14ymedio, Havana, 12 October 2021 — On Tuesday, the Cuban government described as “illegal” and a “provocation” the Civic March for Change called by the Archipiélago platform, scheduled for November 15. That is the “official response” that the Municipal Assemblies of Old Havana, Consolación del Sur, Santa Clara, Cienfuegos, Nuevitas, Las Tunas, Holguín and Guantánamo announced this Tuesday to the promoters of the demonstration.
“Article 56 of the Constitution, which is mentioned [in the organizers’ letter regarding the planned march] as legal support, establishes among the requirements for the exercise of the right to demonstrate the legality and ’respect for public order and compliance with the regulations established in the law’,” say the officials of all those cities in a text contained in eight individual letters, which assert: “As for the legality, legitimacy is not recognized in the reasons given for the march.”
They then resort to the usual argument of the foreign “enemy”: “The promoters and their public projections, as well as the links of some with subversive organizations or agencies financed by the US government, have the manifest intention of promoting a change in the political system in Cuba.”
The proof of this, according to officialdom, is that “as soon as it was announced, the march received public support from US legislators, political operators and the media that encourage actions against the Cuban people, try to destabilize the country and urge military intervention.”
The promoters of the demonstration, however, have been very emphatic about the peaceful nature of the call to march, asking potential participants to distance themselves from provocation and eventual violent actions. Avoiding confrontation was precisely one of the reasons that pushed the Archipiélago group to advance the march to November 15, after the Government declared November 20, the original date for the activists’ action, “National Day of the Defense.”
Both the first call and the change of day were announced at the headquarters of the National Assembly. Keeping it the same day, Yunior García, one of the most visible faces of the proposal, had said, implied a “great responsibility on his shoulders.” It would be throwing, he asserted, “young people in the middle of an army, something extremely risky.”
The regime mentions none of this in its cloned municipal letters, which conclude by saying “the announced march, whose organizational scheme is conceived simultaneously for other territories of the country, constitutes a provocation as part of the ’regime change’ strategy, rehearsed in other countries,” without specifying which strategies or countries it specifically refers to.
In the document, the authorities cite Article 45 of the Constitution (“the exercise of people’s rights is only limited by the rights of others, collective security, general welfare, respect for public order, Constitution and the laws”) to subjugate it to Article 4:” The socialist system that this Constitution endorses is irrevocable,” therefore,” any action taken against it is illegal.”
Since the approval of the new Constitution, Article 4 has been singled out by various human rights groups and independent organizations, which consider it, together with Article 5 — which enshrines the superiority of the Communist Party in the management of the country — as a lock to avoid political reforms on the island.
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