In the aftermath of President Obama’s visit to Cuba (he’s now moved on to Argentina), ESPN stayed behind to report on the historic baseball game that the President watched with Cuban dictator Raul Castro. (The MLB’s Tampa Bay Devil Rays defeated the Cuban National Team 4-1 in Havana.) It was about this game that ESPN journalist, Bob Ley, was talking, when he was interrupted by several Cuban nationals (only one of which was seen on camera).
It turns out that the men were political dissidents protesting the cruel Castro regime and the repressive Cuban government. That isn’t surprising; many Cubans detest their government and if not for the abusive repression they risk, would likely move to overthrow their leaders at the first available moment. What may shock and surprise Americans is the speed and violence with which government goons cracked down on the demonstrators.
Ley notes how amazed he was at the Cuban police’s response time. What he seems to not understand is that the government has likely been watching he, his crew and every other media outlet in Cuba very closely. Indeed, Ley sounds astonished as he notes that 3 marked cars and a number of plain-clothes police officers immediately arrived on the scene. The reason they reacted so swiftly was because they were already there waiting and watching for exactly such a scenario.
A note about the protest itself. Notice that there is no physical altercation between the demonstrator and Ley, nor does the protester ever make any threatening motions towards the ESPN employee. In fact, the most physical action that is taken is that the protesters toss a handful of leaflets into the air.
But for these “crimes” the men are physically manhandled and arrested. As Ley notes near the end, the arrest seemed more violent than necessary, to which I would say… no arrest was necessary at all.
As we saw in the joint press conference days earlier, Cuba is a place where there exists no free press. And now, this video proves that Cuba is still a violent and repressive place where the people have no freedom of speech, assembly or thought. This should be all any American needs to know about Obama’s Cuba today. And it should sicken us all.President Barack Obama