Hundreds of activists and pets march in Cuba against animal abuse

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Hundreds of activists and pets march in Cuba against animal abuse

8 May 2019
News
Hundreds of Cubans have marched through Havana calling for an end to animal cruelty, in what organizers believe was the first independent march authorized by the one-party state.

Accompanied by their pets, the activists carried placards calling for an animal protection law and chanted “down with animal abuse” as they walked through the central district of Vedado on Sunday to the surprise of curious onlookers.

That the communist government authorized ordinary citizens to stage the march could point to an expanding tolerance for Cubans to express their views and even make demands, albeit still within limits, analysts and participants said.

Authorities still crack down on opposition attempts to hold demonstrations and detain dissidents who they say are subversives in the pay of the United States, however.

It was ironic that the first authorized independent march would be in support of animal and not human rights, but it could be a pilot test for greater freedoms, some march participants said.