US calls Cuba to end internet restrictions after protests, release demonstrators
- Protests emerged in Cuba over the worst economic crisis in decades
- Cuba has imposed restricts on internet
- The country has resorted to arresting more than 100 people
The US State Department spokesman urged Cuba to repeal internet restrictions imposed following unprecedented protests in the country and yet again called for the release of detained demonstrators.
"We call on Cuba's leaders to demonstrate restraint (and) respect for the voice of the people by opening all means of communication, both online and offline," Ned Price told reporters, according to AFP inputs.
Arguing that shutting down the internet is not the solution, Price said, "shutting down technology, shutting down information pathways, that does nothing to address the legitimate needs and aspirations of the Cuban people."
"We commend the people of Cuba for showing great bravery," Price said, adding that Havana has responded by trying to "silence their voices."
He said that the United States calls for calm in the Caribbean country and "condemns any violence against those protesting peacefully."
"We equally call on the Cuban government to release anyone detained for peaceful protest," he added.
Following protests in the communist-ruled island over the worst economic crisis in decades, Cuba has resorted to arresting more than 100 people including independent journalists and opposition activists.
Web monitoring group NetBlocks reported disruptions in Cuba on major social media and communications platforms including WhatsApp and Facebook.
The economic status of the country deteriorated due to a number of sanctions imposed by former US President Donald Trump. The economy of Cuba was down by 11% in 2020 giving rise to a shortage of basic goods.
However, Cuban President Miguel Mario Díaz-Canel has blamed the demonstration on the US government. He said that the "sincere protesters" have been "manipulated" by the US-orchestrated social media campaigns and "mercenaries" on the ground.