Cuba: ‘Some Offer to Walk with a Rose in Hand, and Others are Prepared with Bats and Death Slogans’

Catholic clergy have declared themselves against the violence with which the Government threatens protesters. (Marcos Evora)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, November 12, 2021–In addition to the letter from bishops calling for “the changes necessary” in Cuba and from several priests demanding “respect for those”  who would like to join the Civic March for Change scheduled for Monday, more Catholic clergy have declared themselves against the violence with which the Government threatens to respond to the initiative.

The Superior of the Daughters of Charity in Cuba and former president of the Cuban Clerical Conference (Concur), Nadieska Almeida Miguel, on her social media launched an open call where she cries “enough”.

“Since the peaceful march was proposed, planned in advance and with respect, with a clear invitation to freedom of expression, the right of any citizen anywhere in the world,” the nun says in her publication, “we’ve witnessed completely contrary responses, including arbitrary ones: acts of repudiation, threatening phone calls, beatings by police officers, who are supposed to accompany and protect all people, summons as warnings, youth detentions, defamations in state media.”

The nun asks herself: “Is it so difficult to allow a march that in and of itself is legitimate? Isn’t is easier to allow each person to express their feelings? How is it possible that, while some offer to walk with a rose in hand, recalling our beloved José Martí’s poem, others are prepared with rifles, bats and death slogans?”

Thus, she requests, among other things, to stop the violence “of which many are victims” and the “deployment of police everywhere,” as well as avoiding that “these people continue to be submerged in poverty” and “placing the responsibility upon those who do not have it.”

“Enough of trying to make us believe that all is well in our country. Enough of portraying an untrue image of the reality. Enough of ignoring the cries of mothers whose children are incarcerated with long sentences for saying with courage: this is not what I want,” states the nun.

Sister Nadieska, who last year published a letter denouncing the “unjust” dollarization of the Island and holding the Government responsible for the shortages of food, she concludes by praying to God she will “see the yearned dream of unity and freedom that is there in the heart of every Cuban.”

For its part, Concur’s Board of Directors also expressed itself in a public message. Thus affirming to join, “with faith and hope, the diverse voices of the Church which have expressed themselves with humility and courage throughout the week” inviting “respect for freedom of expression, avoiding all forms of mistreatment or violence, to generate peace, listening to the dissatisfaction of the most impoverished and vulnerable, to promote the changes which will favor a dignified life, a reduction in social tension, a review of cases and the liberation of the many unjustly detained.”

“The path can never be violence, the only response to coexistence is love,” says the Clerical Conference, which asserts this is the moment “to unite efforts in search of a better future for all Cubans,” and concludes: “Let’s begin clearing paths to achieve the dream, not yet reached, of a Homeland with everyone and for the good of everyone, without any type of exclusion”.

Translated by: Silvia Suárez


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.