By Julio Antonio Fernandez Estrada (El Toque)
HAVANA TIMES – We have learned to live with hate rallies. The consolidation of allegedly revolutionary principles or values, which are easily recognizable by some (myself including) has been one of the greatest successes of the Government’s political propaganda campaign.
It has managed to naturalize slogans and political practices such as the ones that ensure “Cuba’s streets belong to the revolutionaries”, or the creation of rapid-response units, comprised of civilians who must take drastic actions when faced with what is called the “counter-revolution”; even if it is just a parade of women armed with gladiolas.
Hate rallies are nothing new and have been used as piecework and as a political weapon, especially since 1980. I believe it’s healthy to distinguish a demonstration over a policy by a hostile government towards Cuba, like the US invasion in third-world countries, or the US government’s embargo on Cuba, from those carried out against people, houses, and families, who identify themselves as opponents of the political regime or the socialist system.
The first type of rallies mentioned above are an expression of civil society’s or a Government’s right to make known their rejection for practices that go against our own Constitution; such as armed invasions, countries meddling in the domestic affairs of other nations for no legitimate reason, global powers enforcing unfair sanctions on developing nations, etc.
Hate rallies against individuals goes against the essence of the 2019 Constitution and what it stipulates, as well as the 1976 Constitution. The right to freedom of speech, of religion, of protest and association have always been protected in both legal texts, and we also have the right to not be subject to brutal, inhumane and degrading treatment.
Hate rallies against human beings who think differently and believe the State and Government need to structure themselves and work differently, or who work for organizations that aren’t connected to the Cuban State, do not form a part of any constitutional right or anything else for that matter, that is recognized in Cuban legislation.
If there is only one Cuban Revolution, like Fidel Castro stressed in Demajagua in 1968, the principles of the Revolution must always be those of a Marti-like republic, one that was built by everyone and for everyone’s wellbeing.
If there is only one Cuban Revolution, then there should be space not only for revolutionaries. Marti believed that even the Spanish who were aware of the dignity regained with Cuba’s freedom would be accepted in his republic.
The Revolution depends upon legality, Rule of Law, democracy and transparency of government actions, so that it isn’t only a name on a facade. After over 60 years since its triumph, there is no Revolution without order, without abiding by the law, without acceptance for diversity, without awareness of the country’s cultural complexities.
Hate rallies against people who someone has considered counter-revolutionary, violate the human right to defend oneself against indecent assault; it’s a barbarian act that can be transformed into something more serious at any moment. It’s an attack on a person’s dignity, privacy, home, family and social discipline.
Only the Law, the District Attorney’s Office, and courts can enforce the Law. The rest is a dangerous use of mass frenzy; it activates the lowest passions, revenge and hatred.
The Cuban Revolution didn’t happen, with so much blood and sacrifice, for this. The people who believe they are the owners of the Revolution because they hold positions of power, or are protected (for now) by some institution, need to defend the Law, because this is the only way peace can be guaranteed for everyone.
A hate rally can also be a counter-revolutionary act, because Marti wouldn’t have allowed it, because Cespedes wouldn’t have allowed it. We can repudiate the aggressor who wants to take our freedom away, but not the human beings who have chosen a different political idea to the government’s own.
It’s a mistake, repeated to death in recent months, to believe that the Constitution and laws only defend the majority who voted in the 2019 Constitution. The Constitution and its laws are for everyone, also for the people who don’t agree with its content and scope. This is the glory of a republic and the Law.