President Obama went sightseeing in Old Havana, savoring theadulation of pro-regime crowds welcoming him on streets that had been whitewashed for his visit. But a few hours before his arrival, the true nature of the dictatorship he is embracing reared its ugly head, as hundreds of uniformed security personnel attacked and arrested peaceful protesters leaving Palm Sunday Mass.
A group of dissidents known as the Ladies in White was met outside Havana’s Santa Rita church by an organized crowd of Castro loyalists shouting insults and revolutionary slogans. Then, The Post reports, Castro’s secret police pounced on the women and “half-dragged, half-carried them to waiting buses,” while men marching with the women “were chased, thrown to the curb and handcuffed.” As they were arrested, the crowd chanted “This is Fidel’s street!”
This was a slap in the face to President Obama — a display intended to send a clear message that, despite his normalization of relations, nothing has changed in Cuba.
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