Cuba on the Move

Photo taken in Cojimar, Havana by Irina Echarry

The government continues to cling to its old line of incriminating the US, discounting citizens’ initiative, & minimizing our intelligence.

By Irina Echarry

HAVANA TIMES – Several anguished people have expressed, more or less, this idea to me: “if I could, I would tell them not to go out on the street that day, it is very sad what is going to happen, they are going to massacre them, it will be all the power of the State against defenseless civilians.”

Obviously, they refer to the Civic March for Change, the initiative called by the Archipelago group for November 15 in various provinces of the country.

It is logical that fear reigns in a society where one political party determines the life of all citizens at will; where wanting freedom of expression is synonymous with being a bad person and dissent can cost you freedom, your job, peace of mind and even friendships.

As usual, the Communist Party government has been at a loss on how to deal with a call that arose spontaneously from civil society. Its response has been to unleash a whole campaign of discredit, harassment, job dismissals, threats, interrogations, hate rallies and accusations of all kinds against the members of Archipelago.

Every day the official media publishes something negative about Archiipelago’s main figures, no matter how foolishly they do it. They have manipulated videos, audios, they have (badly) stitched together the chapters of a cheap soap opera to discredit, for example, Yunior Garcia, one of the coordinators.

It is surprising how they appeal to the absurd to link him to the United States government, although Yunior himself has declared that no government has anything to do with the march or with the group.

They even “unmask an undercover agent” to give his testimony lacking in arguments, without objective evidence, and they do the media show amid tears and empty words.

Very few believe this ridiculous show, but the government continues to cling to its old line of incriminating the US, discounting citizens’ initiative, & minimizing our intelligence.

They have stretched the rope and allege “provocation” or “interference in the internal affairs of the country”. However, it turns out that it is Cubans who want change, and the initiative is backed by thousands of other Cubans who live inside and outside the island. The government did not expect the idea of ​​the march to spread so much and so quickly among the population.

Social media, independent journalists and activists have taken it upon themselves to reaffirm what was an open secret: the privileged ruling caste lives above the people who keep them in power. And people are outraged, not only do they live better than all of us, but they do not hide it, in a context of shortages and exorbitant prices.

The so-called “ordering task” (economic reforms) – with its empty shelves and rising inflation – came to open the eyes of many.

After the July 11 protests, life in Cuba is different. You can see it in the streets, in the lines, wherever there is more than one person. Even though the official discourse speaks of a happy people and tries to give an image of continuity; people are not the same. The severe sentences of the July protesters (including several minors) only inflame, anger and sadden.

Right now, many countries are turning their gaze towards Cuba, as well as the European Union and the United Nations Office for Human Rights. On the island, various sectors of the citizenry have spoken in favor of the march. It is not about planting bombs in a movie theater or assaulting a military unit, it is a peaceful walk, something that happens regularly in any corner of the world.

Whether the march happens or not, it has already brought us something wonderful. It has made those in the high command tremble, and the rest of Cubans to think, to critically observe the usual obsolete machinery deployed by the government against those who dare to think differently, just to stay in power and continue to enjoy the privileges it grants.

There are even those who do not agree with the march and are amazed by the government’s performance to hinder it.

What most damages the social fabric is the double standard. Many people who no longer believe in the revolution still play along with it so as not to lose their job or school, so as not to be singled out on the block. And the worst thing is that some are even capable of committing horrors without distinguishing between family, friends, neighbors, or real enemies.

Hopefully the massacre that some predict will not happen.

When it is so serious that people think, imagine other ways of living, demand respect for their rights, demand the freedom of those who are unjustly imprisoned or walk against violence, a change is indisputably necessary.

Read more from Irina Echarry here.

Irina Echarry

Irina Echarry: I enjoy reading, going to the movies and spending time with my friends. Many of the people I love are dead, or are no longer in Cuba. I will do my best to transmit my thoughts, ideas or worries via these pages so you can get to know me. I will give an idea of my age, since it helps explain certain things. I’m over thirty-five, and I think that’s enough information. I don’t have any children yet, or nieces or nephews. There are days when I transform myself into a child with no age at all in order to see life from another angle. It helps me break the monotony and survive in this strange world.

7 thoughts on “Cuba on the Move

  • “Saying something positive about the Cuban Government, eh ? Well then, go move to Cuba !” What is that supposed to mean ?

