Tim Rogers

HAVANA, Cuba—One hour after President Obama delivered his historic speech in Cuba Tuesday morning, a small group of Cuban dissidents calling for the release of political prisoners got a swift beat-down in the street by pro-Castro thugs, one block from the theater where Obama had called for change and democracy on the communist-led island.

Protesters calling for freedom for political prisoners get taken down in the street
Mark Lima

The protest broke out quickly, when a woman wrapped herself in a homemade banner calling for freedom for political prisoners. The woman and those who were with her were quickly beaten down to the street, then dragged and stuffed into a bus.

Tim Rogers
Tim Rogers

A crowd quickly gathered and waved Cuban flags as they shouted slogans in support of the Castros and the Cuban revolution.


Moments later, police arrived on the scene and another man was taken into custody.


Cuban President Raul Castro, in a joint address with President Obama on Monday, denied there are any political prisoners in Cuba.