Cuban govt cracks down on dissidents who oppose new Constitution
As Cuba prepares for an upcoming final vote on proposed changes to the Constitution, state security agents have cracked down on activists by carrying out multiple arrests and raiding the homes of those who have called for a NO vote on the referendum.
Security forces on Monday detained about 20 members of the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU) opposition group, including its leader, José Daniel Ferrer. That is the latest chapter in the unequal battle between the government-supported YES vote on the referendum and those pushing for a NO vote.
“During the detention they punched me in the stomach, took me outside with handcuffs put on really tight, shoved me around and hit me on the head a couple of times,” Ferrer said in a phone interview after he was released later Monday. “They told me clearly that it was a response to the campaign against the constitution.”
He added that since there was no guarantee for the integrity of the vote, “I started a hunger strike.”