Friday, December 3

Cuba deactivates opposition protests through a large police device

The white sheets that hung from some of the balconies of private houses in Havana were the sign that identified the opponents of the Government of Cuba. The initiative responds to the archipelago opposition platform, who asked to hang them in support of the march to demand the release of political prisoners and a solution to the problems through democratic and peaceful means.

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The most visible face of the Archipelago, Yunior García Aguilera, remained incommunicado all Monday at his home, watched by police officers. The 39-year-old playwright and activist upset the government by putting a face on the march, which aims “to shake a country, make people aware, generate a debate that causes change,” he said.

Other activists and independent journalists were also unable to leave their homes because they were prevented by state security agents or groups of people related to the government. Some were even detained, such as Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White and her husband Ángel Moya, according to opposition groups.

Journalist Abraham Jiménez Enoa said on social media that he was being held at home and could not go out to cover the protests. His colleague Yoani Sánchez said his internet access had been cut off.

The opposition NGO Observatorio Cubano de Derechos Humanos, based in Spain, has registered more than 200 “repressive acts” in the last three days, among them at least 49 arrests in homes and 25 cases of threats.

The response of the Cuban Government

From the beginning, the Cuban government considered the protest “illegal” and has not authorized it, considering that behind it lies the “imperial strategy” of the United States, as President Miguel Díaz-Canel said last week.

The police presence in the streets of central Havana was greater than usual. Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez spoke in a Facebook broadcast of a “failed operation” by the United States to sell an “unreal image” of his country.

The situation led to friction with the international press. The Cuban government withdrew, hours before the start of the protests, the accreditations of all the Efe Agency journalists on the island without explaining reasons or clarifying whether it was a temporary or permanent measure.

Hours later, the authorities restored them to two of the six journalists on the team, something that the president of the Efe Agency, Gabriela Cañas, considers “insufficient” and demands that all of them be returned.

International reviews

José Miguel Vivanco, director of the Americas Division of Human Rights Watch, denounced on his social networks a massive deployment of the security forces with a view to preventing the protest.

There was no shortage of crosses between senior Cuban government officials with representatives of the Democratic administration in the United States, after Secretary of State Antony Blynken congratulated the “brave Cuban people who show the strength of their will and the power of their voice “.

Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez called on the United States to “learn once and for all that the Cuban government owes itself only to its people and rejects, on their behalf, the interference of the United States. We defend the right to enjoy in peace the path to normality and confront without interference the challenges that lie ahead.

Outside of Cuba, however, there were around a hundred acts related to 15N, among which those in Miami and Madrid stood out.

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