One week after the biggest wave of protests in more than six decades, the Police and the military have exhaustively patrolled the streets of Cuba, especially in the city of San Antonio de los Banos, where everything originated.
The accesses to this town -located 30 kilometers west of Havana and famous for its School were mostly cut off or guarded by agents of safety this Sunday.
While the streets showed a normal traffic of people, GLM was able watch to trucks full of soldiers and the central square of the town was outlet by more than a dozen policemen, military and agents of the Department of State Security, the organ of intelligence and counterintelligence of Cuba, labeled by opponents as the “Cuban Political Police.”
The agents uniformed and not uniformed also they deployed widely in the neighboring town of Bauta, where “there was a policeman on every corner,” according to what a woman who was there told GLM.
Access to internet was cut off in San Antonio de los Baños and its surroundings, as GLM was able to verify, while in the rest of the island it is mostly restricted although it works occasionally on some mobile phones.
Neither the Government nor the monopoly Cuban telecommunications company (Etecsa) have explained why the mobile data has been partially or totally down since Sunday, July 11, the day when thousands of cubans took to the streets to protest and there were clashes, altercations and even looting in some towns.
They also have not reported when the service will be restored and will function normally. The tranquility in San Antonio de los Baños this Sunday contrasts with the agitation that took place on Sunday anterior, when thousands of neighbors took to the streets to protest peacefully.
The protesters launched slogans against the government, whom they blame for the shortage of food, basic products and medicines, the proliferation of shops with exclusive payment in foreign currency and the habitual power outages, at a time when Cuba goes through a serious economical crisis, with their coffers empty and be unable to face their debts, to which is added a dangerous boom in covid-19 cases in recent weeks.
Live videos recorded by the protesters of 11-J in San Antonio de los Baños lit the fuse of dozens of protests by disgruntled citizens in other localities of the island, harshly stopped by the security forces, leaving hundreds of injured and detained and generating strong criticism from the community international government chaired by Miguel-Diaz-Canel.
The president actually went to San Antonio de los Baños the day of the protests together with security forces and a group of acolytes to send the message that “the street belongs to the revolutionaries”, in reference to the supporters of the one-party system and centralized economy that has prevailed in Cuba since 1959.
Another repeated argument constantly by the Cuban authorities since 11-J is that the “blocking” is to blame for the economic ruin of Cuba and the protests have been instigated by the Administration of the United States through a sophisticated system of handling of opinions through social networks.
With restricted and strong internet presence police, one of the few events noteworthy that occurred this Sunday in Cuba was an act of government supporters in La Güinera, a lower-class neighborhood in the south of Havana where last monday they took place unrest which resulted in the only officially reported death.
Led by Gerardo Hernández, President of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR, the “eyes and ears” of the State in the neighborhoods), Cuban authorities accompanied dozens of partisan neighbors “in support of the Revolution, to Díaz-Canel and to the Party,” as the ex-spy tweeted and member of the famous Cuban “five heroes”.
A day earlier, on Saturday, the Cuban Government took out muscle with a mass event attended by thousands of people (100,000 according to the authorities) in Havana to show their support for the Government and the leader, clothed by his predecessor Raúl Castro.
Meanwhile, organizations and family members denounce that there are still people detained in Cuban prisons for their participation in the protests, with lists ranging from more than one hundred to thousands.
Some of those arrested were released throughout the week and it is unknown how many remain. locked up, since the Government has not offered data.