What Was My July 11, 2022 Like in Cuba

By Pedro Pablo Morejon

HAVANA TIMES – I woke up on July 11th without any expectations, it was just a regular working Monday. Before leaving, I watched a video by a young university student, a livestream on Facebook, where he explained his anger for the system, the lack of civil liberties and economic freedom and everything else we are well aware of.

He urged people to take to the streets, to protest against the dictatorship, he announced that he would do this himself soon and he really did go out outside. He shouted “libertad, libertad, libertad…” (Freedom), while also making impassioned appeals for people to join him, to take to the street and demand their rights, but he continued on his own, nobody joined him and that’s when the video cut out.

I felt sorry for him, for his family. A brave young man who I’m sure is now being detained at some Police Station, beginning to be processed, aware that his future are years locked away in one of the regime’s prisons.

When I got there, I discovered the streets had heavy military presence, every stretch of the block was saturated with police officers and special troops, the boinas negras (black berets).

“They’re going to grind down that guy that went out to protest,” I thought.

Parque de Independencia, the hub of protests a year ago, was occupied by police officers, songs by folk singers who support the regime and political activities with primary school children.

I later discovered Internet access was cut and opposition members across the country were arrested, according to their own accounts.

On the other hand, people there were as submissive as they almost always are, busy with their daily business, mixed up in lines and the daily struggle to get by.

A people who are hungry and afraid don’t have demanding their rights up high on their priority list. The ruling elite know this, they just have to keep the right levels of repression, hunger, lack of medicine and other countless needs to keep this people on the hamster wheel, dependent, wasting all of their energy on survival.

But not extreme shortages, this is why they are so frightened by these blackouts and they’ve taken action in recent days to try and mitigate the situation. They need to keep the right level of abuse without suffocating Cubans too hard that things get out of hand and what happened on July 11th last year doesn’t happen again.

While all of this is happening, Lis Cuesta, Diaz-Canel’s wife, spurted out a Tweet – in true vulgar style – writing “Pretty and good… enjoy, admire, whether you love them or hate them, depending on the situation” with a photo of the president holding a stick.

https://twitter.com/liscuestacuba/status/1546459399094419456?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet

Just like Gerardo Hernandez, one of the Cuban 5, who is now a government official, who posted a photo of himself wearing a sweater that said “Diaz-Canel Pingu”, using the flag in the middle of this obscene phrase, clearly violating Article 80 of the National Symbols Law.

Examples that prove just how unwanted and vulgar they are, and worse yet: how they make fun of the Cuban people.

But they are really terrified deep down, they know that only a minority supports them and that not all of the military that keep them in power are henchmen, that many of them also want change. This is why so many of them are deserting the Police’s ranks and why there are so many open calls for admittance exams for the Ministry of Interior. 

They also know that when the next social uprising comes about, there won’t be a single rock they can hide under to save themselves from the rage of an enslaved people.

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Pedro Morejón

I am a man who fights for his goals, who assumes the consequences of his actions, who does not stop at obstacles. I could say that adversity has always been an inseparable companion, I have never had anything easy, but in some sense, it has benefited my character. I value what is in disuse, such as honesty, justice, honor. For a long time, I was tied to ideas and false paradigms that suffocated me, but little by little I managed to free myself and grow by myself. Today I am the one who dictates my morale, and I defend my freedom against wind and tide. I also build that freedom by writing, because being a writer defines me.

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