Watch: Brave Cuban man interrupts Havana May Day celebration with US flag — then he pays a price

Watch: Brave Cuban man interrupts Havana May Day celebration with US flag — then he pays a price
A Cuban man interrupts the annual May Day celebration in Havana, protesting communism by waving and American flag. (Image source: YouTube screenshot)

An anti-communist protester interrupted a large May Day celebration in Havana on Monday, breaking through a crowd while waving an American flag before being tackled and beaten by security.

The incident happened during Cuba’s highly choreographed May Day celebration in Havana’s Revolution Square where hundreds of thousands of Cubans gathered for the festivities, including high-ranking government and military officials. President Raul Castro was also in attendance.

Video of the incident shows a man running in front of a march with an American flag above his head. He is able to break free for several seconds before plain-clothed security officers tackle him and begin to beat him. Once they get him detained, they quickly carry him away.

According to Spanish newspaper, Martí Noticias, the protester is Daniel Llorente, a well-known Cuban dissident who routinely protests the Castro regime and expresses support for America. Llorente doesn’t belong to any dissident organizations, but is known for using an American flag to protest the Cuban regime, according to the outlet.

In a rare admission of the incident, state-run news outlet Granma noted in a news report that the incident indeed occurred. However, the newspaper described Llorente, without naming him, as a “annexationist” who has a history of armed robbery and other “aggravated” offenses.

Last year, Llorente was arrested after he welcomed the first American cruise ship to arrive to Cuba after the end of the embargo with an American flag and chanted that he didn’t fear the Cuban government.

May Day, otherwise known as International Worker’s Day, has been celebrated nationwide in Cuba since the Cuban revolution in 1959. Every year since, hundreds of thousands have lined the streets in Revolutionary Square for highly orchestrated celebrations. The Cuban government is communist.

More than 6 million Cubans participated in May Day celebrations on Monday, according to Reuters.

Watch video of the incident below:

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