That has not happened in the authoritarian Caribbean state of Cuba for a long time. People are taking to the streets and demonstrating against the poor supply situation and for freedom.
Havana (AP) – At least 115 people have been arbitrarily arrested in Cuba in the first mass anti-government protests in decades, according to Amnesty International.
Among them were prominent dissidents and journalists, as US director of the human rights organization Erika Guevara-Rosas wrote on Twitter on Monday. According to media reports, there was a high presence of the security forces. Tuesday evening (local time) there were isolated reports of dead and missing people on social media. Videos were circulated showing new, smaller protests. The information could not be independently verified at first.
Because internet access in Cuba was limited, little information leaked out. “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 on Tuesday. 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.
On Sunday, thousands of people demonstrated against the economy of shortages and oppression in many cities of the authoritarian Caribbean state. The reason was, among other things, 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. The security forces are said to have dealt with him harshly. Videos of men, who activists say were plainclothes police officers, beat and took protesters.