State TV Newscaster Humberto Lopez Accuses Cuban Exiles of Being Behind Acts of Vandalism

The Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba includes Humberto López in its database of “violent Cuban repressors.” (Capture).

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 13 August 2022 — In the midst of the growing reaction against the Cuban government for the deaths in the Matanzas Supertanker Base fire of several young people who were doing military service, regime spokesman Humberto López, in an attempt to appease the indignation of relatives and the solidarity of thousands towards those affected, returned with a new complaint that was orchestrated, as usual, by Cuban State Security.

López took advantage of his space on Noticiero Estelar, the state television prime-time news program, to report on an alleged act of vandalism that occurred in a store in the Diez de Octubre municipality in Havana, where two subjects were allegedly arrested. In addition, he accused several ’influencers’ of being behind the events.

The spokesman said that a Molotov cocktail was thrown at the metal door of a shop of the Caribe chain and also on the route later taken by the attackers’ vehicle. López said that after throwing the cocktail, they traveled nine blocks and parked to prepare another homemade bomb.

The alleged detainees are two unidentified men, one 38-years-old who travels between the U.S. and Cuba, and another 39, a neighbor in the Diez de Octubre municipality. Both were traveling in a vehicle owned by one of their fathers. López stated that the 38-year-old has made 20 trips between the island and the U.S.

López said he had many details about the facts and used the recurring words of the regime that the people are “the real ones affected by all these actions.” He also stated that there are links between the perpetrators in Cuba and “terrorists abroad,” alluding to Cubans residing in the U.S. who are on YouTube. In his speech, he said that he has evidence about the orders that one of them gives to an acquaintance of his.

“We have the messages, we have the calls, we have the actions that were indicated to him from the outside; we have the receipt for the payment of the cards, of what they received for each of the actions. What’s more, I was with him one of the times they contacted him,” López said, while stating that he recorded the Cuban with his consent.

“There is plenty of information, do you want it? Of course you do,” the spokesman added. However, he didn’t present any evidence, which suggests a manipulation of the alleged perpetrators by State Security itself.

While recounting the facts and the alleged links abroad, the official announcer showed fragments of videos showing the faces of three people on YouTube: Alex Otaola, Ultrack and Manuel Milanés, but he never said their names.

In April of last year, the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba (FHRC) included Humberto López in its database of “violent Cuban repressors,” because “he has become the spearhead of these smear campaigns against the opposition and emerging civil society.”

In the national television program he directs and presents, Hacemos Cuba, López defames artists, activists, opponents and independent journalists, accusing them of being “mercenaries” and not inviting them to have the right to reply on his program. Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara, Tania Bruguera, Yoani Sánchez, Luz Escobar, Iliana Hernández, Maykel Castillo Osorbo and many other citizens have been the targets of his media harassment.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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