If we know that some of the biggest and most important demonstrations in Washington DC only get a smidgen of news coverage, then it’s no surprise that things deserving at least that much get no coverage at all. Last Saturday, May 22nd was one of those demonstrations brought to you by an IPS exclusive.
Because the Cuban Interest Section (CIS) is located here, DC has seen this one before and it’s usually a fairly interesting spectacle.
Three (3) anti-Castro Cubans protested across the street from the Interest Section to “honor” the birthday of Jose Marti and to protest the Cuban government. In response two or three dozen people opposed to US policy toward Cuba and in solidarity with the Cuban people counter demonstrated on the other side, in front of the CIS. Apparently the petition that had circulated toward the end of last year, “Acting on Our Conscience: A Declaration of African American Support for the Civil Rights Struggle in Cuba” didn’t affect the support from the significantly African participation of the counter-demonstrators. The whole group, in fact, was reasonably multi-ethnic.
The anti-Castro Cubans say that Cuba is a tyrannical dictatorship, claiming that hundreds of political prisoners languish in prison there. They cited the example of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who died in prison recently due to a hunger strike. The counter demonstrators expressed gratitude for Cuba’s humanitarian assistance around the world and condemned the US for harboring Cuban terrorists and jailing of Cuban fighters of terrorism.
Take a listen to this to get a flavor for the counter demonstration. And we would be remiss if we didn’t provide you with something from the other side (MP3).