Huge Police Deployment for a Sign Against Miguel Diaz-Canel in Santos Suarez, Cuba

“Abajo Canel singao,” (Down with Canel Motherfucker), was read in gigantic letters on General Serrano street, almost on the corner of Vía Blanca

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Natalia López Moya, Havana, 26 January 2022 — A mob of police, military and plainclothes agents on Suzuki motorcycles, plus a Criminalistics vehicle, gathered this Wednesday on General Serrano street, almost on the corner of Vía Blanca, in Santos Suárez, Havana. It was not for any blood crime: rather the latest graffiti against Cuba’s hand-picked president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, has appeared there.

“It looks like someone’s been killed,” a local resident commented sarcastically, while a group of officials in white coats rushed around in front of the wall, which said in gigantic letters: “Abajo Canel singao” (Down with Canel Motherfucker). “I guess they’re collecting fingerprints, because they can’t be doing anything else there,” the man continued, looking at the entire display in astonishment.

Posters with phrases against the government, and especially against Díaz-Canel, are becoming more and more frequent on Cuban streets. Not a day goes by without the Cuban president being the target of a meme, a mockery, a joke or a graffiti, something unthinkable when new technologies had not reached the island and the terror instilled by Fidel Castro dissuaded so many from scribbling his name on a wall.

The place chosen for this graffiti could not be more symbolic. Popularly known as “the Malecón without water,” the wall separates the busy Vía Blanca from the nearest houses, but also draws a well-marked border between very poor neighborhoods, such as El Canal, and others with greater purchasing power, in the style of Santos Suarez.

Some neighbors and drivers who passed through the place published images on social networks in which an entire criminalistics team is seen photographing and trying to obtain prints around the sign, an action that has sparked criticism in a city marked by robberies and assaults where, for the most part, the perpetrators are never investigated or caught.

Allusions to television programs such as CSI and its official Cuban copy, Behind the Footprint, were not lacking among Internet users, who also satirized about the presence of a tanker truck with water to help with the cleaning and removal of the letters, in the middle of a city where the water supply is a headache for hundreds of thousands of inhabitants.

Passers-by were particularly struck by the size of the graffiti. With letters over a meter high, something that implies additional courage for the authors, who must have spent a lot of time in the area to complete their work, a job that the lack of public lighting that characterizes the place must have facilitated.


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