Cubans protest slow state response to Hurricane Irma damage and destruction
Breaking: Cubans take to the street in protest of conditions in #Havana - https://t.co/FEKFQv7Asp #Cuba #hurricaneirma pic.twitter.com/rCzEYOBRCp— Alberto de la Cruz (@albertodelacruz) September 14, 2017
On 13th September, hundreds of people spontaneously gathered in Havana to draw attention to the infrastructure damage, widespread power outages and food shortages in the country after the destruction caused by Hurricane Irma. Though the police did block streets to restrain the growing numbers in the crowd, no arrests were reported. Electricity and the water supply were soon turned back on.
However, in a related protest in Matanzas, three activists were detained by state security agents for participating in a demonstration on 15th September to protest the water and power outages also caused by Hurricane Irma there. Armando Abascal Serrano, Dianelis Moreno Soto and Aloy Betancourt Méndez were among 500 people protesting the failure of the state to provide relief for residents affected by the devastating storm.
Nothing like a street protest to speed up recovery in #Cuba #HurricaneIrma https://t.co/vggvZV1px8— Nora Gámez Torres (@ngameztorres) September 14, 2017
As documented in the latest Monitor updates on Cuba, police continue to detain and prevent Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) activists from demonstrating every Sunday. In October alone, it was reported that between 60 and 70 Damas de Blanco activists were arrested for participating in the Sunday marches.
Detenidas más de 30 Damas de Blanco en varias provincias para impedirles asistir a misa https://t.co/SrhM3VXICz— Damas de Blanco (@DamasdBlanco) October 23, 2017
The Open Observatory of the Network Interference Project conducted a study in Cuba to evaluate the level of internet censorship and found that at least 41 websites, including news and informational sites related to human rights, have been blocked at the time of writing this update. However, the Observatory says basic access to internet for most Cubans remains the most prolific problem.
Three men were arrested by police after unfurling protest banners on the Catedral de Santiago de Cuba on 26th July 2017. Video shows the men holding the banners, which read -“58 years of deception, hunger and misery" and "The people want liberty, justice and democracy". The men are being held in detention awaiting trial.
#CADAL se solidariza con #Karina Gálvez y colegas del Centro de Estudios #Convivencia #Cuba https://t.co/YxntclxvQ1 vía @PuenteDemo— Mario Felix Lleonart (@maritovoz) September 29, 2017
As reported by Centro de Estudios Convivencia (Centre for Coexistence Studies), Karina Gálvez Chiu, one of the founding members of the Centre, was sentenced to three years in prison for tax evasion on 15th September 2017. Karina Gálvez Chiu was initially arrested in January 2017 and held for seven days. The house being used as the headquarters for the Centre was reportedly seized by authorities as part of her sentencing. She is also prohibited from voting or holding a passport until her sentence has been served. Several members of the Academic Council of the Centre for Coexistence Studies condemned the sentencing and seizure of the Centre's headquarters.
Civic Space Developments