The Cuban regime suppressed any peaceful demonstration at the root, says José Miguel Vivanco

In July 2021, hundreds of Cubans took to the streets to demand the resignation of the president Miguel Diaz-Canel due to various problems such as the crisis caused by the COVID-19; however, the authorities were responsible for violently suppressing the protests. In addition, recently a group of opponents called again for a peaceful march this November 15 through the Archipiélago civic platform, but again the government of Cuba took a series of actions to prevent it.

Although the opponents asked the authorities for permission to carry out the protest, the request was rejected as they consider it a “provocation” to destabilize society and even through a statement, the island’s inhabitants were told that if they went out to the streets could be detained and harshly judged, for committing crimes such as disobedience, illicit demonstration and provocation.

In an interview with Sergio Sarmiento and Lupita Juárez, Jose Miguel Vivanco, director for the Americas of Human Rights Watch, commented that what there was was a massive police presence in the streets and in the houses, redoubling the surveillance in the homes of social leaders, dissidents, writers and artists.

“What the Cuban regime did was to radically suppress any peaceful demonstration and that is why there was not even, I would say, repression. It is a very curious case where the dictatorship mobilizes its people, its security force and also the so-called repudiation groups that are citizens affiliated with the government who publicly repudiate anyone who dares to criticize the regime for the purpose of intimidating them, “he explained.

He stressed that all this deployment was done to prevent at all costs the magnanimous peaceful demonstration.

Vivanco added that there were detainees, and those detentions can last days, weeks and even months, and repeatedly, since there is no protection in Cuba, there is no recourse with which citizens can defend their rights.

He indicated that there were also cases of foreign journalists, who tried to cover possible protests, who were prevented from covering them.

Finally, he pointed out that after the massive demonstration of July 11, which occurred due to lack of freedom, repression, food and economic problems, it was thanks to little access to the internet, through WhatsApp or YouTube, since the regime does not has completely cut off communication by this means; however, the repression was very harsh and many continue to be detained and only for peacefully protesting.

Keep reading:

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