Two weeks after the biggest anti-government protest in decades in Cuba, a group of activists say more than 500 protesters are still missing.
Thousands of people all over the island Marched down the street On July 11th, several towns and cities called for democracy and drastic economic reforms in the country amid a major shortage of food and medicine.
Dozens of people have been arrested by plainclothes police officers, and many families say they have not yet been contacted by their loved ones or informed of their whereabouts.
Sky News cannot independently determine the number of missing persons, but lawyer group Cubalex states that hundreds of people, many of whom are teenagers, have been detained.
Katiuska Mustelier Sosa, a Cuban exile in Miami, says her brother Enrique hasn’t been seen by friends and family on the island since participating in a protest in Guantanamo.
Katiuska shared a video with Sky News shot by another protester, showing Enrique, 38, marching down the street yelling “Libertard!”. It means freedom.
She believes he was arrested shortly thereafter and is now detained in a state security prison, although the exact location is unknown.
“My family couldn’t see him. We’re very worried because we don’t know what he’s doing,” she said.
The family fears that history will repeat itself 14 years ago when the father of political prisoner Katiuska disappeared from prison with only two months in prison. She moved to Miami four years ago, but two of her three children, Sarai (11) and Daniel (15), remain in Cuba.
“It’s better to be here so that you can return the money and eat. I’m very worried about my brother, but I’m also worried about my family and children. They” are very scared, they said, “Mom, over there. I’m worried that I’ll overstate it, so I’ll never see you again. ” Whatever they want from us, it’s for sure.
“I think this is the beginning of an uprising, but I know it’s not easy, because this government-this dictatorship-doesn’t give up power,” she added.
Washington, DC-based free Cuban center spokesman Janniset Rivero believes more than 500 protesters are missing and says many have been convicted in a counselless summary trial. I am. “That’s not all because they are still arresting people. There is no rule of law in Cuba. These trials were illegal and the family could not see the accused.
“The administration is afraid of people because they went out to the streets to shout for freedom, so they are now trying to dominate the population.”
The Cuban government claims that there is a disinformation campaign surrounding the protest.
Carlos Fernandez de Cossio, general director of the US division of the Cuban Foreign Ministry, said the summary trials received by Cuban protesters were not unfair and they were advised.
“Because it is part of the criminal system of many countries, it is part of the criminal system of Cuba. And there is nothing unfair or unusual about it. It’s part, “he said.
In Little Havana, the heart of Miami’s Cuban community, we have witnessed an unlucky attempt to overthrow the Communist government, but many believe it is different this time. Ramon Sole Sanchez left Cuba at the age of 12 and has devoted his life to fighting the government from Miami. He believes that the use of social media, where protesters shoot and broadcast themselves online, is a fundamental difference from previous uprisings.
“This is why the administration immediately turns off the Internet in the event of a rebellion,” he said. “What they’re doing now is slowing it down, so it’s not so easy to send photos and videos. Twenty years ago with social media, what we just saw probably happened then. Probably. “
There has been no widespread protest in Cuba since July 11, and Sanchez believes that people may not be back on the streets today or tomorrow, but in the end it will. “I now believe I can return to Cuba again in my lifetime,” he says.
Cuba’s Protest: Activists Say More than 500 People Are Missing Two Weeks After Anti-Government Protest | US News
Source link Cuba’s Protest: Activists Say More than 500 People Are Missing Two Weeks After Anti-Government Protest | US News