Arrests Continue for the March 17 Protests in Santiago de Cuba

The two most recent detainees for their links to the 17J protests in Santiago de Cuba are father and son. Yosmany Mayeta Labrada / Facebookddd

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 25 March 2024 — Almost a week after the protests that took several hundred people to the streets in Santiago de Cuba, on Saturday the authorities arrested 18-year-old, Cristian Kindelán, for having participated in the marches of the Carretera del Morro.

According to the Santiago journalist Yosmani Mayeta Labrada, who lives in the United States, the boy was removed from his house and taken to the Police Unit known as “El Palacete.” He was later transferred to the “operations and torture center” in the Altos de Versailles neighborhood.

The young man’s father, Asdrúbal Kindelán Garbey, was arrested a few hours later in the same center, after going there with several relatives to make a report on Facebook about the situation.

Teresa Garbey, Asdrubal’s mother and Cristian’s grandmother, sent a message on her social networks about the situation. In it she explains that her grandson was arrested for having appeared in a video of the protests and when she asked the agent, whom she identifies as “Major Oscar” and as the one responsible for the case, he told her, “with tremendous disrespect that he did not have to give an explanation.” At this, the young man’s father Asdrúbal, annoyed, reprimanded the agent, which in turn caused his arrest.

“It seems that we are in the times of a dictatorship, where people disappear without any explanation, something our commander fought so much against”

“It seems that we are in the times of a dictatorship, where people disappear without giving any explanation, something which our commander fought so much against,” the woman wrote. “It seems that they want to erase all their ideas and bury their legacy in the past. I make this publication to call for the reflection of the officers of this Revolution and their new rulers. This is nothing more than a way to repress people and break them, and I wonder what they fought for and lost so many lives for only to destroy that legacy. I only ask the authorities of this country to reflect on that. I don’t sayPatria y vida’* [Homeland and life], I say ’patria y muerte’ [homeland and death].”

Her statement in defense of the regime motivated an angry response on-line from Mayeta, who wrote “I strongly ask all my followers to share this publication, because if this lady, mother and grandmother does not raise her voice for her own family and continues to support the dictatorship, I, as a Cuban from Santiago and a fighter for the freedom of Cuba and a lover of freedom, will do it.”

This weekend, the Prisoners Defenders organization said that those arrested on March 17 total 38, although the amount could be much higher.

The organization, based in Spain, pointed out that it is very difficult to obtain a final figure due to the lack of official data and the reluctance of many people to give an account of their situation, especially those who have only received a fine or a precautionary measure.

By provinces, Holguín, with 13, had the most arrests, while in Santiago de Cuba there were 12, in Havana four, in Cienfuegos two and in Artemisa three. Six of the total have now been released.

Meanwhile, Justicia 11J counted 13 detainees in total, although two of them have now been released.

*Translator’s note: “Homeland and Life” was the motto for the demonstrations of 11 July 2021, meant to contrast with the regime’s motto of “Homeland and Death.”

Translated by Regina Anavy


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