14ymedio, Miami, 11 April 2018 — A billboard calling for the end of repression, corruption and impunity in Cuba was vandalized on Tuesday in Lima, Peru, where the forums parallel to the VIII Summit of the Americas are being held. The billboard, placed near airport and addressed to those who are participating in the hemispheric meeting, unleashed the wrath of the “friends of Cuba in Peru.”
The activists allied with the Cuban government not only tore up the poster mounted on the billboard, but also wrote below what little remained of it: “Don’t mess with Cuba,” a piece of bravado from the Cuban ambassador in Lima, Juan Antonio Fernández, which was aired on national television in an edited and manipulated video which incorporated cheering and applause that never happened.
Cuban diplomat Juan Antonio Fernández Palacios makes a fool of himself in a meeting prior to the 2018 Summit of the Americas and the official press INTRODUCES APPLAUSE by creating a fake video. Do not miss the video, before and after the manipulation. There are no words… [The faked video can be seen here, along with the original video from another angle showing that rather than speaking in front of a large cheering crowd, the remarks were delivered to a meeting of mostly silent participants.]
– ObservatorioCubanoDH (@observacuba) March 23, 2018
The official newspaper Cubadebate said that with the destruction of the billboard, “the friends of Cuba” showed that “there is no provocation from the mercenary counterrevolution that remains unanswered.”
In recent days, parallel forums have been developed for the hemispheric summit to which the Cuban government has sent a large delegation to represent “the true Cuban youth.” Havana has more than 20 activists from independent movements in the country boarding flights at Havana’s José Martí International Airport, to prevent them from attending the summit and has promised that it will not tolerate dissidents or critical voices sitting at the same tables of dialogue and discussion as their delegation.
In Cuba, social organizations function as transmission mechanisms to enforce orders from the Government and the Communist Party. After the death of Fidel Castro in 2016, a graffiti with the phrase “He left” outside the Habana Libre hotel cost activist Danilo Maldonado 55 days in jail.
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