14ymedio, Vicente Echerri, New York, 23 August 2021 — We are living in the aftermath of what happened in Cuba on July 11, when thousands of people, in more than forty cities and towns of the country, came out to protest against an asphyxiating dictatorship and to demand the freedom that they have lacked for more than 60 years.
At last, those of us who have waited so long from the other shore, we have seen a glimpse of dignity and rebellion that we can only contemplate with love and respect. They have just carried out what we could not, did not want or did not dare to do, perhaps because it was not our time. A sentence of cowardice or of timidity weighs on us, or perhaps against us, the lack of an opportunity was imposed. Some will say that perhaps now everything is easier: the monster of then is no more than a toothless and famished beast.
The latter in no way diminishes the heroic will: starving people have clamored for “freedom,” not for food; the unsatisfied values of the spirit have been the priority in the mouths of the protesters and that single invocation redeems them, rescues their humanity subjugated and debased by so many years of despotic power.
The spontaneous action of that day should not be considered as an inexplicable and unusual outburst, but as the natural consequence of the exercise of an outrageous oppression that has been stripped of arguments and values: a pure tyranny that has nothing to argue to cling to power more than a legend full of holes.
The Cuban Revolution is a huge fraud to which several generations sacrificed their future and their dreams. Those of us who have never been seduced by their evil charm cannot help but grieve for those who, naively, bet on an idiotic and criminal utopia that would claim their souls without offering them more than a yoke in exchange.
Now is the time for stark disenchantment. They are very young, almost children, those who have led the demonstrations that have exposed to the world the horror that Cuba is experiencing without any propaganda helping to mask it.
They are the forced offshoots of a spurious order that go out to claim the identity of the citizen that has been stolen from them, and they do it as best they can, with the elementary arguments they have, with the simple resources they have and with those who want to show their frustration and their deep anger, their rejection of a tyrannical state that offers them nothing but servitude.
For that courage they have confronted the repressive apparatus with which tyrannies always respond to demands for freedom and justice: sticks and shots from orchestrated hitmen, arrests and intimidations, against them and their families.
The protagonists of these street acts have also affirmed that they are not afraid and have already begun to show it. The day of the 11th of July is called to be the ceremonial salvo of the battle of a people for their rights, a conflict that could become arduous and bloody.
It is for us Cubans who live in exile, in this struggle, the role of the aggressive rearguard: to become a sounding board for those who expose their freedom and their lives in front of the gang of thugs that kidnapped our country, and to get the world to understand the reason for their cause — which is ours — and to show solidarity with it.
The author is a Cuban writer residing in the United States.
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.