Now, the Street Belongs to Everyone in Cuba

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, in his television appearance on July 11. (Screen capture)

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14ymedio, Elías Amor Bravo, Valencia, 12 July 2021 — On an important day for freedom and democracy in Cuba, Díaz-Canel, in an improvised appearance on television, could not think of anything  to say other than “the order of combat is given: Revolutionaries take to the streets.”

A bad business. Pitting some Cubans against others is a bad precedent that can lead to a civil war. Fortunately, the Cubans who took to the streets are peaceful people, who only aspire to live better, enjoy the benefits of work and get rid of the repressors of State Security that harass them daily.

On the other hand, with the eternal communist propaganda, Díaz-Canel places the conflict exactly where it is not, which is on the anguished people. The problem is him, his economic policies, the disastrous result of the ’Ordering Task’*. He was warned and, with everything, he decided to go ahead. Now he has what was expected.

Díaz-Canel acknowledges that the situation is difficult. Neither more nor less than is being experienced in other countries of the Caribbean, Latin America and the world. Cuba is no exception. Covid-19 hits the world economy hard and even developed countries resent the current scenario.

The difference with Cuba is that no one, in their right mind, has inplemented a hard adjustment policy in the midst of the pandemic, Rather there is an inopportune policy, incorrectly designed and poorly implemented, forced by the ideological circumstances of a communist congress. And now its effects are here.

Blaming the United States embargo for what is happening no longer believed by anyone. Credit has been exhausted. The Cubans who came out to protest know that the only one who suffocates the economy is Díaz-Canel and, therefore, the social outbreak is already here. There’s no turning back. Díaz-Canel is responsible for the food shortage in the country and the inability to boost the economy. If Venezuela can no longer ship its compromised oil, it’s a bad business, but the fault lies with him. The campaigns to discredit the Cuban communist regime are deserved, and more will come, because the credit has run out.

Half of the television appearance was directed to attacking the United States and the other half, to avoid personal responsibility for everything that happened. Díaz-Canel is alone, he no longer has General Raúl Castro protecting his excesses. The communist organization that took to the streets yesterday in response to his call does not faithfully reflect the new Cuban society. It crumbles like a sugar cuba, it has no future. And that loneliness in the dome of power terrifies Díaz-Canel, who does not understand how it is possible that he is not loved.

Cuban communists do not know how to manage social protest, because they have experienced 63 years of leading an endless project that has resulted in failure. And now, they are clinging to a power that no longer responds to social needs, nor to the demands of these times.

All authoritarian regimes end this way, some in traumatic situations like Ceausescu’s Romania. Díaz-Canel knows that he will never be the Cuban Gorbachev, and that terrifies him. He has lost the opportunity offered by the historical scenario for a profound transformation of Cuban society, and now he is afraid, and he is throwing his “militants” into a civil war that, in advance, they have lost.

Does Díaz-Canel really believe that, if there were no such thing as a ’blockade’, the current situation in Cuba would be much better, that is, and his chances of remaining in power indefinitely would be greater? He is wrong. The worst thing is that he believes that his regime is not a dictatorship because it gives healthcare to the population and seeks the well-being of all.

Once again he is wrong. The people no longer believe this argument that could serve Fidel Castro 40 years ago. The Cuban communist dictatorship, for the many programs and public policies that it deploys for everyone, is a dictatorship that vindicates violence, the confrontation of one against another and the use of an undemocratic, contemptuous and reactionary language that does not contribute to, much less calm, the situation.

Díaz-Canel’s television appearance was a good example of this by introducing a new figure, the “confused revolutionaries,” who even he does not believe in at this point. Those who have participated in the spontaneous demonstrations throughout the island this past Sunday have no confusion and know what they want: in fact, they chanted it continuously: freedom, democracy and a better future.

*Translator’s note: The so-called ’Ordering Task” — Tarea ordenamiento — is a collection of measures that includes eliminating the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), leaving the Cuban peso as the only national currency, raising prices, raising salaries (but not as much as prices), opening stores that take payment only in hard currency which must be in the form of specially issued pre-paid debit cards, and others. 

Editor’s Note: This text was originally published on the Cubaeconomía blog and is reproduced here with the author’s permission.


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