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Around the time labor protestors were celebrating May Day with demonstrations in D.C., Manhattan and Los Angeles, a man sprinted ahead of a Marxist parade in Cuba, holding aloft an American flag. Seconds later, the runner was tackled to the concrete, reported the Washington Examiner.
The Examiner called the situation:
A visceral and literal display of freedom in the face of tyranny.
The runner cut an image more iconic than the cliched cult figure Che Guevara. Instantly recognizable because of his American flag in a sea of Cuban banners, he sprinted toward certain and brutal failure.
Nameless just like the hero of Tiananmen Square, the runner will likely spend the rest of his life rotting in torrid and filthy cells on the communist island. But his courage won’t be forgotten. Foreign and Cuban journalists quickly broadcast his image to the world. More importantly, his race ended right in front of Castro on the dictator’s last May Day as head of state.
Breitbart is reporting that the man’s name is Daniel Llorente, and that he has previously waged similar protests against the communist regime of Castro and has expressed vocally his support for the American government.
The Miami-based outlet Martí Noticias identified the man as Llorente, a freelance cab driver and dissident, but does not belong to any dissident organizations. Instead, he has used his American flag to protest on previous occasions by waving it before public congregations. A year ago, Llorente protested before a crowd awaiting the first American cruise ship’s arrival in Havana, the Adonia. Llorente greeted the ship waving an American flag and shouting “Yes we can!”, the famous slogan of President Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign. The government organized a rabble to berate Llorente with racial epithets, and Llorente responded by asserting his freedom, according to Breitbart.
“I use whatever flag I want because I am free. I am not a hypocrite, not like all the Cubans marching yesterday [the 2016 May Day march] — all those Cubans are hypocrites,” he told his detractors. He went on to praise the U.S. flag as the “pride of the Americans” and assert, “I don’t fear the government.”
The Cuban state propaganda outlet Granma admitted the event occurred, a rare happening in the dictatorial state, condemning Llorente as an “annexationist” and claimed he had a criminal record for “armed robbery.” The newspaper insisted that 800,000 Cubans marched to celebrate communism and ran a number of articles claiming that the ideology, which has killed nearly 100 million people worldwide, remains popular. Among the articles supporting the government was one headlined “Fidel, More Present than Ever” (he is dead), reported Breitbart.