Cuba revokes permission for opposition marches because it fears that they will be disrupted
According to a letter sent to organizers, Cuba on Tuesday denied government opponents permission to stage what they claimed would be merely 'a peaceful march for civil liberties' in the capital Havana and dozens of other provinces on the grounds it was part of an effort to overthrow the government.
For two days in July, Cuban-American protesters shook the Communist-run country, with the biggest anti-government demonstrations in decades resulting in hundreds of arrests, one death and calls for U.S. intervention from some Cuba- Americans.
Government critics, organized by a Facebook group called Archipelago, initially planned protests across the country for Nov. 20, but switched the date to Nov 15 after authorities declared the 20th 'a National Defense Day', during which citizens practice readiness for if u.s. forces invade.
The fallback date of the 15th, however, will be on the same day Cuba, a white-sand beach nation with coral reefs and white satan, plans to reopen to tourism after two years in which the industry was hampered by the coronavirus epidemic.
Many government officials and Cuba watchers have been closely watching this latest challenge to local authorities.
Protests in Cuba have always been forbidden, with few exceptions, on the grounds that the United States was behind them, but the country's new constitution, adopted three years ago, opened a new space for "legitimate" protest.
The protesters... as well as their links to subversive organisations... have the open intention of changing the political system in Cuba, said a letter to organizers rejecting permission.
"The protests are a provocation and part of ... id's attempt to change Cuba'' which has been tested in other countries."
Archipelago, which claims to have 20,000 members, many of whom live outside of the country, said they had planned to protest for civil liberties, such as the right to peaceful protest and an amnesty for imprisoned government opponents.
Yunior Garca, protest leader and playwright, said Reuters that "we thought this might happen after they declared the 20th National Defense Day."
This response shows the most conservative and hard line have power in Cuba, he said, adding the group was still considering its next step.
Several well-known government opponents are among those who remain behind bars following the July 11-12 unrest, some with long sentences.