It’s civic to reclaim your rights and make them felt, to comply with responsibilities towards society that haven’t been fulfilled…
HAVANA TIMES – There was a day when the people exploded, there was a day when people said enough, there was a day when people lost their fear of expressing themselves. There was a day more civic than all the other days in which – although they didn’t yell or smash any panes of glass – the people were amassing decades of indignation and humiliation.
They had borne up under the general mockery of things, the perverts that generated a metabolization of abuses, the consternation that a permanent double standard causes, timed to the millimeter and the second like a rocket launched into space, the sordid spaces where shame resides, where you shelter, where you try to separate yourself from the everyday reality of the lives that must continue functioning as if everything were running along greased and well tooled wheels.
Constructing a just society is a civic act. It’s civic to reclaim your rights and make them felt, to comply with responsibilities towards society that haven’t been fulfilled for the long span of over sixty years. It’s civic to protest when the handle breaks that held the cup of reason, of equity, of justice, to demonstrate, revealing not only the generalized anger, the collective feeling of being fed up, but also the energy and the desire to establish a space together where we all fit in, where no idea is repressed. A space where no person shall be abducted, abused, repressed for their aspirations, annulled because of their dreams, where the only limit to exercising individual freedom is where it intersects with the rights and freedom of another individual.
On July 11, 2021, beginning in San Antonio de los Baños in Havana province, a massive protest occurred, and spread over 62 points on the island. It was the day of dignity, of civic action, of the awareness of progress and the certainty that peaceful struggle, democratic struggle, is capable of moving all consciences.
The dictatorship committed the gravest of sins by not being capable of interpreting the protests across the island with a little more intelligence and empathy. The regime responded in the voice of Diaz Canel, installed as president through a nod from Raul Castro, with an open call to repress without mercy any sign of discontent over the extremely impoverished conditions of the citizens, the oppression, and rigid prohibitions they must live under.
Once more the saturated system, obsolete, incapable of even responding to the problem of feeding its population, failed to read the inclusive socialist code and realize that those fed-up demonstrators were the subjects of the Revolution, the humblest people, the most hard-working people, those who were marginalized from privilege, the mestizos, the stigmatized. And as a result, they failed to listen to them, even be it hypocritically, and show some sensitivity.
After repressing with blows and immediate prison sentences for the space of a year, those in power reinforced their heavy hand applying exaggerated prison sentences that violate the Human Rights of nearly three hundred demonstrators, under the excuse that the protests were orchestrated and induced from outside, by counterrevolutionary elements, falling into the absurd stance of pointing a finger instead of following where the finger pointed. No demonstration in history takes place unless there are causes, and all of them – be it the French revolution, the Russian revolution, the Cuban revolution, the Polish revolution, the Portuguese revolution, or the Tunisian revolution – are led by a party or leader.
Today, a year from that peaceful conflagration, the duty of those of us who are safe from suffering permanent, pressing and selective needs (never felt by those who flaunt power nor by their families), who are far from the blows, the repression, the prisons and the jail sentences condemning citizens to decades of reclusion in the most inhumane conditions, in the company of all manner of criminals. Those of us where are far from having to decide if we’ll be free, and honorable for one moment of our lives, and go out to bare our chests instead of continuing to endure an unbearable accumulation of privations and injustices. Those of us whose bellies are full, and who sleep on soft pillows, are morally obligated to at least give homage to the courageous people who set a milestone, established a paradigm that will force even the loyalist followers of the initial utopia of the revolution, the purest cultivators of the dreams of the sixties, when they observe and try to explain the History of the Cuban process, to make a forced stop along the road, to reflect or to ignore the desperate cry that arose from an entire country.