In the midst of the massive pro-democracy protests in communist Cuba, security forces there reportedly have arrested a social media influencer on live TV.
Vocal Cuban government critic and independent journalist Dina Stars, who has close to 100,000 Instagram followers and nearly 40,000 more on YouTube, plus 26,000 on Twitter, was allegedly detained while she was providing an update on the situation during a remote interview with Spain’s Cuatro TV network.
Stars had previously posted at least one YouTube video where she filmed the street demonstrations in the Marxist country where free speech and civil liberties are, for the most part, nonexistent.
The interview on Tuesday afternoon was derailed when an off-camera friend informed Stars that the cops had arrived at her home.
According to a translation provided by the U.K.’s The Sun, Stars then told very concerned anchor Marta Flich that “Security is out there… I have to go out…I make the government responsible for whatever happens to me. They’re forcing me to go with them. I have to go.”
Media strategist Giancarlo Sopo, who has been closely following events in Cuba and providing regular updates, shared this additional footage via Twitter that purports to be officers escorting Stars to their vehicle to transport her to the police station.
— Giancarlo Sopo (@GiancarloSopo) July 13, 2021
In a tweet Tuesday, Stars informed her followers that “I have just been called on the phone by people from the MININT [Ministry of the Interior of the Republic of Cuba] who at the time summoned me to ‘meet.’ I said no, they told me that they were going to give me a legal summons. As soon as I get the summons I will attend with my head held high, I have nothing to hide. I keep you up to top,” Fox News reported.
It’s not clear as of this writing whether Stars is still in the custody of the government.
Authorities in Cuba have arrested an estimated 150 people so far (at least) as the protests continue, with the actual whereabouts of many of them unknown. In the meantime, the regime has reportedly cut off access to major social media platforms.
Lawmakers such as U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), and U.S. Reps. Maria Salazar (R-Fla.) and Nicole Malliotakis (R-N.Y.) among many others, have called out the Biden administration for its perceived lukewarm and/or overdue support for the Libertad movement in Cuba. Democrat member of the far-left “Squad” have, so far, been largely quiet during the crisis.
Rubio called out a State Department official for claiming the protests were merely COVID related rather than a response to 62 years of repressive socialism. And The New York Times, while also reciting the COVID talking point, has amplified the Cuban government’s claim that the country’s economic instability is the result of the American trade embargo.
— Jack Furnari (@JackBPR) July 12, 2021
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