Under a strong police operation, with restricted internet access and the streets patrolled by police and military, this is how the day was experienced this Saturday in Nuevitas, Camagüey. The city saw two consecutive protests last week against lengthy power cuts.
The Justice 11J organization reported the “violent” arrest of José Armando Torrente this Saturday for his alleged participation in the demonstrations in the Pastelillo neighborhood. The organization warns that “there is audiovisual evidence of the attack on her 11-year-old daughter, Gerlin Torrente Echeverría,” and another girl who accompanied her on Friday night, when the police repressed the protesters.
Justice 11J also points out that Gerlin’s mother was violently detained but released on the same Saturday night. Meanwhile, the police have questioned the young Fray Claro Valladares, 21, for his participation in the demonstrations and also the 21-year-old girl, known as the girlfor broadcasting the protests through Facebook.
On the other hand, arrests have also been reported in the town of Camalote, 52 kilometers from Nuevitas, always in the province of Camagüey, where last Friday the inhabitants joined the protests against the blackouts. The authorities have avoided cutting off the electricity supply this Saturday night in the municipality, as confirmed by neighbors. 14ymedio.
Although the organization Justice 11J still verifies the information of the detainees, in social networks They have published a list of at least six people for having participated in the protests on Friday. Among these arrests is that of the young Yasmani García Ramírez, who appears in several videos speaking to the rest of the protesters.
“It is worth fighting for a humble people that is paying for the blackouts in Cuba, suffering because their money is not worth buying in a store, that is true, what everyone should know: we are experiencing human misery… we are the first most miserable country in the world. We are all here claiming our right as people, as citizens,” the young man is heard saying in a video, whom they identify as Yasmani García, and ends up shouting: “Díaz-Canel, singao! “.
After his arrest, a video of the young man’s mother, Rogelina Ramírez, who confirms her son’s detention and points out that he only claimed his rights. “If my son only defends children, youth, that youth who, like him, have rights. Children in this country, at 7 years old, no longer have milk. At 7 years old they stop eating breakfast and only have a package of coffee, mixed with seeds, which is what they can consume before going to school,” says the woman.
Yasmani García’s mother also criticizes the inequalities in food and that the majority do not have access to buy in a store in Freely Convertible Currency (MLC). “There is always a part of society that has been benefited, benefited from that money that comes in from outside.”
According to the names shared on social networks, Michel Escalera Ramírez, Kenay Perdomo Osorio, Héctor Curbelo, José Antonio Rodríguez Vega, Richard Conté Bigeltaf, as well as an unidentified woman who would have been beaten for demanding the release of her son, have also been arrested.
The demonstrations in Nuevitas began on Thursday night to the cry of “the people are tired”. Hundreds of neighbors took to the streets to shout slogans of freedom and demands for electricity. That day they also threatened to return to the streets if the authorities cut the power again. With the light of the cell phones on, that town registered the largest demonstration since last 11J, which it was repeated on Friday night, but this time with police presence.
Since Friday, the residents of Nuevitas reported the militarization of the place. “The whole day they filled the town with black berets who passed with the vehicles slowly down each street to intimidate us,” denounced a young protester from anonymity, last Saturday.
Justice 11J reported 59 blackout protests in different towns between June 14 and August 4, throughout Cuba. The energy crisis that the Island is going through has been increasing since June and, as of July, electricity cuts extend between 10 and 14 hours a day.
The provincial government of Camagüey reported on a new blackout schedule in the province of up to six hours per block. For this Sunday, the state-owned company Unión Eléctrica forecasts a deficit of at least 34% in electricity generation.
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