The organizers of the demonstration scheduled for Monday, November 15, in Cuba – in the capital Havana and in six provinces -, to demand the release of political prisoners, maintained, Thursday, November 11, their call for mobilization.
This confirmation comes despite the ban by the authorities, who threatened them with criminal prosecution, and the choice of one of the main organizers, who fears violence, to march alone the day before on an avenue in Havana.
“On Sunday the 14th, I will march alone, in the name of all the citizens that the regime deprives of their right to demonstrate on the 15th”, declared Yunior Garcia Aguilera in a press release posted on Archipiélago’s Twitter account, a political debate group that he leads and which is followed by 30,000 people on the island and abroad.
“Without giving up our right to demonstrate, we must find a wise solution to defend our rights and at the same time minimize the risks” for people, added Garcia, who said he will march on Sunday with a white rose in his hand.
“I hate violence, it’s something that makes me sick”, added the 39-year-old playwright, saying he fears that the Communist government will mobilize the police on Monday to attack protesters or infiltrate parades to cause unrest. The press release specifies, however, that this decision “Does not prevent the rest of the demonstrators across Cuba from exercising their rights on the 15th, 16th and other days”.
“A climate of tension and confrontation”
“Yunior has all our affection, support and respect”, said in a statement the coordinators of Archipiélago, because “We are a platform for citizen action and not a party organization and predetermined by ideology”. Most “We consider it necessary to reaffirm our call to demonstrate for November 15 in the provinces and regions of Cuba. We will make new proposals in the next few hours ”.
The Cuban government accuses the United States of wanting “Destabilize” Cuba through this mobilization and warned that there is “Enough revolutionaries in Cuba to face any type of demonstration”.
On Thursday, Clément Nyaletsossi Voule, United Nations (UN) special rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and freedom of association, warned the government against any violence. “As the demonstrations scheduled for November 15 approach, I remind the Cuban authorities of their obligation to protect and facilitate expression through peaceful demonstrations”, he wrote on Twitter.
For its part, the Cuban Episcopal Conference expressed concern about “The rise of a climate of tension and confrontation” : “Any act of violence between us, whether physical, verbal or psychological, seriously injures the soul of the Cuban nation”, advances a press release. “All Cubans should be able to express themselves and share freely and with respect their personal opinions, thoughts or convictions, even when they disagree with the majority”, she adds, calling for “Necessary changes” on the island.
The call to protest comes five months after the July 11 protests that saw thousands of Cubans take to the streets shouting ” Freedom “ Where ” We are hungry “. These rallies resulted in one death, dozens injured and the arrest of 1,175 people, 612 of whom are still in prison, according to the human rights NGO Cubalex.
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The Cuban opposition maintains its demonstration scheduled for November 15 despite the ban by the authorities