In Cuba, opposition figures have been targeted by protestors preparing to celebrate Fidel Castro’s 79th birthday today. Hundreds of people demonstrated outside the home of leading dissident, Vladimiro Roca, in response to the Cuban President’s call to block opposition activity. The angry crowd called Roca a “lackey” on the payroll of the United States.
This protestor accused Roca of being an “anti-revolutionary who wants to provoke disorder.” Roca later described the demonstration as “a fascist lynching from the days of Hitler and Mussolini.”. Elsewhere another rally prevented fellow dissident Leon Padron from leaving his home.
Some three weeks ago, police rounded up 33 dissidents, nine of whom are still being held without charges. Days later, in a speech to mark the birth of his revolutionary movement in 1953, Castro warned that “traitors and mercenaries” will be met with patriotic counter-demonstrations every time they overstep their bounds.