Putting Cuba’s Growing Protests in Perspective

Video screenshot from Caimanera

The next day everything was understood.  The official press tried to reduce the demonstration that took place in Caimanera to “three drunkards”.

By Francesco Acevedo

HAVANA TIMES – The protest that took place in Caimanera, in the eastern Cuban province of Guantanamo, had a lot of echo last week, but it was neither the only nor should it be the last protest.

Like almost all of them, it starts from an increasingly growing and widespread dissatisfaction of the population with respect to the scarcity the vast majority of the Cuban people live.

Caimanera is the town closest to United States territory because it is located at the gates of the Guantanamo Naval Base. As such it is considered by the Cuban government as the First Anti-imperialist Trench. However, last weekend it was precisely the opposite.

Suspicious it seemed that suddenly all Internet connections were interrupted on the island, first with the fall of WhatsApp and then completely zero any type of connectivity.

The next day everything was understood.  The official press tried to reduce the demonstration that took place in Caimanera to “three drunkards”, when the live video images showed hundreds of people walking the streets of that territory demanding not only food, but also freedom, and even shouting the now popular cry of Homeland and Life (instead of Fidel’s Homeland or Death).

A government lackey came out to ask that “the next time they get drunk” instead of demanding their rights, “they should ask that the territory occupied by the Naval Base be returned to the Cuban government.” It did not occur to him to ask those who pay him to go claim what they think is theirs, because they know who they’d be messing with.

It is much easier to take it out on unarmed people and beat them up, put them in jail and make their life much more miserable.

That musician (Arnaldo Rodríguez, director of the Talismán group), a traditional propagandist for the regime on every stage possible or historic date that approaches, is the image of the servile public figures that are never lacking in every government and raise their hands in support of any barbarity.

He said nothing, of course, of the violence with which the demonstration was repressed by the Black Berets (elite police) in the middle of the night, who began to throw blows no matter who they hit, whether it was a man, woman, or the elderly. The videos showed a mother trying to get her children out of the jaws of those beasts and receiving blows like any other.

As on other occasions, there was a vast majority of citizens present and a small group of repressors, but few people get involved because terror prevails and everyone knows the consequences. The next day there was “tranquility” in the town, because the most vociferous protestors were imprisoned, and the rest were intimidated by all possible means.

The usual ridicule of the official press did not wait, with its inevitable act of reaffirmation to give the image that the Revolution has the support of the majority. It doesn’t matter that you see the great difference between the hundreds who took to the streets and the 10 or 12 who were out on street the next day in full sun chanting slogans like automatons.

As usual, the panorama seeks to cause discouragement with the idea that nothing is going to happen because many people are still in limbo and do not get involved in anything. However, it must be remembered that 20 years ago there were really only “four cats” who were demanding freedom, and no one even dreamed of seeing something like July 11, 2021, when thousands protested.

In Caimanera, an anti-communist fly had never flown before and now this situation has been seen. So instead of pessimism, hope should remain because the glass is full and close to overflowing, but not as thus far, but in a definitive and unstoppable way.

We will continue to see congas and reggaeton concerts while other people are being beaten, but little by little that script is being altered and the regime’s strategies are being exposed, unmasking the attempt to cover up the desperate kicking to maintain power. The apathy of citizens is still there, but each time the conscience is gaining ground and we have just seen it with other protests that arose after what happened in Guantanamo.

The blackmail (disclosed on social networks) to Professor Pedro Albert Sanchez so that he would not go to demand his rights at the Ministry of the Interior, when all he wanted was to be heard, and the call to erase his videos from his profiles spoke clearly.

There was also the strike by the workers of the Havana-Artemisa train for non-payment of wages, which did not last long either, but set a precedent because it is the first to come to the fore.

On the other hand, a father went out with a sign saying that his son is hungry, and another religious person came out in Holguín, but crying out Homeland and Life!, who was immediately reduced because once again he did not have popular support.

We return to the issue of whether it is worth it, and of course it is worth it, because there are more and more people protesting, and the time will come when they will have the support that is needed so that no repressor intervenes.

The volcano is still erupting and once it explodes it will be unstoppable. There is no doubt about that, not even to those who desperately try to control it.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times

2 thoughts on “Putting Cuba’s Growing Protests in Perspective

  • Cubans are locked in the jaws of a merciless system. Nothing changes in Cuba!

  • After Castro took over and began to take control of the media the young dictatorship accused everyone who was against ir just simply want to leave as landlords, aristocracy, exploiters, pimps, lumpen and rich people. that the people were with the “Revolution” already in 1966 more than a quarter of the Cuban population was in exile. then the dictator-in-chief accused those dissidents of worms. that crawl to the empire; In 1980 when 10,556 Cubans in less than 24 years ran to request political asylum in the embassy of the Peruvian Republic, the dictatorship called the Cubans in the embassy criminal scum social scourge. and ordered a march where they forced the workers to go and of course the embassy was super guarded in case more “scum” ran from the march to the embassy in search of refuge. Those were other times when the dictatorship had control of the media and 125,680 left through the port of Mariel. In that instance, the dictator sent criminals and patients from mental hospitals in the flotillas, then came the 1994 rafters crisis where more than 57,000 Cubans who abandoned the paradise of the proletariat. they were called criminals. then an internal opposition arose and the famous Varela Project led by the assassination by the Osvaldo Paya regime where taking at that time an article of the 1976 constitution where it said that if they collected 10,000 signatures the regime could be changed. Castro imprisoned the dissidents in affirming that there were not 10,000 but 100,000 and imprisoned 75 independent journalists. This time it was making things more difficult for the dictatorship because the dissidents did not want to go into exile. If they do not stay and resist and the dictatorship still besieges it does not allow the dissidents to work trying to make their lives miserable, then with donations and USAID projects the dissidents survive, then the dictatorship can no longer accuse anyone after 64 years of criminals. bourgeois, and landowners call these wage-earning dissidents of the empire that includes everyone from the well-known Yoani Sánchez, Danas de Blanco, to winners of international awards for human rights and freedom like Guillermo Coco Fariñas, among others. July 11 was a spontaneous demonstration that the dictatorship did not believe would happen but it did happen and the dictatorship as it was seen acted with impunity with a repressive force with accessories from the first world police riot gear created by no country as poor as Cuba now has more than 800,000 Cubans have left Cuba but only those who can afford the journey of more than $10,000 the less fortunate have to stay and suffer a regime that nobody chose but everything has a limit and Cubans are tired of basic needs and lack of freedom. The dictatorship running out of denigrating names for those who oppose their cruel regime.

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