Havana (AP) – During a live interview on Spanish television about the protests in Cuba, a YouTuber has apparently been arrested.
In the middle of the program “Todo es Mentira” on the Spanish channel Cuatro on Tuesday, the young woman who calls herself Dina Stars suddenly interrupted another guest and said: “The security forces are out there.” The Cuban woman walked to the door of her apartment in Havana, then shortly after stepped back in front of the camera and said she would be taken away. “I blame the government for whatever happens to me,” she said.
Dina Stars had previously said in an interview about the demonstrations that broke out on Sunday: “We need help. People are being killed here.” The people had nothing left to lose, she emphasized. “The people in Cuba are dying – either they starve or they get sick because there is no medicine, or they are killed in a demonstration.”
Protests against the economy of scarcity and oppression
On Sunday, thousands of Cubans demonstrated in numerous cities against the economy of scarcity and oppression by the authoritarian government. That hadn’t happened in the Caribbean country for decades. The Cuban economy has been hit hard by the slump in tourism during the pandemic and from US sanctions.
As can be seen in videos, the security forces used force. According to activists and journalists, there were deaths and injuries – official figures were not published. According to Amnesty International, at least 115 people were arrested, including prominent dissidents and journalists. Dozens of people are said to have disappeared.
Internet access limited
Because internet access is limited in Cuba, little information is leaked to the outside world. “The lack of access makes it very difficult to talk about numbers: dead, injured and gone. But they do exist,” journalist Abraham Jiménez Enoa wrote on Twitter.
Countless people were reported missing in a Facebook group. The press will be targeted, tweeted journalist Yoani Sánchez. There are police operations in the homes of activists and journalists.
The recent demonstrations were caused in part by the lack of medicines and food. Under former US President Donald Trump, the US had tightened sanctions against Cuba. During the pandemic, the important income from tourism is now also missing. Recently, the number of corona infections has also risen sharply.
“If you want to beat the revolution, you have to go over our corpses,” Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel said on TV on Sunday. He called for the revolution – in other words, the socialist system – to be defended in the streets.