By Ronal Quiñones
HAVANA TIMES – After the popular uprising that took place last weekend in Cuba, Cubans living abroad turned their eyes to the President of the United States, Joe Biden, to ask him for a humanitarian intervention.
Yes, you read that right, I wrote weekend and did it with every intention, because little or nothing has occurred since then. Why? Obviously not because people have changed their minds, but because they have not been allowed to demonstrate again.
Since late Sunday night, the so-called Rapid Response Brigades took to the streets to confront those who, armed only with their anger, stormed the streets in much of the island.
For those not familiar with the term, these are groups of people who, overwhelmingly, are militants of Cuba’s Communist Party and of the Young Communist League, but also unaffiliated workers who are urged to participate and do so for fear of losing their job if they refuse.
This representation of the people, as President Miguel Díaz-Canel likes to say, took to the streets armed with sticks, and they were joined by the special forces, the regular police and those who are in the Obligatory Military Service.
Against all this force, most of them trained, the protesters can do little or nothing, other than put their chests and dignity in front. The outrages and abuses have been repeated in all scenarios, and not even the internet blackout, which still persists, especially mobile data, has prevented images and videos about the events to circulate.
But all of that is basically from Sunday July 11th. During the clashes there were thousands of arrested, whose cellphones were confiscated, and taking advantage of their own recordings, the leaders were identified and neutralized. The following early morning they went house to house, also abducting those who are the visible faces of the opposition, and those who were not arrested were watched 24/7 to make it impossible for them to go out into the streets.
In such a way, it is almost impossible for another upraising to happen again.
That said, Cubans abroad have set their hopes on Bidden, and it seems to me such is not the way. Legally, it is very difficult for the US President to justify an intervention. In the first place because since there is no internet, he does not know what is happening in the country at the moment. Let us add to this that Russia has already officially warned in a threatening tone that this option would be very dangerous.
Nor is it the best option among Cubans themselves, because during decades of indoctrination we have been told that it is the US empire that threatens our sovereignty, etc.
So, it seems to me that the battle is not in Washington, but in New York. It is at the headquarters of the United Nations were most of the pressure caravans should go.
It is there that an intervention with foreign forces can be endorsed, or at least pressure the Cuban Government to resign. For the Blue Helmets to go abroad, which would be better seen than regular United States troops, the consensus in the Security Council would be needed, and with Russia there it is practically impossible, because they have the right to veto.
That said, if international pressure increases, and the abuses and violations are documented in this multinational forum, they will have no other choice but to accept the intervention of the UN.
The claims must reach above all those who can best understand us: the members of the former socialist camp, perfectly aware of the futility of fighting without weapons against a totalitarian state that spares no resources in trying to stay in power, even if it is in total misery.
If Poland, the Czech Republic and all those nations that have experienced our same reality begin to put pressure on the UN, together with Biden himself, of course the outcry will have to be heard, and we could find the help that we need here on the island.
Less than 30 years ago something similar happened in Rwanda, when one part of the population, armed with machetes, tried to exterminate the other. The UN took action on the matter only when things reached the magnitude of genocide. But then there was no internet.
With that terrible experience and the guilt that must accompany those who at that time did not act immediately, today things must be different if the videos that circulate on social networks reach the Security Council.
Another avenue that should be exploited is the religious one. All the representatives of the Catholic Church are in favor of human rights, and this is the time to show it by making the claim reach the Vatican and accompany the demonstrators to protect their lives. A statement by the leftist Pope Francis could be the drop that breaks the camel’s back in the minds of the world decision-makers.
A dictator with bloody hands like Augusto Pinochet had to accept to hold a plebiscite because the entire western world pressured him. If it was possible in Chile, it must also be possible in Cuba, and hopefully by peaceful means as well.
The call to violence from the nation’s top political figure cannot go unnoticed. Until now, only one dead has been officially recognized, and as expected he was labeled a common criminal, but there must be many more, and even if there were not, the beatings are not justified.
Many are surprised that they have not heard from the traditional opposition leaders in these last few hours, and that is because they are gagged. Nor can the people be asked to go out and let themselves be massacred, which is the only way, in my view, not to be accused of being the violent ones, and that in a certain way leaves things as they were at the beginning.
That is why it is essential that the world see what has happened, and has not left impassive several public figures on the island who have openly expressed to be on the side of the demonstrators, such as the musicians Adalberto Alvarez, Leo Brouwer and Leoni Torres, and other intellectuals and artists, shocked by the police and paramilitary violence.
On Sunday, Cuban authorities were taken by surprise, but it will be quite difficult for this to be repeated.