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The Miami Herald earlier this week reported on a large anti-Castro protest Tuesday in the city of Holguin, in eastern Cuba:

At least 500 Cubans staged a rare street protest and clash with police in the eastern city of Holguin after municipal authorities confiscated household goods being sold in an open-air market by the island’s nascent private business owners, according to witnesses.

“This has been something immense. In my 31 years, I never saw anything like this,” said Holguin business owner Wilian Zaldivar Perez, who added that patrons in a restaurant near the protest also threw rocks at the police during the confrontation Tuesday.

Communist-ruled Cuba has not seen street protests of any significant size since 1994, when thousands of people rioted in downtown Havana amid a false rumor that the ferry that takes people across Havana Bay would take anyone to South Florida.

The protest Tuesday was the result of “the dissatisfaction that has been accumulating” with the Raúl Castro regime and his halting economic reforms, said Eduardo Cardet, an Holguin physician and member of the opposition Christian Liberation Movement.

“It’s no longer the opposition protesting. Now, it’s the people,” Cardet said in a recorded statement posted on YouTube. Although many Cubans have argued that protests achieve nothing, he added, the marchers in Holguin “know that it’s worth protesting.”

Protests like this have sparked recent revolutions in Tunisia and elsewhere. It remains to be seen whether this protest signals the start of a larger uprising that could end with the end of the Castro regime. That will be up to the Cuban people.

But as the promise of Raul Castro's "reforms," such as those allowing private vendors to set up shop, fall short, discontent will rise. Fustrated Cubans will seek an outlet, like they did in Holguin, perhaps setting off a chain of events the dictatorship will not be able to control.

Translating Cuba posted a video of the protest:


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