Cuban President marches in support of Palestinians

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President Miguel Diaz-Canel of Cuba led a huge protest march Thursday in support of Palestinians as Israel wages war on Hamas in the Gaza Strip.

Protesters waving Palestinian flags criticized the United States for its support of Israel as the procession made its way along the seaside promenade called the Malecon, under a hot Caribbean sun.

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The Interior Ministry said on X, formerly Twitter, that 100,000 people took part in the hour-long march, convened by associations of youth groups in the communist-run nation.

“What young people taking part in this march want is that the attacks on Palestine stop,” said Cristina Diaz, 22, a physics major at Havana University.

Both sides have suffered in the war triggered by the October 7 attacks on Israel by Hamas, she said. “It would be naive to think this is a war,” she added. “It is genocide.”

Diaz-Canel walked at the head of the procession along with his wife, Lis Cuesta, and senior government officials.

As the protesters marched past the US Embassy on the seaside avenue, some yelled “fascist yankees, you are terrorists.”

It was the biggest of several such pro-Palestinian rallies held in Cuba since the war started.

Palestinians studying medicine in Cuba also took part.

“Many thanks to the people and government of Cuba for always having supported Palestine,” said Isaam Aldawodeh, 22, one of the students.

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