A video has gone viral showing a Cuban citizen being carried away by the law enforcement of Raúl Castro’s regime for protesting for freedom on the island.
The man, who has not yet been identified, was on Perla del Sur boulevard in the city of Cienfuegos, holding a sign while shouting “freedom and democracy for the people of Cuba” until authorities arrived on the scene to stop him.
In the video, officials apprehend the man and force him into their patrol car as he calls for an end to the dictatorship in Cuba. Citizens standing by called the police officers “abusers” and “shameless.”
Another video recorded in Cienfuegos shows another citizen complaining about the living conditions on the island, which also went viral. This man was reportedly detained for asking for an improved living wage and democracy on the island.
According to the Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation, 578 other people have been arrested just in October — the highest number of politically motivated arbitrary arrests that the organization has on record.
One of the opposition movements most effected by the repression has been the Ladies in White. The women’s movement is reportedly persecuted on a weekly basis, often violently arrested once they leave their homes to demonstrate for the release of political prisoners.
— CR Defenders Latin (@CRDLatin) November 2, 2017
So far in 2017, the Human Rights Commission has already registered a total of 4,537 arbitrary arrests for political reasons, with a monthly average of 453. Data between January and October shows a slight decrease compared to 2016. The Cuban Observatory of Human Rights (OCDH) has indicated that the decrease is due to the “change in their repressive mechanisms” and not to a positive change on the part of the authorities of the island.
The Commission also said that the figures “continues to be scandalously high, and the repressive levels are equal or greater (than last year).”