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State-aligned Cuban TV host cautions against ‘repression’ of protests

A Cuban TV program, state-run like all others in the communist country, has cautioned against responding to protests with “repression.”

For weeks now, Cubans have had to deal with regular cuts, sometimes lasting hours at a time, due to generation failures and maintenance work on thermoelectric plants
For weeks now, Cubans have had to deal with regular cuts, sometimes lasting hours at a time, due to generation failures and maintenance work on thermoelectric plants - Copyright AFP Bulent KILIC
For weeks now, Cubans have had to deal with regular cuts, sometimes lasting hours at a time, due to generation failures and maintenance work on thermoelectric plants - Copyright AFP Bulent KILIC

A Cuban TV program, state-run like all others in the communist country, has cautioned against responding to protests on the island with “repression,” in a rare deviation from the official media line.

In a country where dissent is quashed, the “Con filo” (cutting edge) program urged “public servants” to instead negotiate with Cubans protesting disruptive power cuts.

Authorities should “talk with the people, with transparency and sensitivity, without fear or reluctance,” host Michel Torres said late Thursday, calling for “zero repression and much dialogue.”

While protests are rare in Cuba, dozens of demonstrations have been held in recent weeks — almost daily — against blackouts that can last for as long as 12 hours.

The cuts are caused by electricity production failures and maintenance work on thermoelectric plants.

Some 1,300 people were arrested after spontaneous and unprecedented protests broke out countrywide in July 2021 against poverty and a lack of civil liberties in the one-party state.

Hundreds of those detained, including minors, have since been given sometimes lengthy jail sentences for crimes such as “public disorder,” “contempt” or “sedition.”

AFP
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