Dissidents Locked Up in Their Homes and Internet Outages to Prevent the Repetition of July 11th Protests (11J) in Cuba

In some parks in Havana, this same day, schoolchildren were seen singing revolutionary slogans. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, July 8, 2022 — As July 11 approaches, State Security deploys its tentacles to neutralize any attempt to celebrate the first anniversary of the historic protests that took place in dozens of places throughout the island.

This Friday, independent reporter Luz Escobar was summoned to receive a very clear warning: On July 11, 12 and 13, she will be under “surveillance” at home and, therefore, will not be able to leave.

“The State Security officer who calls himself Ramses, and who frequently represses me, called this afternoon to tell me that I’m summoned tomorrow at 10 am to the identity card office for an ’interview,’” Escobar reported on her social networks on Thursday. “He says that, based on new regulations, they don’t have to give me written notice.”

The journalist confirmed what she predicted: “He wanted to let me know that as a result of the ’complicated’ days that are coming now, I will have surveillance and a group of police on the ground floor of the building to prevent me from going out on the street in those days.” Ramses himself assured her that he would be on duty.

Leo Fernández Cruz, from Guanabacoa, was also quoted this Friday. “On the past July 11, I didn’t take to the streets,” he recalled. Months later, the young man was arrested for six hours, after the frustrated call of the Archipelago platform for the Civic March for Change on November 15.

Likewise, other activists on the island, such as Yerly Velázquez, from Santa Clara, have also been summoned by the political police. The young man, his mother told this newspaper, was accused this Thursday of “contempt” for his posts on social networks and they even asked him to appoint a lawyer for his defense.

Sources from Cienfuegos say that some schools have been closed since Friday to be able to concentrate police and soldiers in anticipation of this coming Monday.

In some parks in Havana, on the same day, schoolchildren were seen singing revolutionary slogans. “My children have already been summoned to activities in the nearest park, for today, Friday and Monday the 11th,” Juliette Isabel Fernández, wife of journalist and opponent Boris González, who was also threatened by State Security, wrote on social networks. “It would be crazy that, with a father summoned to receive the warning that on Monday the 11th he won’t have the right to leave the house and move through the streets, our children would attend that call,” she said, while reporting that “patriotic music” had been playing in the neighborhood since the morning.

From Sancti Spíritus comes a report that they are “mobilizing” workers to be “guards” in state enterprises. At Alexander Fábregas’ home, reports his brother, U.S. resident activist Néstor Estévez, the whole family is “peacefully quartered,” from this Friday at three in the afternoon until Monday, to protest “inside the house” for the anniversary of July 11.

According to other testimonies, in several buildings in Havana residents have been called this weekend for an “exercise of revolutionary popular surveillance,” consisting of putting up “decorations and flags” as a way to show that “we are still in combat,” in the words of the president of the neighbors’ council of a building in El Vedado.

In addition, since this Thursday, Internet service on the island has been slow at times. It doesn’t go unnoticed that the communication blackout was one of the tactics carried out by the regime, with the help of the state telecommunications monopoly Etecsa, to prevent the repression of 11J from being broadcast in real time, such as the first demonstration of that day in San Antonio de los Baños.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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