Protests, Internet cuts and repression: what happened this May 6 in Cuba

Mexico City, Mexico.- On May 6, it was reported citizen protests in Caimanera, Guantanamo. Hundreds of Cubans took to the streets shouting “Freedom”, “Homeland and Life” and “Long live human rights”. Later they cut the Internet in the town and then in almost the entire country.

With the information we were able to verify, Cubanet builds a brief chronology of what happened on May 6 in Cuba.

1. The protests began around seven at night and lasted for more than an hour.

“First three men came out and began to demonstrate on Carretera street between Martí and Correo, and the people joined them. We walked through Caimanera until we reached the park and passed the Party headquarters,” a protester told Cubanet.

The trigger for the protest, he indicated, is the lack of food and the precarious conditions of the health system.

“We don’t want more speeches, we want food,” a man is heard saying in one of the videos. The other demonstrators around them shout “Long live Human Rights” “Freedom”.

2. Around 8:30 at night, our outlet lost contact with our source in Caimanera. He told us that the group of special forces, known as black berets, had arrived at the moment he lost his Internet connection.

3. Internet and telephone access failures began to be reported throughout Cuba immediately. Some users were able to connect via VPN, while others lost all communication for over two hours.

Indeed, the NetBlock Observatory confirmed that the Cuban regime cut off access to the web. “Data from the network show the collapse of internet traffic in #Cuba amid protests for freedom and human rights around Caimanera, Guantanamo,” detailed.

4. Around 10 pm Cubanet reporters on the island, as well as part of our audience, sent us messages that they could finally access social networks. After putting down the protest in Caimanera, they restored the Internet.

5. Once the connection was restored, several videos on networks how the military violently repressed the people. Men and women were thrown to the ground and beaten. Yeris Curbelo, a reporter for Palenque Visión and a resident of Caimanera, confirmed that the men who started the protest were detained.

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