Committees in Defense of the Revolution (CDR) Attempt to Revitalize Themselves Amid the Crisis in Cuba

In the Havana neighborhood of Nuevo Vedado, residents reacted to the announcement with more annoyance than enthusiasm (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 3 August 2022 — The economic and social situation in Cuba serves as the pulse for a country going downhill while the regime, rather than opting for reforms and immediate solutions, bets on greater control and vigilance, as it has done historically. In several zones of the capital, they have announced an “assembly for the revitalization and strengthening of the CDR (Committees in Defense of the Revolution).”

Faced with dozens of protests arising throughout the island in the last several days due to the long-lasting blackouts, the government seeks to regain, in neighborhoods, the control it has lost. CDR officials delivered summons for the meeting which mention that the participation of CDR members “is very important,” however many residents say they will not attend to listen to the same old speeches.

In the Havana neighborhood of Nuevo Vedado, residents reacted to the announcement with more annoyance than enthusiasm. “In this building, one elevator operates between 11 am and 1 pm,” one of the residents of the 12-story building on Santa Ana street lamented on Wednesday. “The water pump can’t be used during that time and neither can electricity in the common areas,” he adds.

“That affects several self-employed people who rent space on the ground floor of these buildings. They pay their electric bill on time, but because they are in common areas, they can’t provide services during those hours,” explained the resident of that zone to 14ymedio. “That measure is causing a lot of unrest so I can’t imagine that many people will lend themselves to reactivating the CDR.”

The collapse of the National Electric System will not be resolved for the time being and the protests will continue. “People do not want justifications nor explanations, they want electricity so they can eat and escape the unbearable heat,” stated another neighbor in Nuevo Vedado.

The CDR are used constantly by the government to camouflage the Rapid Response Brigades they use to insert State Security agents to repress the people, opponents, dissidents and the independent press. Some of their most criticized activities are the acts of repudiation which started out strong in the 70s and 80s and have currently resumed as part of campaigns to discredit opponents and independent artists.

Translated by: Silvia Suárez

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