A photojournalist from The Associated Press was beaten by officers in Communist Cuba while he covered the freedom protests this weekend.
While capturing images of the protest against the regime from Havana, Ramon Espinosa was accosted by Cuban police officers on Sunday and left bloodied.
Photos from fellow journalists captured the attack, Business Insider reported:
AP photographer Ramon Espinosa can be seen in a photo taken by AFP photographer Adalberto Roque on Sunday struggling with a police officer while surrounded by a group of people.
Another photo, also taken by Roque, showed Espinosa with injuries covering his face and a camera still in his hand. Roque wrote that Espinosa was “attacked” by police during the demonstrations.
Cubans took to the streets on Sunday to protest against the repressive communist regime, demanding their freedom.
The New York Times called the demonstrations “astonishing.”
“In a country known for repressive crackdowns on dissent, the rallies were widely viewed as astonishing,” the Times report said. “Activists and analysts called it the first time that so many people had openly protested against the Communist government since the so-called Maleconazo uprising, which exploded in the summer of 1994 into a huge wave of Cubans leaving the country by sea.”
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), a Cuban American, spoke about the protests on Monday, emphasizing the failure of socialism and communism.
“In 62 years of communist tyranny on the island of Cuba, we have never seen, there’s never been, what now is up to 40 cities in which people took to the streets organically, unorganized, grassroots, to ask for the end of that tyranny,” Rubio said.
“The first lesson we need to take away from it is that Marxism, socialism, doesn’t work,” the senator asserted. “The way socialism, the way Marxism has always worked, the way it’s always empowered itself, is it goes to the people and immediately divides them. It says there is an oppressor class and that there is this victim class and these evil oppressors, capitalists, in the case of socialism or traditional Marxism, they oppress the victims.”
“Socialism and Marxism have done in Cuba what it has done everywhere in the world that it’s been tried,” Rubio stated. “It has failed. It has failed. They gave up their freedom, or they were told, ‘Give up your freedom in exchange for a world-class health care system.’ It’s not a world-class health care system. In fact, it’s a health care system that does not even have the ability to deal with COVID at its very basic level.”
“[The Cuban government] says, ‘Give up your freedom for economic security.’ What economic security? People are hungry; homes are crumbling,” continued the Republican. “There is no economy. There is no real economy in Cuba. ‘Give up your freedom and you’ll have an education. Free education for everybody.’ That education, number one, you’re a doctor. You can drive a taxi cab in Cuba and make more money. Or number two, you get sent, forced, to go overseas and work basically on slave wages, no pay — barely any pay at all.”