At least 32 Cubans arrested for protesting on March 17 & 18

Protest in Santiago de Cuba, 17 March 2024

From our Bureau of Socialist Tolerance and Open-Mindedness with some assistance from our Bureau of Socialist Social Justice

Castro, inc. is behaving predictably again, as always. Little by little the number of arrests keeps climbing. Since the repressive dictatorship doesn’t report such figures, reports of arrests have to dribble out piecemeal through independent journalists, social media, and NGO’s such as Prisoners Defenders. Stay tuned. Expect the numbers to increase.

Loosely translated from Diario de Cuba

The NGO Prisoners Defenders has counted the detention of 32 people in relation to the protests on March 17th and 18th in Cuba as of this Saturday, although it estimates that the total number could be much higher, as reported by EFE.

The organization, based in Spain, pointed out that obtaining a final figure is very complicated due to the lack of official data and the reluctance of many people to report their situation, especially those who have only received a fine or a precautionary measure. It added that six of the detainees have already been released.

By provinces, the highest number of recorded arrests occurred in the province of Holguin (13), followed by Santiago de Cuba (seven), Havana (four), Cienfuegos (two), and Artemisa (two).

According to Prisoners Defenders in its latest monthly report, there were 1,066 political and conscience prisoners in Cuba in February, the majority of whom were charged in connection with the protests on July 11, 2021, the largest in decades.

Other platforms dedicated to registering prisoners in Cuba have reported various arrests since last Sunday, but they have not yet provided a detailed list of all the cases they have counted.

The demonstrations began last Sunday in Santiago de Cuba, where hundreds of people took to the streets peacefully to protest.

Initially, they protested against blackouts and food shortages shouting “power and food,” but in Santiago de Cuba, chants of “freedom” and “Homeland and Life,” the slogan of the anti-government demonstrations on July 11, 2021, were also heard.

Shortly afterward, similar events occurred in other locations, including El Cobre, Bayamo, Granma, and Santa Marta, Matanzas, although on a smaller scale.

On Saturday, the newspaper Sierra Maestra, the organ of the Communist Party in Santiago de Cuba, lashed out at the protesting people and described the anti-government protests as a “degrading spectacle.”

The official publication accused the mothers and grandmothers who led the peaceful demonstrations of being “criminals” who “do not deserve pity, but scorn”; labeled retirees as misinformed; workers as lacking character; young people as “more hungry than anyone”; housewives as “parasites,” and the poor as “destabilizers and ungrateful.”

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