(CNN) – Anti-government activists in Cuba say more than 100 people have been arrested or are missing on the island following widespread protests on Sunday.
One person died in clashes with police on Monday, the Cuban Interior Ministry said on Tuesday, state radio Rebelde reported.
Movimiento San Isidro, which campaigns for greater artistic expression in Cuba, has published a list of activists who it says have been detained by the authorities.
Among the detainees is journalist Camila Acosta, according to Spanish Foreign Minister JosÃ© Manuel Albares, who has requested her release.
The Home Office said the dead man and other protesters attacked officials.
CNN reporters saw several people forcibly arrested and thrown on Sunday in the back of vans during protests in Havana. Videos of the event showed protesters overturning a police car and throwing stones at police officers.
The Cuban government did not say how many people were arrested or injured during the unrest.
These are the biggest protests on the island in decades, as Cubans have complained about the lack of food and medicine as the country goes through a severe economic crisis made worse by the Covid-19 pandemic and US sanctions.
In San Antonio de los Banos, a town of about 46,000 people west of Havana, hundreds of Cubans took to the streets on Sunday, tired after nearly a week of blackouts during the sweltering heat of July.
âEveryone was on the streets,â one resident, who did not want to be named, told CNN. âThey worked six days with just 12 hours of feed per day. This is one of the things that blew it all up. “
In a nationally televised address later Sunday, President DÃaz-Canel blamed the US trade sanctions on the economic woes of the Communist-ruled island.
DÃaz-Canel also urged his supporters to physically confront the protesters. “The order to fight has been given”, he declared at the end of his appearance, “the revolutionaries must be in the streets”.
The government also held a meeting on Sunday to discuss the protests, according to state media. High-ranking members attended, including former President and Communist Party leader Raul Castro, brother of former President Fidel Castro.
Castro withdrew his last managerial post in April before handing over power to his hand-picked successor, DÃaz-Canel. At the time, DÃaz-Canel said Castro would be consulted on all major issues affecting the island.
Acosta, the detained journalist, writes for ABC newspaper in Madrid, the Spanish capital.
ABC reported that she was arrested Monday morning in Havana as she left her home. Cuban security officers later searched his home and took his computer, he added. Hours earlier, she had reported on anti-government protests in the Cuban capital on Sunday.
This is not the first time Acosta has clashed with Cuban authorities for doing his job as a journalist, ABC said.
The newspaper said his arrest was “totally unacceptable”. He also called for the “immediate release of Acosta and the return of all professional equipment taken from her home”, as well as the dropping of the charges against her for alleged crimes against the security of the Cuban state.
An ABC editor confirmed to CNN that Acosta was of Cuban nationality and had worked for the newspaper for about six months.
Spanish Foreign Minister Albares demanded his immediate release in a tweet, stating that âSpain defends the right to free and peaceful demonstrations and calls on the Cuban authorities to respect it. We defend human rights.
US President Joe Biden has warned the Cuban government not to crack down on its new rebellious citizens. But on Monday, in another lengthy televised government meeting, DÃaz-Canel said the protesters were criminals.
âThey stoned the police force, damaged cars,â he said. “Completely vulgar, completely indecent behavior.”
Cuban government officials Monday said there was There were no more protests as they decreed an Internet blackout. This prevented Cubans from sharing images of protests that had grown behind the protests in the first place.
Meanwhile, US-Cuban relations are at their lowest in years. The Trump administration has adopted some of the toughest economic measures against Cuba in decades, and so far the Biden administration seems reluctant to lift them.
Biden’s review of Trump’s policies is still ongoing, an administration official confirmed. Several months after taking office, he still has not kept his election promise to “return” to the full diplomatic relations established by former President Obama.
It remains to be seen if Biden will ultimately follow. Senator Menendez, a staunch opponent of Obama’s policies and the powerful chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, hinted on Monday that he believed Biden couldn’t, after reviewing “all the overtures made by the President Obama, who were one-sided, one-sided in terms of concessions. “
US State Department spokesman Ned Price on Tuesday called on the Cuban government to exercise restraint and end its internet blackout.
In Miami, the center of the Cuban community in exile in the United States, protesters took to the streets in support of anti-government protesters. On Tuesday, parts of the Palmetto Freeway were closed by protesters, according to Lt. Alex Camacho of the Florida Highway Patrol.
The US Coast Guard issued a statement urging Cubans on the island “not to go to sea,” noting that the “dangerous and ruthless” transit through the Straits of Florida has claimed nearly 20 lives in recent weeks, according to Rear Admiral Eric Jones. , commander of the Seventh Coast Guard District in Miami.
The already struggling Cuban economy has been hit hard, as tourism and good imports fell sharply during the pandemic. Cuban health authorities also reported a record single-day increase in new cases and deaths from Covid-19 on Sunday.
On Monday, Mexican President AndrÃ©s Manuel LÃ³pez Obrador joined Cuban officials in calling on the United States to end the trade embargo on Cuba as a humanitarian gesture. âNo country in the world should be locked up, blocked – this is the opposite of human rights,â he said.
When asked why Biden had not yet reversed Trump’s policy towards Cuba, Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary said on Monday that the United States had continued to provide humanitarian aid and medical supplies, but added: “I have nothing in store for you in terms of policy change.”
And US Secretary of State Tony Blinken rebuffed criticism of the Cuban government, saying that “it would be a grave mistake for the Cuban regime to interpret what is happening in dozens of towns on the island as the result or the product of anything. the United States did.
“This is what we hear and see in Cuba, and it is a reflection of the Cuban people, not the United States or any other outside actor,” Blinken said.
The-CNN-Wire â¢ & Â© 2021 Cable News Network, Inc., a Time Warner Company. All rights reserved.