should) seek to address in a focused way their current difficulties and challenges.
“We urge imperialism, the monopoly capitalists, and their allies in and out of Cuba to cease their nefarious activities against the Cuban Revolution and the Cuban people,” according to a statement issued by Prime Minister Dr. Ralph Gonsalves.
Several people have been arrested in Cuba after thousands joined in the biggest protests for decades complaining about the collapse of the economy, food and medicine shortages, price hikes and the government’s handling of coronavirus pandemic.
Unauthorised public gatherings are illegal in Cuba and protests are rare. And President Miguel Díaz-Canel described those protesting as “mercenaries”.
In a four-hour-long televised address, Díaz-Canel said the protesters were “counter-revolutionaries” while his foreign minister alleged the demonstrations had been financed and instigated by the United States.
St Vincent and the Grenadines Ambassador to Cuba, Ellsworth John, in a preliminary report to Kingstown, said that “living conditions have deteriorated significantly in the last year as all of the restrictions imposed by President Trump continues under President Biden.
“These include the closure of the Western Union facility for persons to receive financial assistance from relatives overseas. The movement of goods and persons both in and out of Cuba is extremely difficult, a consequence of both the embargo and the pandemic, so there is little commercial activity in the private sector.
“Food is in short supply and even the diplomatic community, within which there is some financial security, it is difficult to get supplies,” John reported.
In his statement, Prime Minister Gonsalves said the protests are a purely internal matter for the Cuban authorities and the people of Cuba and that “foreign interference in this internal affair is entirely unacceptable and is to be rejected.
“In the context of the inhumane, harsh, unilateral, externally imposed, and illegal sanctions, no reasonable person can ever accept the pious, hypocritical, and self-serving imperial advocacy of ‘humanitarian intervention’ in Cuba.”
Gonsalves, one of the longest-serving prime ministers in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), said that it is well known that the Cuban Revolution “has accomplished an immense socio-economic transformation of their country, for the better, since 1959”.
He said that Havana has been able to accomplish the feat “through their internationalist solidarity, contributed selflessly to the global struggle for liberation, the defence of sovereignty and independence, and all-round social and material development of dozens of countries worldwide, particularly those in the Caribbean, Latin America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific”.