A Not So "Spontaneous" Gathering in Havana’s Trillo Park

The event “Tángana en el Trillo. Youth for Socialist Democracy,” was a demonstration in response to recent criticisms from the Cuban artistic community. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, 30 November 2020 — To the rhythm of pro-government slogans, with great coverage by the official press and the presence of Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, the event “Tángana en el Trillo. Young people for socialist democracy,” was held this Sunday in Havana, a demonstration in response to recent criticisms from the Cuban artistic community.

Despite the fact that the initial convocation remarked that the participants in Tángana had planned the meeting “spontaneously,” the outskirts of Trillo park were guarded by a strong State Security operation, in addition to buses and state cars that transported many of the attendees.

Among the several hundred people who participated in the event in Centro Habana, there were also some workers in their uniforms of state entities, such as the employees of the Construction Company of Architecture Works (Ecoa), frequently used by the Government for this type of public events.

The Sunday afternoon had moments with live music, others in which the reading of poetry and the fiery speeches of young communists prevailed. Among the slogans most repeated by the crowd were official slogans such as “Long live Fidel,” “Long live the Revolution” and “Continuity, continuity.”

The gathering was not lacking the support of Miguel Díaz-Canel, who appeared in the middle of the event and gave a speech. “They have put on a media show for us,” said the president without mentioning names, but in clear allusion to the artists who met last Friday in front of the Ministry of Culture and the members of the San Isidro Movement.

Díaz-Canel considered the actions of independent activists and artists as part of “an unconventional war strategy to try to overthrow the Revolution”, originating from “the Trumpistas and the anti-Cuban mafia” in the United States. He also affirmed that in Cuba “there is space for dialogue for everything that is Revolution.”

Díaz-Canel’s statements come two days after some thirty artists, representing several hundred who stood in front of the Ministry of Culture, agreed with sector officials on a list of demands aimed at ending the repression against the creators and the beginning of a dialogue between both parties.

Despite the fact that the initial call for the gathering claimed that the participants in Tángana had planned the meeting “spontaneously,” the area around the park was full of state buses that brought hundreds of people. (14ymedio)

“We are here to democratize socialism,” a young man from the Higher Institute of International Relations who participated in the event told 14ymedio. The young man listed the steps for this process as “eliminating racism and social classes.”

“They say they are the majority but there are not so many people,” a neighbor from a concrete block with balconies facing Trillo Park told this newspaper. “Here whenever they put out a truck to sell beer or rum, more people gather,” says the woman who preferred anonymity. “I’ve seen a lot of those who got away as soon as they had a chance.”

Among those who only stayed for a few minutes was a group of employees from the National Institute of Sports, Physical Education and Recreation (Inder) who at the beginning of the music walked along Hospital Street towards Zanja Avenue, until they left behind the sound of the slogans, and the applause.


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.