‘The Communists have lost control’: First Cuban demonstrator is killed after police ‘open fire on peaceful protest’ while anti-government reporter is arrested live on TV as unrest continues

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  • Diubis Laurencio Tejeda, 36, died Monday in a suburb of Havana during a clash between protesters and police
  • Witnesses claimed security forces had responded to demonstrators with gunfire after they threw rocks
  • Social media activist Dina Stars was arrested live on TV by Cuban security forces on Tuesday
  • Cuban government launched crackdown on protests after large-scale demonstrations erupted on Sunday

Thousands of Cubans took to the streets from Havana to Santiago on Sunday chanting ‘down with the dictatorship’ in the biggest anti-government demonstrations on the Communist-run island in decades.

It did not say what was the cause the death. No other deaths and injuries have been officially confirmed so far.

Hundreds had taken to streets in La Guinera, shouting slogans like ‘down with communism,’ and ‘freedom for the people of Cuba,’ according to two residents and video footage seen by Reuters. 

Some started throwing rocks at security forces who eventually responded with gunfire, said Herrera. 

A witness saw dozens of people carrying sticks departing La Guinera late Monday. 

Activists say the government is using so-called rapid-reaction brigades – government-organized bands of civilian recruits – to counter protesters.

The protest in La Guinera was spearheaded by ‘antisocial and criminal elements’ that had tried to reach the police station with the aim of attacking its officials and damaging infrastructure, said the state-run Cuban News Agency.

When security forces stopped them, they vandalized homes, set containers on fire, and damaged the suburb’s electricity wiring, attacking officials with stones and other objects, the agency said. 

On Tuesday, Stars – who has been vocal in her criticism of the government – was arrested while speaking about the protests from her home in Cuba.

During the interview, her friend is seen telling her that the police were waiting outside her home and forced her to end the interview. 

‘Security is out there… I have to go out,’ Stars told host Marta Flich. 

As Stars stands up, she said: ‘I make the government responsible for whatever happens to me.’

Stars returns moments later to the video interview to tell Flich that she is being taken by the police officers to the station. She was unsure whether she was being arrested but said she was being taken alone without her friends. 

‘They’re taking me to {police HQ]. Live via Spain, I will hold the government responsible for whatever happens to me,’ she informed viewers.

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