In July, a wave of anti-government protests swept through Cuba. Human rights organizations claim that more than 150 people have gone missing and 750 have been imprisoned during the trials. The authorities in Havana, however, deny this fact and only confirm the sentencing of 53 demonstrators. Most were sentenced to 12 months in prison.
According to the data published on Friday by the Supreme Court in Havana, 62 trials have been held on the island related to the participation in anti-government demonstrations in July. In turn, the prosecutor general in Havana maintains that none of the participants in the demonstration have disappeared. This declaration contradicts the data of human rights organizations. They claim that at least 150 people who participated in the demonstrations have gone missing and another 750 have been imprisoned.
Meanwhile, according to independent Cuban media, the regime in Havana is forcing opponents to remove opinions unfavorable to the Cuban government on the Internet, and participants in the July protests are still in prisons.
Media: Cuban police intimidate youth
According to the 14ymedio portal, among the detainees there was an internet user who was supposed to disseminate the hashtag #SOS Cuba. While the man maintains that his initiative was primarily intended to draw the world’s attention to the poor sanitation on the island, the regime accused him of calling for foreign military intervention in Cuba. “Cuban police intimidate young people by forcing them to remove entries in community networks,” determined 14ymedio, which collected testimonies from persecuted Internet users.
The authorities in Havana, however, say that the United States is behind the July protests in Cuba, fueling anti-government sentiment during the pandemic. They argue that the Americans are trying to overthrow the communist system on the island by causing riots.
Almost 600 demonstrations in a month
The Cuban Conflict Observatory (OCC) estimates that a total of over 187,000 people took part in anti-government protests in Cuba in Julywhich participated in a total of 584 demonstrations.
The demonstrations in Cuba that broke out on July 11 were related to the increasing poverty and difficulties in accessing food, medicine and vaccines against COVID-19. Although they were of a peaceful nature, they were pacified by the security forces and police forces, whose numerous officers mingled with the crowd, pretending to be civilians.
Main photo source: PAP / EPA / Yander Zamora