July 11 in Cuba: The Hour of the Homeland / Jeovany Jimenez Vega

Jeovany Jimenez Vega, 14 July 2021 — July 11, 2021 entered Cuban history through the front door when the dignified spark ignited in San Antonio de los Baños spread throughout the rest of the island: in a few hours more than fifty Cuban cities, from east to west, rose spontaneously in a massive outcry and millions of Cubans raised a fiery battle cry against a cornered dictatorship that has been able to do little.

During the first moments, the international press tacitly reduced everything to a simple discontent with the health crisis, however, during the three days that have followed all the cruelty of the regime has not been enough to quell the cry, which shows that the matter it is much more complex.

Exemplary has been the manhood with which my brave people reconquer the streets, fight for their freedom, stone their repressors, defend their neighborhoods, respond with nobility to beatings and disable police patrols.

We are facing a full-fledged general rebellion; what is being carried out by the Cuban people today is an authentic popular revolution, a much deeper phenomenon that far exceeds the magnitude and significance of the Maleconazo of 1994. That revolt, historic in that it was the first in more than 30 years of Castroism, was limited to the areas bordering the Havana coastline and was led by desperate people who did not demand anything, who only hoped to flee the island.

However, the perpetual Cuban crisis, never resolved, has deepened to unsustainable levels and on it rides an evident vacuum of political leadership not typical of the context of 1994. Without a doubt, the serious health situation generated by Covid could be the trigger this time, but the essential cause would have to be sought in the general boredom of a people tired of poverty and lies. A people who have traveled the world since the 2014 immigration reform opened opportunities for Cubans to travel, a people who have contrasted realities and are better informed, but also — a determining point — has found a powerful weapon in the immediacy of social networks, all of which raises a very different scenario from that of 1994.

This people that overflows the Cuban streets no longer seeks to flee, now it has become radicalized, it cries out for freedom, full freedom, and in multiple waves demands the end of the dictatorship. But even so much bravery can degenerate into banal outrages if it lacks direction, if the people who resist in the street cannot focus on precise objectives; then everything could be shipwrecked in the fatal sea of disillusionment. That will be, nobody doubts it, the bet of the regime: to delay everything, to add multiple dissuasive maneuvers to its repressive tactics until we are exhausted.

When I see my people suddenly recover their dignity, for so long forgotten, my heart swells with pride, for that reason it would hurt a lot if everything was badly managed due to the lack of clear goals. This fight must focus on concrete demands, which must be:

1.     The immediate resignation of Díaz-Canel and the establishment of a transitional government ( never accept a new figurehead elected by the pointing of a finger).

2.     Dissolution of the Communist Party of Cuba.

3.     Dissolution of the repressive bodies of the Ministry of the Interior.

4.     Dissolution of parliament and urgent formation of a constituent assembly.

5.     Call for free elections under international supervision.

For freedom to arrive and be consolidated in this long-suffering land, all these conditions must be met, otherwise everything would be frustrated: a context as polarized as the Cuban one would not allow half measures. Any formula that seeks to include some element of the current establishment would be incompatible with democracy.

The protests that began in Cuba on the second Sunday in July are a sublime act of vindication of the national dignity vexed by more than six decades of dictatorship, and must be understood by my people as a war in all rigor, not because they want to, but because this is what its counterpart assumes it to be.

The time of the Cuban people has come! This is the moment and no other, never has our freedom been so close! Let’s hold on to this historic opportunity, fight tooth and nail to defeat the tyrants. They can do nothing against millions of Cubans. It is proven by the hundreds of videos that are already swarming showing the intifada in the neighborhoods, the henchmen in flight, the residents who protest loudly, without any fear, in open rebellion. A brave Cuban has already said it:

Worthy Cuban, may you listen to me: we are facing a dictatorship overwhelmed by a sea of people, facing a dying tyranny that is on the defensive and fears us. Cuban who loves your country and suffers it every day: if you do not collaborate in any way with the tyrants who overwhelm you, if you raise your voice without fear, if you resist in the street for just one day for each year suffered in dictatorship, at dawn on the 63rd day we will be free!! Let’s live up to the moment: History expects from us the most selfless heroism so that our dead have not fallen in vain.

Their digital blackouts, their mass arrests, their beatings and all the atrocities committed or still to be committed will be of no use! They will achieve nothing with their riot police, with their cowardly hitmen disguised as civilians, with their rapid response brigades at the speed that they operate in front of a people determined to do everything, if for every imprisoned Cuban ten come out to retake the streets with reason and truth fighting on our side. The repressors must know that nothing will go unpunished!!

Not one step back, Cuban people, Castroism is mortally wounded!! The sacred time has come to reconquer the homeland that we will bequeath to our children!! The die is cast: if we retreat now the dictatorship will fight back with fury and all will be lost.

To the Cuban streets!! They protect their privileges, we fight in the name of human dignity! It’s about choosing between being free or living in slavery for the rest of our lives! Let’s conquer the usurped rights as expected by the heroes who from the insurgent jungle order the charge and shout Homeland and Life! Long live Cuba free of dictatorship!