Cuban LGBT activists hold unauthorized march in Havana after government cancels event

HAVANA — Cuban LGBT rights activists used social media to organize an unauthorized march down eight blocks of one of Havana’s main thoroughfares before they were stopped by police Saturday.

Cuban LGTBI demonstrators march at the Prado avenue in Havana, on May 11, 2019. (YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images)

The march Saturday afternoon was the second by a non-governmental organization in Cuba in slightly more than a month. That’s highly unusual in a country where the only legal civil society groups are de-facto arms of the Communist government.

A handful of marchers were arrested when they attempted to push through a massive police presence and continue from the Prado boulevard onto the Malecon, the capital’s famous seaside promenade.

The march was organized largely using Cuba’s new mobile internet, with gay-rights activists and groups of friends calling for a march over Facebook and WhatsApp after the government-run gay rights organization cancelled a Saturday march.

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