Havana: Hundreds of Cubans took to the streets Havana To cry “freedom” in Peaceful demonstrationsInterdicted by security forces and government supporters’ brigades, which led to violent clashes and arrests.
The clashes took place between demonstrators and pro-government in the center of Parque de la Fraternidad in front of the Capitol, where more than a thousand people gathered amid a strong presence of the army and police, who carried out several arrests.
However, a group of several hundred protesters managed to evade the police cordon and headed en masse down the emblematic Paseo del Prado toward the Malecon with their arms raised chanting slogans such as “Freedom”, “Homeland and Life” and “Dictators”, referring to the country’s leaders.
Organized battalions of government supporters attended the scene, chanting “I am Fidel” or “Canel, my friend, the people are with you.”
This event can make history, as it is the first time that a large group of Cubans have taken to the streets of Havana protesting against the government Since the famous “maleconazzo” of 1994, in the midst of the “special period” crisis.
Evidence of the seriousness of the situation is that the authorities cut off mobile internet data service across the country, likely to prevent videos of the protests from being broadcast and to reduce participants’ ability to meet. In the face of the protests, President Miguel Diaz-Canel called: “The order to fight has been issued, and the revolutionaries have taken to the streets.”
The demonstration in Havana follows a wave of spontaneous protests on Sunday in various parts of the country, the first of which was in San Antonio de los Baños, where a crowd of people took to the streets to demand freedom and criticize the government for the lack of food and medicine and the constant power outages plaguing the town on 30 km east of the capital.
The San Antonio demonstration, which was severely suppressed by police according to Effie witnesses, was broadcast live on Facebook until the internet shutdown, which supposedly sparked similar actions in other cities such as Güira de Melena and Alquízar (West), Palma Soriano (East ), Cienfuegos (centre) and Havana.
The president calls on his supporters to take to the streets
The Cuban President Miguel Diaz-CanelHe urged his supporters to take to the streets in preparation for the “fight”, in response to the spontaneous peaceful protests that erupted Sunday against his government across the country.
“The order to fight has been issued and the revolutionaries are taking to the streets,” the president said in a special television appearance.
The protests took place in various locations in the Caribbean country, such as San Antonio de los Baños, Guaira de Milena, Alquezar in the western province of Artemisa, and Palma Soriano in Santiago de Cuba, as people took to the streets in some neighborhoods of Havana.