We Mustn’t Be Accomplices of the Repression in Cuba

Alina Barbara Lopez and Jenny Pantoja.  Photo from CubaxCuba Facebook page

By Julio Antonio Fernandez (El Toque)

HAVANA TIMES – Dissidence and political opposition in Cuba have been repressed in many different ways since the Revolution triumphed in 1959.

I’m not adding anything here that we don’t already know. Political and civil liberties have been silenced ever since that date, with the use of an enormous arsenal of repressive methods and practices.

Freedom of expression has been strangled, as has press freedom and the rights to assemble, protest, associate, demonstrate, strike, or form political organizations. In the same way, there’ve been limits on religious freedom, trade unions, and parents’ right to make decisions regarding the education of their children.

The Cuban government has found an immoral (but successful) justification to legitimize the repression of political pluralism in the country: the doctrine of Plaza Sitiada [besieged plaza] and the undeclared state of exception – first because of the Cold War, and always due to the US blockade or embargo, which in turn forms part of a long historic rift with the government of the United States.

The dispute with the US government is a fact – or rather a complex political, economic, cultural, and legal process – in which the ones who have essentially been harmed are the peoples of Cuba and the United States.

The blockade-embargo is also a composite of administrative laws and decisions that for over 60 years has damaged the people of Cuba and the citizens of the US who have aspired to establish economic, political, commercial, cultural, academic and scientific relations within a framework of normality and legality.

The historic divide between the Cuban and the US governments, especially since 1959, and the blockade-embargo have only served the political, economic, and cultural interests of the political extremes of each country which has impeded the possibility of relaxing the policies and moving towards a rapprochement between the two nations.

The immorality of the Cuban government is rooted in its use of these circumstances to justify and implement an authoritarian political regime. The immorality of the US government has consisted in pressuring the Cuban government to enact supposedly democratic political and economic reforms through measures that affect the people and not the rulers.

There’s not a single political or economic reason related to the consequences of the United States’ blockade-embargo that obligates the Cuban government to limit civil and political rights inside the country, nor is there any justification for impeding citizen participation, alternation in power, and political pluralism. The violations of civil and political rights in Cuba over decades have stemmed from the government’s decision not to allow movement, renewal, or transformation of the prevailing political system.

Nor is there a single legal or political reason related to ethics or a mandate for justice that would allow the justification of the blockade-embargo as a system of measures to help the people of Cuba.

The political, legislative, and economic decisions of the United States government are the product of their norms, political practices and power plays.  They’re beyond the reach of the Cuban people’s sovereignty.

On the other hand, the type of political regime that exists in Cuba does depend on the sovereignty of the Cuban people. Authoritarianism isn’t a drift of the Cuban government that we should tolerate as a natural event. The authoritarianism, the tyrannical, dictatorial, anti-democratic regime hasn’t been a decision of the Cuban people. The Cuban people don’t want to live without civil and political rights; they don’t want to live with battered economic, social and cultural rights.

The Cuban people haven’t decided to hold hundreds of people in jail as political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. They haven’t decided to censor, persecute, stalk, torture, or lay siege to artists, journalists, teachers, activists, intellectuals, workers, parents, youth and even children under 18 years old.

The Cuban political regime isn’t democratic, as we well know. The decision not to be so has nothing to do with the embargo-blockade nor with any policies of the United States. It’s a bet that historically has brought closer to reality that nightmare so beloved by many who don’t love either Cuba or the Cubans, of eliminating our nation, its sovereignty and its independence.

Never has a Cuban government been closer to sinking the nation than the current one is, at this very moment.

The nation can’t survive using political repression as the only road to resolving the country’s problems. The economy won’t begin to be successful because the Cuman government keeps over 1,000 political prisoners in our jails. Cuban society won’t be seen as an alternative to the societies under savage capitalism by offering an example of hunger, poverty, hopelessness, violence, ruptured families, massive and insecure emigration – in short, the sorrowful truth of what we’ve become.

Meanwhile, the Cuban government continues repressing the tiniest buzz of a fly that appears to indicate that things could be done in another way.

First, they repressed those they called mercenaries, those who held up the banners of human rights, those who attempted to make Constitutional changes, those who founded unpermitted parties, groups, or organizations, and those who proposed political reforms allied with liberalism and social democracy.

Later, they repressed those in favor of a republic, critical socialists, feminists, proponents of animal rights, the LGBTQI+ population, leftist university professors, once again the religious leaders, and always the free thinkers.

Now, the Cuban government continues striking out at those who dissent. It doesn’t matter who they are, where they’re from, what they’ve studied, what their political and social histories have been. The political radicalization in Cuba has been produced by the desperate situation people find themselves in, due to the government’s constant mockery of people’s real problems, the leaders’ immobility, the shamelessness of their speeches that deny the poverty, the shortages, the ruin, the political repression, and the existence of the political prisoners.

The Cuban government continues lashing out. Just now it’s done it again with Alina Barbara Lopez, the teacher, editor and socialist intellectual, and it’s abused and assaulted historian Jenny Pantoja.

They are two more women in the long list of heroines who have resisted the authoritarianism in Cuba, but they’re also those of this current moment, and those we must defend now. For them, we must scream out now, for whom we must set fire to the injustice and totalitarianism.

It’s not later. None of the political prisoners in Cuba can or should wait for later. The Cuban government must cease at once to repress our fatally wounded people, or in a very short time, there’ll be nothing left to save.

Read more from Cuba here on Havana Times.

One thought on “We Mustn’t Be Accomplices of the Repression in Cuba

  • The Time is long overdue that the communist Miss leaders are hauled into an INTERNAL COURT of JUSTICE I e SA vs ISRAEL on the grounds of HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS and distruction of public property Once the ICC has issued arrest warrants for them and the Judiciary including the 3 judges of the Supreme court for complicity in enforcement of criminal laws ONLY THAN will there be CHANGE coming to CUBA

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