14ymedio, Havana, November 16, 2021 — After the Cuban government took actions that prevented the Civic March for Change from taking place, the online platform Archipelago issued a statement in response, calling upon participants to extend the protests until November 27, the one-year anniversary of a sit-in by artists and intellectuals in front of the Ministry of Culture. The group states, “The Cuban people have never been more united in the struggle for their rights.
The dissident group is proposing a series of activities to draw attention to its message. It asks people to continue wearing white clothing, carrying single roses, banging metal pots at 9:00 PM every night and spreading the word about what is happening in the country, their families and their neighborhoods, particularly among those who do not have access to social media.
It is also inviting all those sympathetic to its cause to lay a rose at the statue of a Cuban martyr at time time that feels appropriate and safe, documenting their actions so they can be disseminated online. The group characterizes such action as a way to repay “a debt of honor to the Apostle José Martí.”
The group made its proposal in a statement, released after midnight, in which it summarized the previous day’s events. The document criticizes actions by the government, stating it has criminalized and shown contempt for the right to freedom of expression, assembly and protest recognized by the Cuban constitution and the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It accuses the government of “turning Cubans against Cubans.”
“The Cuban government has responded to our calls the way a dictatorship does: with extreme militarization of the streets, harassment of more than a hundred activists, arbitrary detentions, forced disappearances, acts of repudiation, threats, coercion and hate-filled speeches,” the document states. The group warns it will not tolerate this escalation of violence against peaceful citizens.
Despite all the efforts by authorities, the group portrays the march as a success. It cites expressions of solidarity it received from 120 cities around the world and from those in Cuba who were able to take to the streets to show a minimal gesture of support. “We have surpassed ourselves as a nation and this is the resounding success of November 15.
The group’s efforts will continue till November 27 and its goals remain the same: the release of political prisoners and prisoners or conscience, respect for the rights of expression, assembly and protest, an end to politically motivated violence among Cubans and the beginning of a dialogue with the goal of to resolving differences by democratic and peaceful means.
At the end of the statement the group suggests November 27 will not mark the end of its activities: “If the Government does not abandon its efforts to violate our rights, we will continue the civic struggle until Cuba is a state of rights, a republic ’of all and for the good of all’.”
The group expressed its solidarity with the many people linked to the opposition who remained unaccounted for, detained or under siege in their homes as of November 16.
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