At least one man who took part in the wave of popular protests in Cuba has died, as the Interior Ministry reported on Tuesday (13). Diubis Laurencio Tejeda, 36, lived in the Arroyo Naranjo neighborhood on the outskirts of Havana, one of those who reported acts against the Cuban regime on Monday.
In a statement released by the state news agency, the ministry alleges that protesters attempted to invade the National Revolutionary Police building and were arrested by police forces and part of the local population. The file indicates that houses were vandalized and government agents hit by stones.
“During the clash, several citizens were arrested and others were injured, including police officers,” the statement said. The ministry also says that it regrets the death of Tejeda and that at present it is necessary to “preserve the peace and the internal order of the citizen”.
The tone of the ministry, which describes the protests as “anti-social and delinquent”, follows a line similar to what has been adopted by the senior leadership of the regime since the protests erupted and gained visibility in the media. international. On Monday morning, the head of the Cuban regime, Miguel Díaz-Canel, described the demonstrations as acts organized by “delinquents” who “manipulate the emotions of the population through social networks”.
According to information published by social organizations, around 100 people have been arrested since the protests began on Sunday. The crackdown on the press has also intensified. At least 42 journalists have been threatened, psychologically and physically assaulted, or imprisoned, according to figures from the Cuban Institute for Freedom of Expression and the Press. One of the jailed reporters is Cuban Camila Acosta, a contributor to the Spanish newspaper ABC.
In an attempt to stifle the mobilizations, which have strengthened on social networks, the island’s regime also cut the population’s internet on Monday, and platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and Telegram are working in instability. .
The acts that took to the streets of the Caribbean island on Sunday have an unusual dimension compared to those seen in recent decades. Cubans, among others, are calling for more freedom and effective policies to address shortages of food and medical supplies. Mobilization accelerated after the crisis was intensified by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year Cuba saw its GDP (gross domestic product) decline by 11%.
Although the demands were already known to the regime and to the international community, the volume and consistency of the protests were surprising. In recent years, the regime was already faced with mobilizations, marked in large part by the participation of artists, journalists and intellectuals, who built networks of articulation after a decree which further limited freedom of movement. expression in 2018. Unlike these mobilizations, the acts initiated during the weekend added popular participation and were recorded in several provinces.
However, the regime continues to deny that the mobilizations have a social basis. During a press conference on Tuesday, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez said “there has been no social explosion”. “It is because our people support the revolution and the government,” he added. Rodríguez also reiterated that the protests were started by the United States.