Cuba: Women, Children Protest with Human Chain Across Havana Highway

( Breitbart )

A large group of mainly women and children formed a human chain to block a major highway outside of Havana, Cuba, on Tuesday to protest the island’s poor living conditions, including worsening power outages, caused by the corruption and mismanagement of the country’s communist regime, the news website Cubanet reported on Tuesday.

Eyewitness video of the protest posted online by the Cuban human rights activist Rosa María Payá showed numerous Cubans, mostly women and children, forming a human chain that closed sections of a national highway outside of Havana on August 2.

🚨SUCEDIENDO AHORA El pueblo está intentando cerrar la autopista a la altura del primer anillo de La Habana y están exigiendo ver a Díaz-Canel. Atención, Castro y Canel, hay muchos niños, no repriman! #SOSCUBA🇺 pic.twitter.com/K2m9Avzbqo — Rosa María Payá A. (@RosaMariaPaya) August 2, 2022

Cubanet detailed the protesters’ reasons for trying to raise awareness through the highway shutdown on Tuesday, writing, “In the last month, protests have multiplied in Cuba due to the frequent power outages, the shortage of food and medicine, the housing situation, [and] the repression and the lack of basic rights.”

Cuban authorities detained many of the women involved in Tuesday’s highway protest hours after the demonstration, forcing them to gather inside a nearby public school, the Madrid-based newspaper Diario de Cuba revealed.

“The Cuban mothers who blocked a highway in Arroyo Naranjo, Havana, on Tuesday ended up in a primary school, where they were taken by the authorities to ‘address’ their claims,” the newspaper reported on August 3.

Cuban authorities told local media that the women had blocked traffic on a public road, which is an illegal act in many parts of the world, including in the U.S. The authorities did not say if they planned to arrest the protesters but did mention that they had deployed “several officials and law enforcement officials” to the scene of the demonstration, according to Diaro de Cuba.

The newspaper further revealed on Wednesday that Cuban authorities detained a Cuban reporter named Jose Raul Gallego who live-streamed the highway protest via his cell phone.

Cubans have long suffered from rolling blackouts directly caused by the island nation’s aging state power grid. Cuba has been pulled into poverty in recent years by the corrupt hands of Havana’s communist regime, which is responsible for severe economic mismanagement and plundering of state coffers. The government’s lack of funds is demonstrated by Havana’s inability to conduct basic infrastructure repairs on the state grid that would reduce or eliminate the need for regular power outages.

These blackouts, though well established, have worsened in recent weeks, forcing Cubans to take to the streets to demand relief. The latest electricity outages have spanned nationwide, as demonstrated by anti-government protests in both eastern Santiago de Cuba and western Havana — two cities located on opposite sides of the Caribbean island — this week.

“Residents of eastern Santiago de Cuba, the nation’s second-largest city, took up the streets to protest, espousing chants against the Castro regime such as ‘basta ya‘ (enough), ‘pongan la corriente, pinga‘ (“turn on the electricity, damn it!’), and ‘Díaz-Canel, singao‘ (‘asshole Díaz-Canel,’ a reference to the island’s figurehead president Miguel Díaz-Canel),” Breitbart News reported of demonstrations that occurred on August 1.

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