Political dissident and journalist Guillermo Farinas was arrested by Cuban authorities on Friday, a day before a planned opposition protest banned by the government, WIC News reported.
"They arrested him today. They took him around 2:10 p.m.," Farina's mother Alicia Hernandez told the AFP news agency, according to Al-Jazeera.
Farinas, 59, is a member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, the most active political opposition group in the country, who by proxy planned a peaceful demonstration against the communist regime on Nov. 14 to demand the release of political prisoners on the island.
"On Sunday, Nov. 14, I will carry out a solitary march, on behalf of all citizens who have been deprived of their right by the regime to demonstrate on 15N [Nov. 15]," Cuban dissident Yunior Garcia said in a Facebook post, Reuters reported.
Cuba's foreign minister Bruno Rodriguez convened foreign diplomats in Havana on Wednesday, telling them they have disbarred the protest. The authorities allege the protest organizers are backed by Washington and seek to provoke a government change.
President Miguel Diaz-Canel said his supporters were "ready to defend the revolution" in the face of "an imperial strategy to try to destroy the revolution."
"We are calm, sure of ourselves, but attentive and alert, and we are also prepared to defend the revolution, to face any interventionist action against our country," Diaz-Canel said in a television appearance on Friday, per Al-Jazeera. "We are a revolution open to dialogue, to debate," he added, "but we are a society closed to pressure, closed to blackmail and closed to foreign interference."
Several groups have begun scaling back or modifying plans for a unified march on Nov. 15, calling for supporters to dress in white but to refrain from marching together, according to Reuters.
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