By Julio Cesar Guanche* (El Toque)
HAVANA TIMES – What’s happening in Cuba right now is just as serious as it is unprecedented.
President Diaz-Canel sounded the war horn saying “the streets belong to the revolutionaries”.
The reality is that the pandemic has exarcebated several previous and successive crises.
The reality is that there are people who are infamously trying to fill their pockets with calls for “humanitarian intervention” after the pandemic gets worse.
The reality is that Miami is calling for a military intervention right now.
The reality is that the Cuban Trump-supporting movement celebrated his deathlock on the island, by extending the blockade to infinity, while shouting slogans for life and freedom.
However, the reality is also the fact that only the army and police forces have weapons in Cuba. A people drafted by the State, and supported by all of its institutions (including the military), is not “a people” fighting the counter-Revolution.
It’s a population group that is being supported by the State, and is fighting alongside it, against a social protest that has been incubating for a long time, for well-known reasons, decisive demands, very clear emergencies and deep-rooted needs.
The distinction between “counter-revolutionaries” and “confused revolutionaries” appeared to be a hint at recognizing the legitimate causes for the protest.
However, the call to combat against the protest as the State’s first response – instead of seeking out the value and imagination to propose political solutions to the unrest, and commit itself to this path -, was the exact opposite of what was really needed. Instead, the State tried to put out the fire by adding more gasoline.
Nobody can really think that the Cuban government, or the Cuban people who are conscious revolutionaries (those who still think that they are just a handful of people with positions in government and government benefits are wrong), are going to lay down their right to defend everything they believe in, and everything they have dedicated their lives for, amid this landscape.
However, there is nothing more revolutionary that intervening with politics along this path that seems to be unswerving from the facts. There is nothing more revolutionary that seeking out ways to process conflict. There is nothing more revolutionary that turning to politics, when a civil war seems like the only option.
It’s very hard to respond to a serious and unprecedented situation, but there is nothing more revolutionary than responding to the unprecedented with an unprecedented response. Just because it’s unprecedented, doesn’t mean we know absolutely nothing about the situation. Ever since the time of Thucydides, we have known that war is a harsh teacher, and that only politics allows and gives life to both sides.
There have been signs for a long time now that the Cuban situation we’re seeing now, would come. The vast majority of warnings were disregarded and many of their authors, including those with patriotic proposals of dialogue and conflict management, were silenced, or worse yet, victims of reprisals.
The only question now is: what will the new day bring? We know that there are certainties and duties of the “Revolution’s defense”: the population is a plural construct and is never the enemy, and the promise made in 1959 was “Freedom with bread, and bread without terror”.
We know the causes of social uprisings, and the consequences of a “call to battle”, but nobody can calculate the consequences of an uprising, nor the ability of the police and paramilitary forces to contain it.
Tonight may be the longest night in Cuban history, in decades. Only politics will allow us to wake up tomorrow with something we are proud to call Homeland in our hands.
*This article was originally posted on the author’s Facebook page and has been published with his authorization.