The Revolution has the Right to Defend Itself, but I Don’t

Two realities. Photo: Juan Suárez

The “Revolution” thousands died for isn’t the one we have today, the one our parents & grandparents defended is far-removed from today’s reality.

By Francisco Acevedo

HAVANA TIMES – A few days ago, Mesa Redonda – the pro-government news program – that is broadcast at prime time (for those of you who don’t know), dedicated a show to social uprisings in Cuba as a result of constant blackouts and regular shortages in the country.

Don’t worry, it wasn’t to tell the TV audience what was going on around them, but rather to calm people down, as you’d expect.

That’s when Ana Maria Hernandez, the Deputy Public Relations Chief of the Attorney General’s Office, made an appearance to say the Revolution has the right to defend itself when it’s being attacked.

First of all, using the concept “revolution” (and all of the reality this involves), to talk about a process that has been entrenched for decades and moves slower than a tortoise, instead of talking about the Government, which actually represents the vilified Revolution.

The “Revolution” thousands of people died for isn’t the one we have today, the one our parents and grandparents defended is far-removed from today’s reality, where the ruling elite only want to try and stay in power for centuries and centuries.

In fact, it came to power by Divine Decree, because nobody voted for Miguel Diaz-Canel to become president. I would go out on a limb and say that if Raul Castro had run in the election, he would have won a great deal of votes despite the macabre shadow that follows him, but nobody knew Diaz-Canel, a fact that could have even helped him to some extent.

Not today, now we know exactly who he is, and this person is capable of ordering Cuban citizens to take a stand against their own people while he runs away in his caravan of armored vehicles every time. In fact, he wouldn’t get any more support than the vermin who eat his left-overs.

On Mesa Redonda, its host (who I won’t describe here) said that the protests were meant to stir a social uprising to provoke a change in the leadership that “we” have decided to have, backed by the Constitution.

The “we” and the Constitution are the key arguments here, and millions of Cubans who voted YES at that time should be now regretting the huge mistake they made. We’d have to see now if, just three years after that constitutional referendum, and without the packaging of other articles that might favor one group or another, really does have the people’s support.

A Referendum needs to be held to see if this really is what the majority of the Cuban people want, but without all of the dressing up; just this: Do you want to carry on with the leadership in power today? That’s it. Then, we’ll see if they really have the support they believe they have.

The recent Family Act referendum already got them shaking at the knees, because it barely passed, as lots of people understood that anything that goes into the ballot box is just a carte blanche for the dictatorship to remain in power.

It was ratified, that’s true, but it was a clear demonstration of the current polarization of Cuban society, and of the fact that millions of people are now “awake” and no longer willing to repeat that “for whatever bla bla bla”.

But going back to the Attorney General’s PR person, she focused on attacks against public services – like acts of vandalism in July 2021 – and that is enough for her to completely write off the vast majority of protestors’ just demand for freedom.

“Cuba has every right to defend itself, like every country does,” she said, as if it were a matter of war and not peaceful protests (not including attacks, of course), that happen anywhere in the world.

Supreme Court president, Ruben Remigio Ferro, said himself that the Constitution includes the right to protest, but given what’s happened, they must already be regretting having put this sentence in the Constitution, and they turn the blindest eye to it because they can’t change it.

According to Ana Maria Hernandea, the Public Prosecutor’s Office is only investigating “typical crimes”, but she doesn’t explain that anything that goes against the dictatorship can be classified a “typical crimes”, even if it’s a YouTube livestream.

She also emphasized that the main troublemakers weren’t in Cuba, an argument that is always used to label anyone who takes to the street and demand their rights as a mercenary, according to official discourse which is confused by hate discourse transmitted from Miami mainly.

Nobody stops to think that the main message of hate came from Diaz-Canel himself on July 11, 2021, or that nobody has to upset you when you’ve spent all night without electricity and have to go to work the next morning and send your kids to school, or that the small amount of food you managed to get after waiting hours in line or paying sky-high prices – whether it’s out of your own pocket or with family remittances – go bad.

It’s normal and traditional for the dictatorship to use any acts of sabotage to present itself to the world as the victim, and that’s why I’m personally against all these kinds of acts, because in the long-run, it gives them not only what they need to discredit the people doing them, but also to punish and calm down the rest, putting everyone in the same bag.

Blocking roads and stopping cars and people ffrom circulating on the street is also illegal, according to Hernandez, although this isn’t the case if it’s the police doing this to circle in a group of protestors or to stop dissidents from going to a meeting or event (remember last November 15th when Yunior Garcia wanted to go outside holding a frightening white rose in his hands).

The lawyer didn’t stop there, and slyly referred to the participation of minors in these kinds of protests, to insist on the responsibility parents have over them as, according to the new Family Act, it is their duty to protect their children and not to put them in a dangerous situation.

“In our country, children have been given a privileged space,” the woman said and that’s when I had to turn the TV off, because that is really abusive when my children have to go to school without having rested enough because of a blackout and without eating a proper meal. Not to mention entertaining them, which is practically impossible for most parents because of their low wages and the high cost of living.

They’re also forgetting that “the Revolution” summons children and women to take part in hate rallies, most of the time without their parents’ consent because they are allegedly at school when this happens.

They are also forgetting that thousands of these very same children have had dengue because of the poor hygiene conditions around them, with garbage dumps on almost every street corner, and without a mosquito net to protect them from vectors ot medicines for treatment.

Or the lack of safety on our streets with attacks to steal motorbikes, necklaces, cellphones, regardless of age, time of day and place.

So, I wonder: why don’t I have the right to defend myself?

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times

2 thoughts on “The Revolution has the Right to Defend Itself, but I Don’t

  • The current gov has done many bad things and we need western investment and proper wages and proper food and medical supplies. We need to allow and a number of dutch farmers run the agricultural system that are being asked to quit farming in Holland. We have no way under the current gov to develop a solid light manufacturing base and strong agricultural and food processors and distribution systems

  • The dictatorship has the right to torture, imprison, and repress the people to sustain the dome in power that lives in houses stolen from the honest people who had no other option than exile

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