Cuba: strong police presence in Havana before the 15N march

Havana lives this Monday a climate of tension with a strong police presence in some streets waiting for the outlawed march called for this November 15 in demand of a political change. Efe verified, in a tour of streets near the National Capitol, the Prado, the Vedado neighborhood and others further away from the city center, such as La Lisa, where patrols and agents guard the streets. In some houses you could see white sheets extended in response to the initiative of the opposition platform Archipelago, which asked to hang them in support of the march to demand the release of political prisoners and a solution of the problems by democratic and peaceful means. In contrast, official buildings and institutions filled their facades with Cuban flags. In front of some ministries, public officials held acts of reaffirmation. The most visible face of the Archipelago, Yunior García Aguilera, remained incommunicado on Monday in his home, still guarded by agents, and “unwilling with a migraine,” as a relative who lives in his home told EFE. The environment of the neighborhood of the young playwright was far from the day before, when agents and people related to the government were stacked at his door to prevent him from going for a walk, as he had announced he would do as a prelude to Monday’s protest. The playwright and activist, 39, made the government uncomfortable by putting a face to the march, whose objective “is to shake a country, make people aware, generate a debate that provokes changes,” as he said last week in an interview with Efe. Some were even detained, such as Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White and her husband Angel Moya, according to opposition groups. Several dozen people gathered at a “repudiation rally” in front of the home in Santa Clara of the Archipelago activist Saily González, as she denounced herself in networks. Independent journalist Abraham Jiménez Enoa said on social media that he was being held at home and could not go out to cover the protests. His colleague Yoani Sanchez reported that he had had his internet access cut off. The opposition NGO Cuban Observatory of Human Rights, based in Spain, has recorded more than 200 “repressive acts” in the last three days, including at least 49 home detentions and 25 cases of threats. In the previous days, security forces have summoned dozens of activists in police stations and other state departments. Several of them said they received threats if they participated in the 15N march. Protests are expected to be held in about a hundred cities around the world in support of this march. The Cuban government considered the protest “illicit” and has not authorized it considering that behind it is the “imperial strategy” of the United States, as President Miguel Díaz-Canel said last week.The Cuban Government withdrew this Saturday, hours before the start of the protests, the accreditations to all journalists and graphics of the Efe Agency on the island without explaining reasons or clarifying whether it was a temporary or permanent measure. Hours later, the authorities returned them to two of the six journalists of the team, something that the president of the Efe Agency, Gabriela Cañas, considered “insufficient”, while demanding that they all be returned.

Original source in Spanish

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