Cuba warns protest organiser of potential 'consequences'Friday, October 22, 2021
Havana , Cuba (AFP) — Havana's public prosecutor's office yesterday publicly warned the organiser of a banned rally that he faces “criminal consequences” if the march for change and against violence goes ahead.
Yunior Garcia, a 39-year-old actor and playwright, has vowed to protest peacefully on November 15, come what may, in the only one-party Communist-ruled state in the Americas.
Yesterday he was called to the capital's provincial public prosecutor's office for a meeting about the planned demonstration.
There, an unequivocal message was addressed to “those that have been warned about the legal-criminal consequences of not complying with the decision notified to them and carrying out the aforementioned marches”, Yaumara Angulo, Havana's deputy public prosecutor, told reporters.
Garcia, the leader of the Archipelago group that is promoting the march, remains unbowed, though.
“It is my decision [to march] despite the threats I received today,” he said as he left the public prosecutor's office, adding that he considered it “a direct threat by the state”.
On October 12, Cuba's Government banned the protest claiming it was a “provocation” supported by the US Government with “the clear intention of promoting a change in Cuba's political system”.
“Frankly, I don't think there is a single institution in the country where I was born that takes our side, the citizens',” said Garcia.
“We are neither mercenaries nor receiving orders from anyone.”
He said he would refuse any legal representation if arrested.
“I reject any form of defence, this wouldn't be a legitimate process.”
Organisers want to stage demonstrations in six of the island's 15 provinces.
It comes three months after unprecedented anti-government protests that erupted on July 11 in around 50 Cuban cities.
The subsequent government crackdown left one dead, dozens injured and more than 1,000 people detained, several hundred of whom remain behind bars.