Cuba threatens citizens to keep them from joining demonstrations

cuba protest Citizen protests against the Cuban regime in Nuevitas, Camagüey, August 2022. | Photo credit: Video capture / Twitter

Eduardo Cardet, coordinator of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL), charged that the residents of Velasco, a town in the Cuban province of Holguín, are being threatened with jail to prevent them from continuing to participate in the demonstrations calling for freedom for the island.

“The Police are threatening residents of Velasco, Holguín, including Yordan Mariño, a member of the Christian Liberation Movement,” Cardet wrote on the MCL website.

Cardet said that Mariño was summoned Oct. 18 by the police “to threaten him with imprisonment if he participated again in any type of public demonstration.”

The national coordinator of the MCL said that during that day “many people from the town of Velasco have been summoned for having participated in the peaceful protest of last October 12.” 

“The tone has been similar, threats and official written warnings,” he said.

In the case of Mariño, Cardet said that the activist “refused to sign a written warning incriminating him, among other things, for having instigated the protest.”

Cardet was also detained by the police for a few hours and was threatened with a prison sentence if he again attended the demonstrations that have been taking place in Cuba since the end of September.

“Supposedly the arrest was due to my participation in the march on the 12th (for disorderly conduct), they accused me of having instigated it ... and threatened me with prison if I participated in something similar again,” Cardet tweeted.

In March 2017 Cardet was sentenced to three years in prison following a sham trial on trumped up charges of attacking law enforcement, scandal, and disorderly conduct after he had criticized the legacy of Fidel Castro. In May 2019 he was released on parole and completed his sentence.

In September, Hurricane Ian left Cuba without electricity for a time, and protests began breaking out in cities such as Holguín, Guanabacoa, and Havana demanding the restoration of power.

The founder of the pro-democracy Cuba Decides initiative, Rosa María Payá Acevedo, tweeted Sept. 30 that agents of the government, dressed in civilian clothes, were cracking down on the protests taking place in Havana for the fourth consecutive night.

The daughter of deceased Catholic pro-democracy leader, Oswaldo Payá, pointed out that “they’re all trained to repress” and that most belong to the Armed Forces or the Ministry of the Interior. “They’re soldiers in disguise,” she charged in a follow up tweet Oct. 2.

“In exchange, the regime gives them a couple of privileges over the widespread misery that exists in Cuba. This morning the repression was brutal,” she said.

This story was first published by ACI Prensa, CNA’s Spanish-language news partner. It has been translated and adapted by CNA.

Our mission is the truth. Join us!

Your monthly donation will help our team continue reporting the truth, with fairness, integrity, and fidelity to Jesus Christ and his Church.