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Cuba protests: They dared to protest last July. Now these Cubans are facing 30 years in jail

Like so many other businesses, the small cafeteria she and her husband ran was shuttered because of the Covid-19 pandemic. Worsening food and medicine shortages had left many store shelves in Cuba completely bare. The government’s adoption of a plan to upend Cuba’s dual currency system meant those without access to remittances from abroad were at an even greater disadvantage.

“There was no medicine, nothing. And on top of that they sell everything in a currency that most Cubans don’t have,” Vázquez said referencing the new Freely Convertible Currency, or MLC, a currency which comes on prepaid cards.
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“I lived next to a store where they sell things in the hard currency and I can’t even go buy a lollipop for my kids. Everyone was in great need.”

Increasingly desperate and connected via mobile networks, Cubans organized their first protests in San Antonio de los Baños on July 11 in…

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