The Cuban Regime Cuts Internet Access to Prevent New Protests

The demonstrations in Cerro and Arroyo Naranjo joined forces in the evening at San Francisco de Paula in San Miguel del Padrón. (Collage)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 29 September 2022 — The Cuban regime cut off access to the Internet on Thursday night after the protests continued in some parts of Havana. The demonstrations of Cerro and Arroyo Naranjo joined forces in the evening at San Francisco de Paula, in the municipality of San Miguel del Padrón.

Mainly women and young people sat down on a street in San Francisco de Paula and banged on pots and pans, protesting the lack of power, which has been missing since the collapse of the National Electricity System after the passage of Hurricane Ian.

Residents of the capital confirm to 14ymedio that the government has militarized many streets, such as the main avenues of Centro Habana. A [citizen-erected] barricade is also reported in Calzada del Cerro and Boyeros, where “they are throwing sticks and stones” a source close to the police said. Some uniformed men have alerted drivers to be careful if they go to that part of the capital.

The intersection of Calzada del Cerro and Boyeros Avenue is one of the busiest in Havana. In addition, Boyeros is one of the main access roads for the Plaza de la Revolución complex, where the headquarters of the Cuban Presidency and Government and the Central Committee of the Communist Party are located. It’s an area that is always guarded.

Click on the blue bird to see video in this tweet.

In the afternoon, hundreds of people had also taken to the streets to protest peacefully in the Calzada del Cerro, where they prevented the passage of vehicles, and in some neighborhoods of the municipality of Arroyo Naranjo.

Before the Internet blackout, users on social networks were able to share from Cuba some videos and photos that registered the mobilization of repressive forces in various parts of the country, as happened after the protests of July 11, 2021. Some military vehicles sounded the horn to attract attention along with the sirens of the police patrols that were part of the motorcade.

“We want light, we want light,” chanted the clapping crowd, gathered in Cerro, between San Pablo and Auditor, as can be seen in videos disseminated on social networks. Several vehicles of the National Revolutionary Police guarded them, without intervening.

A witness from the crowd, a local resident, assures this newspaper that immediately, a crane appeared to replace a light pole that had fallen. “People have already learned that to solve the problems you have to protest,” this source argues.

However, after 6:00 pm, another resident of that area of the capital confirmed to 14ymedio that a part of the road remained closed because of the protests: “The demonstration continues but we still don’t have power.” Traffic remains rerouted.

In the municipality of Arroyo Naranjo, in neighborhoods such as Párraga and La Palma, there were also protests. Several users on social networks shared videos and photos of what was happening, along with hashtags such as #BastaYaDeMentiras [Enough Already with the Lies] #DíazCanelSingao [Díaz-Canel Motherfucker] and #PatriayVida [Homeland and Life].

Click on the blue bird to see video in this tweet.

In all the materials shared on social networks, many women and mothers are seen, carrying on their shoulders the suffering from the lack of electricity, with the elderly and children in their care.

A photograph taken in La Palma shows two huge rows of police patrols on each side of a road. “Remember: the blockade is from the PCC [Cuban Communist Party]. There is no electricity, there is no oil, there is no food, but there are resources to repress,” the Cuban journalist based in Mexico, José Raúl Gallego, posted when sharing the photo.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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