On July 11, 2021, unprecedented mass demonstrations took place across Cuba, under the slogan of "Patria y Vida" ("Homeland and Life," to contrast with the Fidel Castro motto "Patria o muerte," i.e. "Homeland or death"). Thousands of demonstrators chanted "Abajo la Dictadura" ("Down with the Dictatorship"). Following the demonstrations, the Cuban authorities forcibly calmed the situation and refused to discuss the people's political demands, placing the blame for Cuba's economic difficulties on the U.S. sanctions and accusing the U.S. of inciting the Cuban people to protest.
China, the world's largest communist state, is Cuba's most important political and economic backer, and its view of the turmoil in Cuba is being closely watched. China's Communist Party (CCP), which has just celebrated its centenary, is increasingly emphasizing the ideological dimension of its dealings with the outside world. As a result, Beijing is paying close attention to the developments in Cuba, and has coordinated with the Cuban authorities in supporting that country's communist regime in order to prevent further political instability or even the regime's collapse.
During this period, the CCP's official statements and media propaganda have been completely supportive of Cuba. At a press conference, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman expressed the CCP's firm support for the Cuban regime, and the CCP mouthpiece People's Daily reported on the Cuban Embassy in Beijing's response to the protests. Additionally, Chinese state media intensely covered a July 17 Havana rally that Cuban authorities described as pro-government and patriotic.
The following is a summary of official CCP statements and media reports:
Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian: 'The U.S. Embargo Is The Root Cause Of Cuba's Shortage Of Medicines And Energy'
"Beijing, July 13 (China News Service) – 'China firmly supports Cuba's efforts in fighting the COVID-19 epidemic, improving people's livelihood and upholding social stability,' Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference on July 13. 'We believe that under the strong leadership of the Communist Party of Cuba and the Cuban government, Cuba will surely be able to maintain its social stability.'
"A reporter asked, 'On July 12 local time, Miguel Díaz-Canel, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and Cuban President, said in a televised address along with main government officials that the anti-government action on July 11 is by no means accidental. He said a few anti-Cuba forces are disrupting the peaceful life of Cuban people under the pretext of improving livelihood, and demanded that the U.S. stop its embargo on Cuba. What is China's comment on this?'
"Zhao Lijian replied, 'We noted that after demonstrations took place in parts of Cuba on July 11 local time, Miguel Díaz-Canel, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic of Cuba, immediately went to the site to listen to the call of the people and delivered a televised address on July 12. China firmly supports Cuba's efforts in combating COVID-19, improving people's livelihood and maintaining social stability.'
"The spokesman continued, 'As the Cuban side pointed out, the U.S. embargo is the root cause of Cuba's shortage of medicines and energy. For the 29th consecutive year, the UN General Assembly has adopted a resolution entitled Necessity of ending the economic, commercial and financial embargo imposed by the United States of America against Cuba with an overwhelming majority, which shows the widespread call from the international community. The U.S. should fully lift its embargo on Cuba and play a positive role in helping the Cuban people overcome the effects of the pandemic.'
"Zhao Lijian stressed that China believes that under the strong leadership of the Cuban party and government, Cuba will surely be able to maintain its social stability. China is ready to work with Cuba to implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state and unswervingly deepen friendly relations between the two countries."
CCP's People's Daily: 'Cuba Will Continue To Stand Firmly In Defense Of Its Right To Self-Determination, To Build Socialism'
"Beijing, July 13 (People's Daily Online) – The subversive acts in Cuba were encouraged and manipulated under the hashtag 'SOS Cuba' on a social network controlled by the United States, the Cuban Embassy in China said in a statement on July 13. On June 15, 2021, 'SOS Cuba' tried to influence the vote of a resolution submitted by Cuba to the United Nations General Assembly calling for an end to the embargo against Cuba, but failed because of the international community's support for Cuba.
"According to the Cuban embassy in Beijing, the Florida state government has given money to the Miami-based company that created the label 'SOS Cuba.' The company's main political operators have close ties to publishing and media groups funded by United States government agencies, which together form part of the U.S. media war against Cuba.
"The Cuban Embassy in Beijing also said that on July 5, 2021, a Florida-based media lab launched the humanitarian intervention in Cuba campaign on Twitter. The U.S. government and political manipulators used hashtags and bot accounts in their campaign against Cuba. The accounts had promoted assassination and violence, but Twitter did not comply with its corporate policy to prevent such behavior. Cuba would soon hand over substantial evidence of its allegations to the US government and Twitter.
"On July 11, unrest broke out in several places in Cuba. The Cuban government says the unrest was financed by the US government agencies in an effort to spark widespread social unrest across the island, and accuses successive US governments of waiting to provoke the long-awaited 'regime change' in Cuba, which led to this turmoil. The conspiracy was not allowed to succeed by the spontaneous support of the majority of the Cuban people for the Cuban revolution and its leadership. At present, the situation in Cuba is normal and the Cuban government continues with its executive functions in the country under the leadership of the Communist Party of Cuba.
"Miguel Díaz-Canel, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic of Cuba, said publicly that the Cuban revolution would continue to defend its rights. The Cuban people have the right and the duty to defend the Cuban revolution. Cuba will continue to stand firmly in defense of its right to self-determination, to build socialism, to defend its sovereignty, territorial integrity and national unity, and to stand united against moves to subvert the political system chosen by the majority of Cubans."
Chinese News Agency Xinhua: 'About 100,000 People Gathered… For A Patriotic Rally' In Havana
"Havana, July 17 (Xinhua News Agency) – Miguel Díaz-Canel, First Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba and President of the Republic of Cuba, denounced the long-term U.S. embargo against Cuba on Tuesday, accusing the US government of sponsoring anti-Cuba forces to incite unrest in Cuba in an attempt to undermine the political and social stability of Cuba.
"About 100,000 people gathered in a square on Havana's seafront boulevard (Malecón) for a patriotic rally Monday. Cuban revolutionary leader Raul Castro, Miguel Díaz-Canel and other leaders of the communist party, government and social organizations attended the rally. Miguel Díaz-Canel made the above remarks in a speech on the same day, and called on the public to unite against outside interference.
"People at the rally waved Cuban flags, held up placards reading 'No blockade,' 'We will not surrender our sovereignty,' and chanted slogans such as 'Cuba, not the Americans' and 'Long live the Cuban revolution' to show their revolutionary stance."