Belly of the Beast Reports on Cuba from the Ground

Walter Lippmann

Belly of the Beast Reports on Cuba from the Ground
From:Reed Lindsay <reed@...>
Subject:Belly of the Beast Reports on Cuba from the Ground
Date:Jul 16, 2021 6:27 AM
What is Happening in Cuba?

Dear friends,

Anti-government protests in Cuba have made headlines around the world. But much of the media coverage has distorted the reasons why people are protesting and failed to explain what these demonstrations mean. I was at the July 11 protests in Havana along with my Belly of the Beast colleagues and since then we have been working non-stop to provide contextualized coverage of what is happening in Cuba and how it is related to U.S. policy.

Last year we produced and distributed a three-part documentary series called The War on Cuba, which provides crucial context to understand what is happening right now. That's because the U.S. government's war on Cuba continues, except now it is no longer Donald Trump, but Joe Biden who is leading it.

We depend on the generosity of our supporters to fund our work. Please consider making a contribution so that Belly of the Beast can continue to tell the stories of Cuba from the inside while we challenge mainstream narratives that are devoid of context and distort local realities.

un abrazo,



At the Protests

The short video above includes footage of the July 11 demonstrations in Havana shot by Belly of the Beast journalists Daniel Montero, Liz Oliva Fernández and Reed Lindsay. It shows what transpired that day, offers insight into why people took to the streets and explains how crushing U.S. sanctions have pushed Cuba to the brink. For the last four days, the streets of Havana have been calm. The protests were unprecedented, but they were also relatively small and localized. Major media outlets have greatly exaggerated the extent of the demonstrations while misrepresenting why Cuba is in such a desperate economic crisis.

Our Work

In addition to our videos, we post explanatory still and motion graphics aimed at a young audience that provide context to breaking events. For example, the Instagram graphic above breaks down the absurdity of Biden's offer to send vaccines to Cuba given that the country has two of the world's top five vaccines and is rapidly vaccinating its entire population (everyone in Havana above the age of 19 will be vaccinated by the end of this month). You can also see our posts on Twitter and Facebook. We will continue to cover events in the coming days, including the impact on the Cuban people of Biden’s July 15 decision to keep Trump’s ban on remittances, which has more to do with elections in Florida than protests in Cuba, and how Cubans are still connecting to Internet via VPNs and WiFi parks. We are also investigating the #SOSCuba campaign that helped spark the protests and which, according to experts, was fueled by fake news and bots.

On The News

We regularly contribute to media outlets around the world to amplify the impact of our work. Daniel put the recent protests in perspective in an interview on Democracy Now! and pointed out the hypocrisy of recent comments by Secretary of State Antony Blinken, who failed to assume any responsibility for Cuba's economic crisis. Reed broke down how U.S. sanctions created the conditions that have led to the protests in interviews on The Hill's "Rising" and ABC News. Liz spoke about why many Cubans blame their government for the country's economic problems on The Katie Halper Show and Reed compared the Cuban police response to repression he witnessed in Egypt and Haiti on the Anti-Empire Podcast.

Stay Tuned!

The Belly of the Beast team remains on the ground in Havana working long hours to provide new and exclusive content on events in Cuba in a way no other media organization is doing. Subscribe to our Youtube Channel, follow us on InstagramTwitter and Facebook, and support our work if you can.