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Next Cuban protest blocked by army

Regional 12 Oct, 2021 Follow News

Cubans protested spontaneously in July

Cuba has announced it will conduct annual military exercises on the date of planned human rights protests around the country.

Armed forces will conduct annual military exercises on Nov. 18-19, leading up to a day of civilian defence preparedness on Nov. 20.

That is the same date dissident groups are planning nationwide demonstrations calling for civil liberties, including the right to peaceful protest and an amnesty for imprisoned government opponents.

The largest protests the island had seen in decades broke out for two days in July, resulting in hundreds of arrests, one death and calls for US intervention by some Cuban Americans.

Well-known government opponents are among those who remain behind bars following the unrest, with some facing long sentences.

The upcoming protests are being planned on Facebook by the Archipelago group, which says it has some 20,000 members, many of whom live outside the country.

The government’s defence preparations are part of a military doctrine known as the ‘War of the Whole People’ designed to respond to a US invasion.

The last day features thousands of civilians conducting exercises including evacuating work centres, tending to the wounded, engaging in weapons training, and training in logistical support such as making bullets and cooking.

Playwright Yunior Garcia, administrator of Archipelago and leader of the planned protests, tweeted that the date of the military exercises showed the government intended to “to further militarise the country” on Nov. 20.

Unlike during the July unrest, which was largely spontaneous, the group has requested permission for marches in various cities on that date, to which the government has yet to respond.

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