Following a shut down of access to the internet, Cuba's Interior Ministry confirmed on Tuesday that at least one person died and several others were arrested in the outskirts of capital Havana following Sunday's popular uprising in demand of food, medicines, electricity and freedom.
The news became known Tuesday after the government had shut down all access to internet services and even arrested journalists who were trying to report on the ongoing events to the outside world.
Cuba's Interior Ministry Tuesday confirmed Tuesday the death of 36-year-old Diubis Laurencio Tejeda, in the Güinera neighbourhood during a demonstration Sunday under circumstances that were not disclosed.
The authorities also insisting on the United States' encouraging the destabilization of Cuba, while Catholic bishops called for an understanding to avoid further violence.
Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez also pointed fingers at the US, and particularly the State of Florida, which was asking for a humanitarian intervention in Cuba, which is asking for a US military intervention.
Video footage of the arrest of internet influencer Dina Stars by Cuban government forces also went viral Tuesday. In the middle of an interview with a Spanish channel and while she was talking about the critical situation that her country, broke into her home. I hold the government responsible for anything that may happen to me, was the last thing she could say before being detained.
Dina Stars has more than 18,000 followers and presents herself as a warrior.
Are they going to stop you?, asked the Spanish interviewer. I don't know, they told me to go with them, Dina just answered.
The dialogue, which has already gone viral, shows the critical moment that Cuba is going through. Anyone who speaks out against the regime may be detained or harassed. And that happened to
Not long before her arrest, Dina had posted on Twitter that people from the Ministry of the Interior had just called her on the phone, asking her to “meet,” but she had refused, after which she was told she would receive a subpoena. “I will attend with my head held high, I have nothing to hide. Will keep you informed.
There is still no official information regarding the number of arrests, but local activists have drawn up a provisional list that includes 65 names in Havana alone.
These statements, together with videos available through the web, would contradict President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who on Monday denied those events on state television.
Meanwhile, local police in the province of Camagüey dropped their weapons and joined demonstrators Tuesday, also according to videos that went viral through social media, as Cuban residents in Florida were approaching the island shores to support the uprising. At first, it was reported these boats were carrying arms and combatants to back up a full-scale uprising but it was later announced that they were only bringing food and medicines to the impoverished Cuban population.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said it was a grave mistake to accuse his country of being behind the protests, which he defined as a reflection of a deeply tired people”.
Meanwhile, former President Raúl Castro, who allegedly left the country for Venezuela, reappeared at a meeting of the Communist Party after the historic protests against Cuba's regime.
And with information about the ongoing events still unclear, the Inter-American Press Association (IAPA) has repudiated Díaz-Canel's call for the use of force with the clear intention of curtailing the freedoms of association, of the press, and expression.
During the social protests that groups of citizens carried out in various localities and provinces of the country several journalists were arbitrarily attacked and arrested, denounced the Miami-based IAPA.
So far the number of newspeople who were censored and had their cell phones and work equipment confiscated and suffer from the interruption of Internet communications, is still unknown, according to the statement.
We condemn the attacks of the regime against the people who were demonstrating and also against the journalists who were covering the events, especially the call of the Cuban president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, to ”use force, with the clear intention of curtailing the freedoms of association, of the press and expression,” said Jorge Canahuati, president of the IAPA.
Sunday's demonstrations were broadcast live on Facebook when the Internet connection service was suddenly interrupted throughout the country. Once again, IAPA denounced the use of the state monopoly of the Empresa de Telecomunicaciones de Cuba SA (ETECSA) to silence independent journalists.
“We hope that the regime does not seek to create another black spring,” said Carlos Jornet, president of IAPA's Committee on Freedom of the Press, recalling the repression and the jail that many Cubans, including several independent journalists, had to pay after social protests in 2003.