14ymedio, Yoani Sánchez, Generation Y, Havana, 16 November 2021 –The streets almost empty and tension in the air. This is how Havana experienced this Monday, a day in which independent groups had called for a Civic March for the freedom of political prisoners and a democratic change on the island. In the same avenues and shops that two days before were full of people, on this November 15 (15N), there were only uniformed or plainclothes police.
The day before, the playwright Yunior García Aguilera – one of the main organizers of the peaceful protest – had been locked in his house with the official mobs shouting in front of his door. Despite preventing him from leaving his home, the repressors could not prevent the activist from gifting the history of Cuba with image of a powerful civic spirit: a man imprisoned in his own home, putting his hand out of the window with a white rose.
The excessive police and repressive deployment that the Cuban regime has unleashed has not only affected those who, this Monday, were victims of acts of repudiation, suffered the cut off of internet access service, or were arrested while trying to go out on the street. The main cost has gone to the account of the authorities themselves, who have shown their ugliest face to a citizenry tired of the excessive controls that have increased significantly after the protests of July 11.
Maintaining this state of terror for a long time is almost impossible for the Plaza of the Revolution
In the streets, displeasure and indignation grow at the disproportion of forces between the unarmed citizens and the official forces ready to “face any action,” as president Miguel Díaz-Canel warned last Friday. Anger grows and, although fear still grips many throats, Castroism loses more followers every day among the relatives, neighbors and friends of those who are repressed.
Maintaining this state of terror for a long time is almost impossible for the Plaza of the Revolution. Although the leaders of the Communist Party have the desire to prolong, for months, the surveillance on every corner, the squads of political police lurking in front of the houses of the dissidents and the vociferous rallies of hatred around the houses of the activists, they lack the resources to do all this. This system got used to buying loyalties, even if it was with crumbs and there are no crumbs left.
The country is bankrupt and the people are fed up. Neither the economic crisis nor the popular unrest can be reversed in the short or medium term. Although this 15N they have managed to stifle the Civic March by appealing to the old methods of intimidation, in the air-conditioned offices of power in Cuba they already know that they cannot govern this way for long. They know that they lost the path to reach the heart of the people; they know that fear changed sides on this Island and now they are the ones who fear.
This text was originally published on the Deutsche Welle website for Latin America.
COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 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.