Protests in eastern Cuba take violent turn

The Cuban people are demanding freedom.

The videos from over the weekend are not clear at times, but what the people say is easy to understand.

One man says they want food, and they are tired of the same old speeches from government officials.

Crowds were heard chanting over the weekend” “long live human rights,” in Caimanera, a town in the eastern edge of Cuba, which neighbors the U.S. naval base in Guantanamo.

The uprising began on Saturday evening. From Havana, Manuel Cuesta Morua, a known opposition leader told Local 10 News’ Hatzel Vela, the Cuban people are simply fed up and that exhaustion has spread to the other end of the island.

Long lines for gasoline have been seen the last few weeks throughout the communist island, as the fuel crisis continues in a country where the economy is in shambles. Experts say the lack of gasoline and diesel is not due to a lack of crude oil — Cuba produces about half of what it needs and buys the rest from other countries - but to the difficulties refining it. Technical production problems in the refineries, which were built in 1957, may be the issue.

Cuesta Mora says reaction from the government is what he expected. Scenes of violent oppression and clashes between police and the people.

“It clearly shows there is outright resistance against the regime and that at any moment there will be more demonstrations and more people in Cuba taking to the streets to call for the end of this odious dictatorship,” said Orlando Gutierrez, Assembly of the Cuban Resistance.

About the Author:

In January 2017, Hatzel Vela became the first local television journalist in the country to move to Cuba and cover the island from the inside. During his time living and working in Cuba, he covered some of the most significant stories in a post-Fidel Castro Cuba.