Cuba Needs the UN, Not Biden

Photo: Alexadre Meneghini / Reuters / DW

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.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.


7 thoughts on “Cuba Needs the UN, Not Biden

  • July 18, 2021 at 10:06 am
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    Glad to see support in the streets of Miami, New York City, etc. It needs to empower the Cuban people to know that they are not alone in challenging the system for their freedom.

  • July 18, 2021 at 8:37 am
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    I have traveled to CUBA twice in the last ten years, only to hope that the Cuban people would eventually take to the streets and protest as they did. The Power and Control that the Elite of the Cuban Government has is what they want. But in the end it has hurt the Cuban people beyond the shortage of food and medicine. It is the lack of freedom, thus the Cuban people see no hope in their future! Not sure what will happen, but plan to follow and support the Cuban people from afar.

  • July 17, 2021 at 2:23 pm
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    There was a group in Germany who wanted to rule for a thousand years.
    So do the Communists in Cuba, North Korea, China and they will do anything to make it happen.

    There literally are no limits to what they are willing to do.

  • July 17, 2021 at 1:35 pm
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    I’m sharing everything I find on the Havana Times with my friends/associates in support of the protests! Keep on doing the great job of journalism you do!

  • July 17, 2021 at 11:34 am
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    You write, “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.”

    I’ve seen no limit to the extent that Socialist dictatorships are willing to endure international condemnation and “pressure,” which only amounts to resolutions and press statements. Have been watching the entire world condemn Nicaragua’s regime for years now, to no effect. These well-fed despots would rather see their people suffer endlessly than ever admit they are wrong about anything.

    The only path forward here is for the people to continue their fight to the point where portions of the police and military draw the line and refuse to kill their own people. That may be a long way off and may never come. All my support and admiration for the Cuban people who are standing their ground against this terrible oppression.

  • July 17, 2021 at 7:27 am
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    Welfare of Cuba is 100% up to the Cuban Government. Unfortunately the only way for the Cuban Government to bring prosperity to the island is to bow down to the United States. Something that Fidel clearly outlined can not happen. Sadly. Biden will not save Cuba. UN doesn’t have the ability to save Cuba. China and/or Russia have no interest in paying the price for saving Cuba – that price would be incredibly high – the process incredibly complicated and not worth the trouble. USA holds an iron fist over Cuba. But only as long as the ‘Revolution’ is in charge. Dismantle the current one party political system, allow opposition political parties and hold free elections – and everything changes. Sounds rather simple. However the Cuban Government is a resolute as the Cuban Citizen. If Cubans are capable to make a satellite dish out f a hub-cap then the Cuban Government is able to run an entire nation on ‘nothing’. Regrettable situation. In Poland they were able to overthrow communism without bloodshed. In case of the French Revolution blood flowed as if it was the waters in creeks and rivers. It is impossible to imagine history changing violence in Cuba. The next true leader and hero of the Cuban people will have the ability to change in peace. Diaz-Canel … you did not take the opportunity so be Him. Be heroic enough and do not stop the one who can do that.

  • July 16, 2021 at 7:48 pm
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    Ronald, the people of the world are seeing everything. From 52 cities from Guantanamo to the west coast. The state thought that they could stop the reports from getting out but they and apparently you underestimate the ability of the Cuban people it improvise. By Monday morning the 12 people had discovered a VPN that would circumvent Diaz-Canel’s internet blockade. Hell the Cuban people can make a satellite dish from a hubcap. As for the united nations they will not intervene. Even China who controls the UN thinks that Cuba is foolish not to adopt their system. Even they have learned as Russia did the pure communism doesn’t work and never has. When everybody owns everything and nobody really has anything other than the party elite, there is no incentive to produce.

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