14ymedio, Natalia López Moya, Havana, 11 August 2021 — One month after the protests of July 11 (11J), the Police and the military continue to guard the streets of Cuba. In Havana they are especially concentrated in areas where there are often crowds or long lines.
Although the usual movement of people in the streets on any given day continues, 14ymedio also confirmed a large number of uniformed soldiers outside the Plaza Commercial Carlos III in Central Havana.
The presence of the “red berets” is notable, as they are known within the Armed Forces as “prevention troops,” who stand guard in groups of two and even four soldiers. Above all, they are seen in the portals and the surroundings of the capital’s markets, whose display windows facing the outside are walled up with wooden planks.
“Something strange is happening, in the stores of the Latin American Stadium and that of Aranguren and Panchito Gómez, I have not seen lines of people waiting to enter. They are not selling anything. Is it a coincidence because today is the 11th and they do not want riots in the streets?” asked a Havana resident who went out this Wednesday morning to buy food.
This newspaper was able to verify that the scene was repeated in stores such as Trimagen, on Ayestarán Street. In that establishment they only sold one bottle of soda per person and two packages of ‘Pellys’ snacks.
Thousands of Cubans took to the streets on Sunday, July 11 (11J) to protest against the Government, shouting for freedom on a historic day. In response, president Miguel Díaz-Canel went on TV to make a call for people to go out into the streets to confront the protesters and defend the Revolution.
Central Havana was an area where thousands of protesters concentrated that Sunday, and from several streets tried to reach the Capitol building without success, and others succeeded, although dozens of them were repressed by police and State Security agents along the way.
The demonstrations took place with the country mired in a serious economic and health crisis, with the pandemic out of control and a severe shortage of food, medicine and other basic products, in addition to long power cuts.
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