Cuba violently cracks down on protests days after Obama visit

Special to WorldTribune.com

The lasting impression President Barack Obama made on Cuba’s communist despots lasted all of two days.

On March 22, Obama addressed Cubans about the importance of human rights and peaceful dialogue. On March 24, pro-democracy demonstrators in Havana were savagely beaten and arrested.

Cuban police arrest a pro-democracy protester on March 24. /Twitter
Cuban police arrest a pro-democracy protester on March 24. /Twitter

The protesters were brutalized by Cuban police just three blocks from the Grand Theater of Havana where Obama had spoken live to the Cuban nation.

A reporter on the scene said that security forces were not deterred by dozens of protesters who were recording on their mobile devices.

“One protester I witnessed appeared to be running away from the police response as muscular men in guayabera shirts chased him down, pinned him to the ground and then punched him repeatedly in front of hundreds of their fellow citizens as well as foreign tourists and this reporter.”

“Plainclothes officers punched and kicked a defenseless man who had already been pinned to the ground by another officer; screams could be heard as another demonstrator was dragged into a police car that accelerated dangerously in the crowded street.”

An Australian tourist said protesters were “saying things like ‘Down with Fidel,’ ” and were handing out pro-democracy pamphlets before police agents swept in and cleaned the street of the pamphlets as quickly as the demonstrators were handing them out.

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