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This Sunday, during the Angelus presided over by Pope Francis in St. Peter Square, agents of the Pontifical Gendarmerie snatched a Cuban flag from a parishioner praying on his knees and in silence for freedom for his country.
Fear of Future Demonstrations in Cuba
CiberCuba reported that hundreds of Cubans were planning to participate in the Angelus on Sunday to peacefully draw attention to Cuban political prisoners and show support to the march for freedom scheduled for November 15 on the island.
But the Pontifical Gendarmerie did not allow them to go in, arguing that they had been warned of a possible attack on the traditional ceremony by the Cubans.
According to some participants, Vatican security set up metal barriers to prevent the Cubans from entering, only allowing 50 of them to go in, but warning them that no chants, signs, or flags would be allowed.
After learning about the decision of Vatican authorities, the Cubans decided to remain there protesting peacefully. “We are all going to stay here as a sign of protest, praying on our knees for the Cuban people,” said one of the Cubans.
One young man who allowed in, knelt down to pray holding the flag of his country up high, in silence, and suddenly a group of guards approached him and snatched the flag from him.
Those present voiced their rejection for this action and explained that they only wanted to fly the flag of their country up high as a sign of prayer and to bring visibility to the situation in the island
After demonstrations against the regime shook the island in July, leaving one man dead and more than one thousand arrested, fear of repression in view of November 15th call for demonstration has increased.