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Opposition in Cuba maintains a call for a demonstration despite the prohibition of the communist regime

The organizers of the civic march in Cuba called for November 15, they announced that they will keep the call, despite the fact that a few hours before the communist authorities banned the demonstration because they consider it a “provocation” that seeks a regime change on the island supported by Washington.

“On November 15, our decision will be to march civically and peacefully for our rights,” announced on Facebook the opposition group for political debate Archipiélago, organizer of the march.

“In the face of authoritarianism we will respond with civility and more civility,” he said a few hours after receiving the notification that the march was prohibited and after meeting to make a decision.

In a letter in response to its request to hold the demonstration on November 15, the communist government had indicated in the morning that “the promoters” of the demonstration “as well as the links of some with subversive organizations or agencies financed by the United States government, they have the manifest intention of promoting a change in the political system in Cuba ”.

The demonstration announced in Havana, but which will be simultaneous in other provinces, “constitutes a provocation as part of the regime change strategy” for Cuba, adds the response that highlights the constitutional and “irrevocable” nature of the Cuban socialist system.

The same response was given in six other provinces (Holguín, Cienfuegos, Pinar del Río, Las Tunas, Santa Clara and Guantánamo) where authorization was requested for a demonstration “against violence” and for “change.”

The call for the march, launched in September, appeals to article 56 of the new Constitution that recognizes the right to demonstrate.

But “the exercise of people’s rights is only limited by the rights of others, collective security,” the authority refuted.

“Change for the better”

“To demonstrate is a right, they told us that they are not going to respect that right even though it is a human right and even though it is in the Constitution, they have told us that our request is illegal,” declared Yunior García, playwright and leader of Archipelago, leaving a meeting with authorities early.

He regretted the accusations about US funding. “Always whatever the Cuban does, they are going to say that someone in Washington came up with it, it’s as if we don’t think, we Cubans don’t have a brain.” “Any sensible Cuban wants change for the better,” he added.

“It is a lie, there is not and there will never be evidence,” said Saily González, organizer of the demonstration in the province of Santa Clara (center), about the US funding signal.

The communist government denies the existence of political prisoners in Cuba and considers the opposition illegal, which it accuses of being financed by Washington.

The spokesman for the US State Department, Ned Price, rejected the ban on the march and called on the Cuban government to respect fundamental rights.

“It is the freedom of expression, it is the freedom to assemble peacefully that the Cuban government has denied its people,” Price told reporters in Washington. “We call on the government in Havana to respect the fundamental freedoms and fundamental rights of the Cuban people.”

Economic crisis

Initially, the Archipelago had called the march for November 20, but after the government decided last week to declare that same day as “National Defense Day,” the group announced last Friday that it would advance it to November 15.

“We do not want violence, we do not want Cubans to confront each other and we could not launch the protesters to confront an army in the street that could react violently,” Garcia said.

The “most sensible thing was to advance the march” to the 15th, when Cuba is scheduled to reopen to international tourism. Visitors will be able to walk the streets of the island and Cubans can then exercise their rights, he added.

On July 11 and 12, unprecedented protests broke out in fifty cities, leaving one dead, dozens injured and hundreds detained.

These spontaneous demonstrations, unprecedented since 1959, took place shouting “We are hungry”, “Down with the dictatorship” and “Freedom”, in the context of a severe economic crisis, the worst in 30 years.

Since then, several dissidents have been arrested, such as José Daniel Ferrer and Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, who have been incarcerated since July 11. Other opponents such as Manuel Cuesta Morua, Guillermo Fariñas and Berta Soler were released within hours of their arrests, after being warned of their call for a demonstration.


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