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.