    This is what it means to me. Anyone who states that directive to me, that is: “go move to Cuba” in the context of suggesting life there is abysmal is not referring to a physical move but an intellectual review of the miserly economic circumstances found there.

    An intellectual move to an inexperienced mind is to open one’s mind to other lived experiences be they good or bad. A move to Cuba intellectually refers to an unbiased review of life there comparable to life in other parts of the world. Some suggest life in Cuba is comparable better than life in other failed capitalist systems. Perhaps. Debatable. One does not need to physically move there to end the debate. One only needs to refer to factual information regarding the two systems in question to help resolve the intellectual move.

    In most parts of the world a group of citizens wanting to freely express themselves publicly can freely do so without fear, malice, hate or threatening to the powers that be. Yet, on this specific island such a demonstration of freedom is seen as a threat, a challenge, a violation, an insurrection, an uprising, a public display that needs to be extinguished. And extinguish is putting it mildly when one factually and intellectually reviews the very public demonstration for human rights in Tiananmen Square.

    The powers that be back then were not amused. Said they, never again will that happen on our communist soil. Yet the communist powers at the helm, at the time, recognized intellectually, that if they provide the masses with economic freedom, not political freedom, things will cool down, citizens will be compliant, acquiesce, and become monetarily rich (a capitalist credo), and thus future turmoil will be avoided. To date this modicum of capitalism seems to be working well in a communist country – China.

    Intellectually one has to ask the question: What type of government refuses to allow its citizens freedom of expression on its city streets, totally refuses any form of economic relief for its citizens and rules with an iron fist? Totalitarianism masking as communism is the most obvious choice. Unfortunately, Cuba is in this category. Do we need to move there figuratively or literally to feel the fist or boot on throats: No.

    Do we need to intellectually review the plight of the ordinary Cuban on a daily basis – no rights, no freedom of expression, no economic freedom, no hope for the future. Yes. Haiti, as some say, a “capitalist” country is referred when compared to communist Cuba but intellectually are not repeated earthquakes, which shatter, devastate, and destroy the nation’s economy time and time again not acts of God? Meanwhile, the rest of the world simply watches with horror and disgust wringing their collective hands doing little to alleviate Haitians’ pain and suffering. Intellectually the two nations are not comparable except to exude tremendous suffering.

    Try comparing communist Cuba with another capitalist island like say, New Zealand, or the break away Chinese province of Taiwan. The stark economic differences between the capitalist islands and the communist island intellectually is a no brainer. One certainly does not have to move there to experience the economic differences since the drastic dichotomy between them is so, so literally and intellectually real.

  • Dan becomes ever more confused. It is freedom that I love and seek for others. My preference for capitalism as compared for communism, is quite simply that in terms of freedom it is far preferable.

    When giving supposed quotations, Dan ought to attribute them, unless of course they are but a reflection of his own warped thinking?

  • I just love that stupid right wing argument: “Saying something positive about the Cuban Government, eh ? Well then, go move to Cuba !” What is that supposed to mean ? It’s like that old, “America, love it or leave it” that was used in the 60’s, only worse, because in order to give our opinion, we are supposed to have to move to a foreign country. Hey Carlyle, you love Capitalism, why don’t you move to Tegcigalpa ? And all those patria y vida people, (I’ll pass on the G word), they hate Cuba, why don’t they move to Mexico or Haiti ?

  • Instead of mouthing trite communist prattle, Lennart Anderson ought to go and live in Cuba for a couple of years on the average Cuban income. Secondly he ought to get his facts straight. Under its Constitution, Cuba is a one-Party state, that being the Communist Party of Cuba. No doubt Mr. Anderson lives in capitalist comfort.

  • Cuban people Will stand firm against US imperialist interference.
    Long live socialist Cuba!

  • Good luck Amigos. You deserve Real Cuba Libre, after corrupt Fulgencio Battista and highjacked revolution by Castro and Che Guevara. 62 years of destruction and tyranny is coming to an end. La Isla Bonita free of phoney ideology .

  • The communist Junta in Cuba, holds its own citizens in contempt, for it does not believe that they are capable of initiative, but only protest at the instruction of others and in particular that of the US.

    That form of thought reflects the communist concept of the ‘mass’ which lacks individual thought, knowing only submission to the Party. The rule in Cuba reflects the Stalinist interpretation of Marx/Engels/Lenin.

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