Popular YouTuber Arrested By Cuban Authorities On Live TV While Addressing Roundups Of Critics

A famous YouTuber and independent reporter known as Dina Stars was arrested by Cuban government officials during a live interview with a Spanish television program, in one of the most dramatic instances of the Cuban government’s assault on critics.

According to National Public Radio, “a popular Cuban YouTuber was detained by government security forces on live television Tuesday morning as she was discussing the sweeping arrests of activists, protesters, and journalists.”

“Dina Stars was speaking live on Todo Es Mentira, a Spanish television news show when she said state security forces were knocking on her door and demanding she go with them to a Havana police station,” the outlet noted.

One of Stars’ friends attempted to keep the cameras running throughout Stars’ questioning and eventually arrest, and the episode was recorded live. Stars is seen chatting to Cuban authorities and then being moved away in the footage, which was shot from a hiding place. Stars appears in the panel’s top right-hand corner.

Watch the incident below:

Stars informed the show’s host that she was most certainly getting arrested and that viewers should hold the Cuban regime accountable for “anything that may happen to me.”

“I hold the government responsible for anything that may happen to me. I have to go. They told me to accompany them,” she said.

Stars is seen engaging directly with Cuban officials and then departing with them in a white patrol car in a second video, which was apparently recorded by someone in the home with Stars and posted to Twitter.

According to NPR, Stars attended Sunday’s pro-democracy rallies and posted recordings of the events, including “videos of herself, in which she criticized the nation’s leaders.”

Dina Stars posted to Twitter after being held for 24 hours saying ‘they treated me well but still a night that I do not wish on anyone’

The Wrap said, “Stars has been actively covering the ongoing protests against Cuba’s government and the financial strains on Cubans, who are seeking access to healthcare and, in many protests, demanding government officials step down.”

“On Twitter, her bio translates to, ‘Behind every woman there is a story that makes her a warrior.’ She has 26,000 followers on that platform, 99,000 on Instagram, and 36,000 on YouTube,” the outlet also noted.

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), who has been outspoken in his support for pro-democracy protesters in Cuba, brought the issue to light late Tuesday.

“Independent journalist [Dina Stars] was live on the air today with a tv station in Spain when Cuban regime state security entered her home [and] ask that she come with them,” Rubio tweeted.

According to Cubalex, a U.S.-based organization of human rights attorneys that are tracking the roundups with the help of journalists and social media posts, Star is now “one of about 148 people who have been detained or disappeared, including seven journalists,” since the wave of anti-government protests erupted across dozens of Cuban cities on Sunday.

At least one protester is said to have died as a result of the demonstrations.

According to France 24, a 36-year-old man called Diubis Laurencio Tejeda died during an anti-government demonstration on the outskirts of Havana on Monday, according to the news agency.

The ministry stated its “mourning” at his death, while the news agency said that he was involved in “disturbances.”

After reporting Sunday’s huge demonstrations, another reporter, Camila Acosta, who works for a Spanish publication but is located in Havana, was “reportedly taken from her home in Havana early Monday.”

According to Reuters, which is monitoring missing journalists, the Cuban government informed Spanish authorities that Acosta will be charged with “crimes against state security.”

“Spain defends the right to demonstrate freely and peacefully and asks the Cuban authorities to respect it. We unconditionally defend human rights,” Spain’s foreign minister, José Manuel Albares, said Tuesday.

A page on Twitter San Isidro free speech movement in Cuba has been posting a growing list of people who have been detained.

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