Silivio Rodriguez Criticizes the Cuban Government for Blocking the People’s Protests Over the Blackouts

Cuban singer-songwriter Silvio Rodríguez has once again made statements questioning the Díaz-Canel government. (La Tercera)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 29 August 2022 — The troubadour Silvio Rodríguez has once again used his blog to complain to the Executive of Miguel Díaz-Canel about its attitude towards the protests, particularly the most recent ones, against the lack of light and constant blackouts. “I think that our government makes a serious mistake when it prevents the people from taking actions for relief. That contradiction will have to be resolved or the people will end up confronting the government,” warns the artist.

Rodríguez publishes in Otra Cita, the continuation of his previous blog, Segunda Cita, a post by the Cuban official economist Humberto Herrera Carlés. It analyzes the supposed effects of the US embargo and how these have worsened, according to his thesis, since Donald Trump expanded the sanctions.

“The blockade is what prevents us the most, what delays us the most, what confuses us the most. Because constant pain blinds us. Knowing that, they made torture a law, so that not even the torturers themselves could stop it,” Rodriguez argues in a comment.

Despite this, the artist demands that Cubans can cry out against whomever they want, which they can no longer do. “I defend the right of everyone to explode and say what they feel,” he adds.

Rodríguez attacks the way of managing that has been imposed in Cuba and stresses that, from his point of view, the country is not socialist. “Socialism is a more equitable concept of wealth distribution. It has nothing to do with the government hoarding everything. All monopolies are undesirable and even more so the absolute ones,” he points out.

Although the singer-songwriter emphasizes that the workers are striving to carry forward an energy system that is moving rapidly towards collapse – “inventing, taking even from where we don’t have” – his diagnosis is that radical changes will be necessary.

“It is obvious that our way of generating energy has no future. I think that, as it is a strategic issue, of survival, in this sense we have to be radical and even make sacrifices, because our lives depend on it. There is no other way than to put ourselves body and soul for renewable energies,” the artist states.

Despite a devastating criticism that joins the many he has made in recent years toward the Díaz-Canel government and even to the Cuban communist model, Rodríguez softens his speech at the end and asks that the world be viewed positively with the aim of mobilizing against discouragement. “It is going through so much anguish, and what we could and could not do annoys us so much, that the temptation to blame the Government for everything is latent. (…) The haters also realize it and are trying to make sure Cuba is not given the slightest respite. Let’s not help them,” he adds.

On the same day, Díaz-Canel, during a visit to the Máximo Gómez thermoelectric plant in Mariel, and the Ernesto Guevara de la Serna plant in Santa Cruz del Norte, accused the Cubans who recently demonstrated against the blackouts of behaving “indecently,” since, in his opinion they respond to the interests of the “enemies of the Revolution” by creating discouragement and uncertainty. Unfortunately, there are people who, with quite indecent vandalism, lend themselves to such actions.”

The president was referring especially to the recent demonstrations in Nuevitas, which brought hundreds of citizens to the streets on August 19 and 20. In them, the neighbors banged on pots and pans, sounded horns and raised their own voices against the current situation of hunger and crisis, as well as the lack of freedoms. Those protests were suppressed and several people arrested.


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORKThe 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.