Cuba Braces for Civic March Monday

Cuban opposition activists have called for a “Civic March for Change” Monday in Cuba. 

The Cuban government, however, has warned the opposition that it will not tolerate “counterrevolutionary” and “terrorist” acts during the demonstration that the government says it believes is part of a U.S. interventionist plan. 

Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez has labeled Monday’s protest as a “destabilizing operation designed in Washington.”  

Supporters of Cuba’s opposition are also planning to stage protests around the world, including in Miami, home to a large Cuban population. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said Sunday in a statement, “We call on the Cuban government to respect Cubans’ rights, by allowing them to peacefully assemble and use their voices without fear of government reprisal or violence, and by keeping Internet and telecommunication lines open for the free exchange of information.” 

Cuban officials have threatened to arrest Yunior Garcia Aguilera, a leader of Archipielago, the group that is mounting Monday’s march.  

Garcia was set to do a solo walk Sunday afternoon with a single white rose in support of people unable to participate Monday. He was not able to execute his plan, however, because his residence was surrounded by government agents. 

In July, Cuban police and military units were dispatched to crackdown on a peaceful opposition demonstration. Thousands were arrested. Many are still facing charges.  

Monday’s march clashes with celebrations that Cuban officials had planned. Several milestones will be marked Monday on the island, including the return of tourists to the island with the lifting of COVID restrictions that will also allow children to return to school. 

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