The Cubans were left without internet and saw the police presence increase drastically this Monday (12), a day after the massive protests against the Castro dictatorship. It was the way Miguel Díaz-Canel’s regime found to stifle the demonstrations: to put fear in the population and cut off communication, which on Sunday proved essential for the spread of protests across the country. Internet access remains cut off on Tuesday.
Information about the historic day that reached the majority of the population came from official sources, such as Díaz-Canel’s speech, calling the protesters “delinquents”.
However, some Cubans returned to the streets to protest. In Havana, a live stream on Facebook on Monday afternoon it showed dozens of people marching through some city streets.
The Diário de Cuba reported that Cubans reported on demonstrations elsewhere, but the information could not be independently confirmed by the media. The Nuevo Herald published a video of a demonstration in Holguín that, according to the newspaper, took place on Monday afternoon. In the images, people are throwing stones at the local headquarters of the Communist Party of Cuba.
The possibility of the presence of plainclothes police on the island’s streets, however, raises fears of violence and arrests among Cubans who would otherwise be protesting against the regime. In addition, some of those who participated in the act on Sunday are in hiding so as not to be arrested, while others are looking for information about relatives who were detained.
During the day marches in favor of the dictatorship were also registered.
According to the Cubalex legal aid service, about 100 people were arrested on Sunday. There are numerous reports of journalists and independent artists being detained and others being watched by police in front of their homes.
The Inter-American Press Society (SIP) on Monday condemned the arrest and attacks on independent journalists. “We condemn the regime’s aggressions against the people demonstrating and also against the journalists who covered the events”, especially Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s call for “the use of force, with the clear intention of restricting freedoms of association, press and expression,” said the president of the IAPA, Jorge Canahuati.
The IAPA also denounced the use of the state monopoly of the Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba SA (ETECSA) to silence independent journalists.
The recent demonstrations “are a reflection of the Cubans’ fatigue with a government that continues to believe that it owns the lives and destiny of its citizens,” Carlos Jornet, president of the IAPA’s Committee on Freedom of the Press and Information, said in a statement.