Even alone, he was unable to parade peacefully, a white rose in his hand, as he wished to do. Cuban opponent Yunior Garcia Aguilera was unable to leave his home on Sunday, November 14, to demonstrate alone in Havana, on the eve of a great day of mobilization of the opposition.
Around 3 p.m. in Havana (9 p.m. in Paris), the time announced for several days for his walk, several dozen people were shouting at him. “I am Fidel” at the bottom of his building, during an act of repudiation – a practice generally used against dissidents -, according to a video broadcast on Twitter by Venezuelan television Telesur, authorized to approach.
Since the morning, this 39-year-old playwright, who over the past year became the spearhead of a new generation of Cuban dissidents stimulated by the rise of social networks, had been stranded at his home, in the popular district of Coronela.
“Today I woke up with my home under siege, the whole building is surrounded by state security agents dressed in civilian clothes”, he announced in a video on Facebook. A team from Agence France-Presse (AFP) observed that its street was blocked by a strong presence of plainclothes agents, on the roadway and on the roofs of buildings. As men displayed gigantic Cuban flags on the facade of his apartment building, the dissident reached out from his window to reveal a white rose, with which he intended to parade.
Two men arrested
“Cuba will live in peace”, for his part promised President Miguel Diaz-Canel in the face of about 70 Communist students, who since Friday evening have been organizing a sit-in at Parque Central, near the Capitol, in support of the government. Wearing a red scarf around his neck like the students, he sat cross-legged among them, promising to “Defends[re] socialism “ and «Condemn[er] campaigns to disrupt internal order, media campaigns against Cuba ”.
Authorities accuse Yunior Garcia and the other organizers of the protest scheduled for Monday – which they banned – of being agents trained and funded by Washington to bring about regime change. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on Sunday “The Cuban government to respect the rights of Cubans, letting them come together in a peaceful manner”.
M. Flashing “Must learn once and for all that the Cuban government is only beholden to its people and rejects in their name the intromission of the United States”, retorted, via Twitter, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez. In the afternoon two men screaming ” Freedom “ and ” Democracy “ at Parque Central were arrested by police, an AFP journalist noted.
Yunior Garcia had planned to walk alone on a Havanese avenue on Sunday, despite the threat of being arrested, because he feared the violence that could erupt on Monday during the opposition demonstration for the release of political prisoners, in Havana and in six provinces.
Protest in Miami
The political debate group on Facebook Archipelago, which he created, with more than 30,000 members in and outside Cuba, maintains his call to march on Monday. But according to him, at least six coordinators of the group have been prevented since Saturday from leaving their homes by the police. Dissident Guillermo Fariñas was arrested on Friday.
The event will coincide with the reopening of the island to international tourism, the return to school of primary school students and the celebration of the 502e Havana birthday. It comes four months after the historic July 11 protests, to the cries of ” We are hungry “ and ” Freedom “, which resulted in one death, dozens of wounded and 1,270 people arrested, 658 of whom remain in detention, according to the NGO Cubalex. In support on Sunday, some 200 people marched in Miami, where a large part of the exiled Cuban community lives.
The demonstration, which has become the big topic of conversation in Cuba, was planned almost exclusively via mobile internet, which arrived in Cuba at the end of 2018. This is undoubtedly why many fear an internet cut on Monday, like the one that occurred during of the July 11 protests.
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In Cuba, the opponent Yunior Garcia prevented from parading on the eve of the great day of mobilization