Cuba: Before and After July 11

How many of those who protested at the 1994 Maleconazo remain on the Island today, how many survive? (Karel Poort)

By Reynaldo Escobar (14ymedio)

HAVANA TIMES – The popular program Escriba y Lea [Write and Read] familiarized viewers with one of the most delicate operations a historian can make: dating the beginning and end of an era. When the panelists had to figure out, sometimes by guessing, the historical fact or character suggested in a riddle, they first asked questions such as whether it was before or after the French Revolution. Or if it was post WWII. Knowing the time period, they figured out the answer.

The formula relied on a wide variety of jokes, especially those that mocked events celebrated in official propaganda: Before the ration book? After the Special Period? In the chocolate milk era?

In conversations in which different generations overlap, confusion often arises about what is meant by “before.”

For the septuagenarians, “before” means anything prior to 1959. Up until the late 1970s, if you wanted to find out where dissimilar objects of a certain quality had come from — a lamp, a skirt, a kitchen gadget — you had to first find out if it was “from somewhere else” or “from before.” If the object was said to be “from here” or “from now,” this was not necessary because, by then, everything came from the rationed market. What was “from before” was held in the same esteem as what came “from somewhere else.”

Those born in the the new age of “Revolution” reached adulthood in the 1980s. They saw the dawn of “liberated” markets, were moved by Nueva Trova songs and enjoyed the benefits of what was commonly known in its heyday as “the Soviet pipeline.” They were also the ones who filled the boats fleeing the port of Mariel, those who were victims or perpetrators of acts of repudiation.

Twenty-seven years have passed since the Maleconazo, the Malecón uprising, a watershed event that took place on August 5, 1994. Those who were not old enough to participate, or who had not yet been born, are today in the under-35 age range, when one can still be considered unquestionably young.

How many protestors from that uprising remain on the island today? How many are still alive? Surely, a few of them took to the streets on July 11.

Those who did have earned the right to measure historical time in a new way: before or after July 11.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.


2 thoughts on “Cuba: Before and After July 11

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  • August 7, 2021 at 12:53 pm
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    some people who have defected in the last 35 years who were close To the dictator Fidel Castro every time they got interviewed that Castro was shock when in 24 hours 10,556 Cubans Rea to the Peruvian embassy in search of political exile. He couldn’t believe that new generation if Cuban hate the system that rather to go anywhere in Latino America that the paradise he was created. Then he call them scums homosexuals prostitutes lumps delinquents. Nobody would believe him then after 20 years what he called the first million Cubans that decide to leave those were according to the dictadura in chief landowners,, exploiters, bourgeois pimps, privileged class, the aristocracy, and prostitutes, then in the early 1990’s when the opposition started to rise theirs voices he called them small group. The solution for the Maleconazo was if you want to leave go we won’t stop you (after over 30 years putting people in prison for just trying to leave the working class paradise ) then the tactic of the dictatorship was making the opposition even after long sentences in prison not rights to work or survive so the exile and USA government send economic aid to the opposition so the dictatorship have a name for them Mercenaries. And on because ridiculously the regime can’t accept the idea than any decent human being is against them After July 11 the Cubans said it loudly WE ARE NIT LONGER AFRAID! Finally Cubans had learned that they rather to get kill than living a miserable life without freedom.

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