Cuban protesters began to smuggle videos out of the island at a more rapid pace on Thursday after an internet shutdown showing police special forces and plain-clothes paramilitary attacking unarmed civilians.
Protests erupted in dozens of locations throughout Cuba on Sunday demanding an end to the communist regime. For much of Sunday, Cubans used their limited access to the internet to flood social media outlets with images showing thousands of people marching in Havana, Santiago de Cuba, Holguín, Camagüey, and other major cities, as well as growing assemblies in rural areas against the regime. In response, the Castro regime shut down access to the internet nationwide, forcing Cubans to resort to finding functional VPNs or smuggling videos out of the country. The latest round of footage emerging from Cuba shows not just protests, but disproportionate violence by police officers against people who appear unarmed and not participating in any violent behavior.
Breitbart News obtained a video on Thursday taken early this week of police clearly shooting live ammunition into a crowd of protesters. The Assembly of the Cuban Resistance, a coalition of organizations in Florida and the island seeking an end to the Castro regime, confirmed the authenticity of the video and identified the person filming only as a member of the resistance. The Assembly, for the safety of the person recording and those in the footage, did not identify a specific location within Cuba where the attacks occurred.
The video, taken from a nearby residential balcony, shows uniformed officers opening fire at people at a distance. A voice off-camera shouts, “They’re shooting at the people!” and, shortly after, “They’re throwing rocks! Don’t open!”
“People, please, don’t open the windows,” a woman says off-screen as a crowd appears and begins hurling rocks in response to the gunshots.Assembly of the Cuban Resistance
Images of growing numbers of repressive forces on the street, both uniformed and otherwise, increased on Thursday. The Spanish news portal Diario de Cuba confirmed the legitimacy of a video on Thursday, similarly taken from a balcony or rooftop, of several buses driving into Havana. As their passengers dismounted, the camera revealed them to be armed plain-clothes paramilitaries, carrying clubs, metal rods, and other blunt objects.
La orden d combate fue dada. Espontáneamente, el pueblo revolucionario c montó en transporte público, agarró ls palos torneados q encontró a mano y fueron en caravana-ordenados y con marcialidad- al encuentro d ese otro pueblo desorganizado q demandaba comida y medicinas pic.twitter.com/6Bv712yRZw
— GuajiroUniversitario (@GuajiroU) July 14, 2021
Similarly, the U.S.-based Radio Televisión Martí reported Thursday afternoon that in Camagüey, a heartland state far to the east of Havana, eyewitnesses say police have flooded the streets with plain-clothes officers, armed and prepared to attack anyone that dares speak an ill word of the government in public. An eyewitness from Santiago de Cuba, on the far east side of the island, said police are using their uniforms and patrol cars to create a “constant” intimidating presence.
President Miguel Díaz-Canel, the current face of the Castro regime, issued an “order of combat” to all citizens in the country to violently attack anyone suspected of participating in protests during a speech on Sunday.
“We are calling all the revolutionaries of our country, all the communists, to go to the streets anywhere that these provocations are happening today, from now on through all these days,” Díaz-Canel said at the time.
Reports in Cuban dissident media suggested police also began door-to-door raids in major metropolitan areas where protests had been especially popular on Sunday, dragging unarmed civilians out of their homes and to unknown locations without due process or presenting even the barest evidence that the person was implicated in the crime. In Cárdenas, a city about an hour east of Havana, civilians recorded a police attack on the home of Daniel Cárdenas, who protested peacefully in a march Sunday. Video showed a special forces “black beret” officer break into the home with an attack dog and shoot the man in front of his wife and two two-year-old children. Police then dragged him out of his home, leaving a pool of blood behind.
The Cuba-based independent outlet 14 y Medio reported on Thursday that sources nationwide were warning of “great mobilizations in work centers” of civilians to form “rapid response brigades” to beat and intimidate protesters. The Cuban Communist Party has for years used civilians in what is known as “acts of repudiation” – the forming of mobs to insult known dissidents outside of their homes and vandalize their property. The “rapid response brigades,” the Cuban journalists reported, appear to be an attempt to create roving “acts of repudiation” to target as many protesters as possible in minimal time.
The 14 y Medio outlet spoke to a woman who worked at a textile company who said that her coworkers organized an act of repudiation against her after she refused to participate in violence against protesters. She also said that she immediately lost her job.
Another phenomenon the outlet documented on Wednesday is the organization by Communist Party members of counter-rallies called “acts of Revolutionary reaffirmation.” Describing one such act, the newspaper said that a Havana park now boasted large speakers broadcasting communist songs by pro-regime artists. An eyewitness also spotted a “Jeep” with large speakers driving around Havana neighborhoods urging mass assemblies in favor of communism, inciting superspreader events as the Castro regime documents record-high numbers of Chinese coronavirus cases.