This empirical study sought to understand the drivers behind civil protest participation in authoritarian contexts, explicitly focusing on Cuba. The data were sourced from 658 respondents via online surveys facilitated by CubaData, an independent social research agency specializing in Cuban studies, employing a secure panel system that guarantees the confidentiality and anonymity of participants. Our research primarily investigated the role of satisfaction with government policies in terms of the intention to participate in civil protests, introducing subjective well-being as a moderating variable. Utilizing the Process module of SMART-PLS 4 to emulate Process Model 58 for moderated mediation analysis, we accounted for measurement errors to ensure robust findings. Further controls were incorporated for age and political self-efficacy. The results revealed that subjective well-being significantly moderates the link between satisfaction with government policies and actual participation in civil protests. These findings suggest that the happiness level can change resistance dynamics within authoritarian settings. This research has implications for academic understandings of political behavior in autocratic regimes and practical applications in policy making and activism in Cuba.