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Cuban Embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs

The Hill logo The Hill 7/27/2021 Mychael Schnell
a group of people posing for the camera: Cuban Embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs © Getty Images Cuban Embassy in Paris attacked by gasoline bombs

Cuba's Embassy in Paris was attacked by gasoline bombs, according to Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez, who blamed the U.S. government for "continuous campaigns against our country that encourage these behaviors and for calls for violence."

Rodríguez announced in a tweet on Monday night that the embassy was attacked with Molotov cocktails, but did not reveal any additional information regarding the incident.

The Foreign Ministry's International Press Center later revealed that the attack, which reportedly took place around midnight, involved three Molotov cocktails, two of which hit the embassy, according to The Associated Press. It reportedly sparked a fire at the embassy.

The press center reported that Cuban diplomats put out the flames as French firefighters and police arrived at the site.

Rodríguez blamed the U.S. government for the attack in his tweet.

"I hold the U.S. Government responsible for its continuous campaigns against our country that encourage these behaviors and for calls for violence, with impunity, from its territory," he said, according to the AP.

Cuba has accused the U.S. of being behind a social media campaign to foment unrest in the country.

A number of Cuban embassies have come under attack in recent weeks, the AP reported, as demonstrators protest for and against Cuba's government in response to anti-government demonstrations that broke out earlier this month.

Protesters recently painted the phrase "Cuba Libre" on the street outside the Cuban Embassy in Washington, D.C., which translates to "free Cuba."

Anti-government protesters participated in one of the largest demonstrations in memory earlier this month, after frustration regarding food shortages and high prices driven by the COVID-19 pandemic reached a boiling point.

Dozens of activists and journalists have been arrested since the demonstrations began, and at least one person has been killed.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, following the outbreak of protests, criticized U.S. "politics of economic asphyxiation" toward the country.

"Is it not very hypocritical and cynical that you block me ... and you want to present yourself as the big savior?" Díaz-Canel said, according to Reuters. "Lift the blockade ... and then we will see what this people, that has achieved an immense social work despite what is practically a war economy, is capable of."

Certain travel and trade policies toward Cuba were pulled back during the Obama administration, until former President Trump reimposed restrictions.

Cuba has claimed that the U.S. encouraged a social media campaign meant to destabilize the island nation, which is experiencing a severe economic crisis driven in large part by the pandemic, the AP reported.

The U.S. and roughly 20 other countries signed a statement on Monday that called on Cuba to "respect the universal rights and freedoms of the Cuban people, including the free flow of information to all Cubans."

Austria, Brazil, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Ecuador, Estonia, Guatemala, Greece, Honduras, Israel, Latvia, Lithuania, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Poland, South Korea and Ukraine also signed the statement.

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