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The Cuban dictatorship threatened with a “criminal response” against those who participate in the protests

The Attorney General’s Office of the Cuban dictatorship assured last Friday that it is investigating the recent protests in the country -mainly due to the serious blackouts- and threatened those who have participated in the demonstrations that “they will receive the corresponding criminal legal response.”

In a statement in which the number of open investigations or suspects is not specified, the Prosecutor’s Office assured that alleged crimes “related to the burning of facilities, the execution of acts of vandalism, the closure of public roads with the purpose of preventing the movement of vehicles and people, attacks and offenses against officials and law enforcement, and incitement to violence.”

It also ensures that they are studying measures against “parents who used minor children, placing them in risk scenarios, neglecting their duties of protection, assistance, education and care towards them.”

In relation to the protests, the statement ensures that they are “events that disturbed public order and citizen tranquility.”

The regime’s Attorney General’s Office said that the accused “are guaranteed respect for their rights and constitutional guarantees of due process” and stresses that it will exercise its constitutional mandate “in the framework of legality, the protection of the interests of the State and the rights of all citizens.

ENERGY CRISIS

The aggravation of the energy crisis that the country is suffering after the passage of Hurricane Ian at the end of September has caused continuous and prolonged blackouts throughout the national territory.

Some neighborhoods in Havana were without electricity for up to six consecutive days after the hurricane. Blackouts reach twelve hours in some parts of the country. It is expected that at the time of greatest demand this Friday, early at night, 40% of Cuba will not have supply.

This situation has generated social unrest, which has been reflected in a myriad of protests throughout the country. The independent media Project Inventory has registered around a hundred in the last fifteen days based on testimonies and videos broadcast on social networks.

These protests – from demonstrations to sit-ins, including street blockades and cacerolazos – are eminently peaceful, often with entire families walking, in groups that can range from several dozen to a few hundred. The main claim is the replacement of the current, but cries of “Freedom!” and against the government.

About half of the protests have taken place in Havana, where most of the 30 arrests that activist groups have recorded have also been concentrated.

NGOs have denounced the use of violence by the security forces and pro-government groups and announced that some criminal proceedings will soon begin by direct attestation for those arrested, who were warned that they would be charged with the alleged crimes of public disorder, contempt and resistance.

The country’s authorities had already indicated that the discomfort caused by the blackouts was understood, but that behavior they considered criminal was not going to be tolerated.

Cuts in the electricity supply are one of the most sensitive elements of the multifaceted crisis that Cuba is suffering, as well as one of the main reasons behind the protests against the government on July 11 last year, the largest in decades.

According to the NGO Cubalex and the Justicia 11J collective, after these protests more than 1,500 have been carried out and nearly 600 sentences have been handed down, some of up to 30 years in prison.

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José Martí
José Martí
Nacionalista cubano, poeta, filósofo, ensayista, periodista, traductor, profesor y editor.

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