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Cuba’s gov’t celebrates restored diplomatic relations with U.S. by cracking down on free speech demonstrators

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By Doug Powers  •  December 30, 2014 08:41 PM

**Written by Doug Powers

Earlier this month President Obama ordered a restoration of full diplomatic relations with Cuba, and the brothers Castro are obviously very concerned about proving themselves worthy:

Cuban police have detained at least three leading dissidents ahead of a planned free-speech demonstration in the Plaza de la Revolución.

The arrests of Antonio Rodiles, Eliezer Avila and Reinaldo Escobar look set to be the biggest test yet of diplomatic relations with the US since they were restored earlier this month after 53 years of tension.

The crackdown came around lunchtime on Tuesday, just hours before local performance artist Tania Bruguera was due to stage an open-microphone event in Havana’s most politically sensitive square.

Police had denied Bruguera a permit for the “Yo tambien exijo,” [I also demand]” demonstration and warned activists not to participate, but several had indicated their willingness to participate in this test case for public dissent.

The authorities did not give them a chance.

Maybe the Cuban government is still using the excuse that such controls are necessary to keep all areas clear for the day Michael Moore shows up to take advantage of that country’s superior health care system.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

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