May 1, 2017 10:41 am

May Day protester waving U.S. flag beaten, dragged away after disrupting march in Cuba

WATCH ABOVE: Plainclothes officer tackle a protester carrying an American flag ahead of Cuba's May Day march.

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A protester briefly disrupted the start of Cuba’s largest annual political event on Monday, sprinting in front of May Day marchers with a U.S. flag before being tackled and dragged away.

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President Raul Castro watched, along with other military and civilian leaders and foreign dignitaries, as the man broke through security and ran ahead of the tens of thousands in the pro-government march.

Plainclothes officers struggled to control the man but eventually lifted him off the ground and hauled him away in front of foreign and Cuban journalists covering the parade.

Monday’s protest was a surprising breach of security at a government-organized event where agents line the route.

Castro has said he will step down as president in February, making Monday’s parade his last May Day rally as head of state.

© 2017 The Associated Press

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