“Just hours before President Obama landed Sunday in Cuba for his historic visit to the communist island,” USA Today wrote yesterday, “Cuban authorities arrested more than 50 dissidents who were marching to demand improved human rights,” adding:
Members of the group, known as the Ladies in White, are used to the routine. They march each Sunday after Mass at a church in a suburb of Havana called Miramar and usually get arrested and detained for hours or days.
USA Today offers a video of the arrests to put an inflection point on the group’s grievance:
“For us, it’s very important that we do this so President Obama knows that there are women here fighting for the liberty of political prisoners,” [founding member Berta] Soler said before being arrested. “And he needs to know that we are here being repressed simply for exercising our right to express ourselves and manifest in a non-violent way.”
But the president made sure to pack his blinders for the trip so that he could be spared the message, which runs counter to an upbeat message of his own shared in a self-congratulatory tweet this morning to the people of Cuba.
— The White House (@WhiteHouse) March 21, 2016
The only problem with the tweet is that it is likely to fall on deaf ears. Only 5% of the population has internet access.