Protesters arrested as Cuban government “cleans house” ahead of Obama’s historic visit
- Dozens of members of the dissident group Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) were arrested in the hours before President Barack Obama’s historic visit to the Caribbean nation, protesting the lack of democratic reform as Castro’s Cuba reconnects with the U.S.
- Although the group holds weekly protests, this week’s drew a large pro-government counter-demonstration as foreign media descended on Havana ahead of Obama’s visit.
- Obama is expected to meet with dissident leaders during his visit and raise human rights issues, including free expression, during his meeting with President Raúl Castro.
“Everyone wants to know how we Cubans feel about Obama coming. … I’m frankly just happy that giant pothole finally got filled in, so if I have him to thank for it, thanks Obama!”
“‘The oppression is high’: Cuban police break up protest ahead of Obama’s visit” (The Guardian)
“Cuba’s Message to Its People: Be on Your Best Behavior for Obama” (The New York Times)
“Cuba breaks up weekly dissident march hours before Obama visit” (Reuters)
(Image Credit: Ernesto Mastrascusa/EPA, via the Guardian)