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.

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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.