14ymedio, Havana, 28 October 2021 — A new chapter in the struggle between supporters and adversaries of the Civic March for Change scheduled for the 15N (15 November) in several Cuban provinces. This time, money has been at the center of criticism and the artist Yunior García Aguilera, tired of the mercenary accusations that the regime dedicates to him, has defended himself by attacking.
“The Archipiélago has even rejected fundraising among its members. The only ones interested in Yankee money, we already know who they are: those who built more hotels than hospitals in the middle of the pandemic, the creators of stores [that only take payment] in MLC [freely convertible currency], those who lied to us with that they would end the double currency,” the most visible face of the call has snapped from his Facebook profile.
García Aguilera, habitually calm in his speeches, could not contain the anger it caused him to see published in the official media a conversation he had with Ramón Saúl Sánchez edited for dissemination and in which fragments are clearly missing. The artist has challenged the authorities to present the full audio so that everything he said is clear.
During that conversation, the exiled Ramón Sául Sánchez, leader of the Democracy Movement and described as a terrorist by Havana, offers his support to Archipiélago, both through the support events organized for November 14 and for media coverage of communication inside and outside of Cuba. The fragments are enough for Cuban officialdom to claim that the US Government is behind Archipiélago — the convening platform — García Aguilera and the marches.
Yunior García recalls that he has been under surveillance for at least a year, since he addressed 15 questions to the Government, and he concludes that State Security lies when asserting that there is a relationship between him and the United States. The artist, in fact , vindicates the government’s position against the embargo, which he even expressed to Timothy Zúñiga-Brown, charge d’affaires of the United States Embassy in Havana, in a meeting held long before July 11.
With regards to that conversation, he says, “I spent most of the time explaining why I do not support any sanction that would starve the Cuban family and serve as excuses for the Government to justify its disasters. Archipiélago and the march was never discussed at that time. (… .) It focused on the need to remove the blockade/embargo, the subject of our talk on that occasion. Ironies of life … ,” he recriminates.
García Aguilera defends the purely Cuban character of the Archipiélago group and reveals that the first person to whom he commented on the project was the troubadour Silvio Rodríguez.
“Each decision made in the Archipiélago has been the result of a broad and deep debate among a group of CUBANOS (sic) moderators, of whom I am proud. The democracy that was born in such a diverse group, gives me back my hopes every night in the future of Cuba. Hopes that, inevitably, I lose every time I watch the news or listen to a speech by our stubborn leaders, trained in Soviet manuals and too convenient paranoias,” he continues.
García Aguilera also adds that he accepted an invitation to be part of Cuba Próxima, chaired by Roberto Veiga, but that he has not even been able to participate in it due to the continuous internet cuts they suffer at home.
García Aguilera is amazed that just a year ago, and even being a critical artist, he was someone taken into account by the authorities to participate in the meeting that the Ministry of Culture promoted with some participants in the protests of November 27, 2020 — an invitation that Yunior García Aguilera rejected as a farce — and now he has become a little less than a violent terrorist.
“Despite the shame caused by these gentlemen clinging to power, I will never lose my faith in my country and its people. Although, to be honest, I feel immense sorrow for all those Cubans who are still not capable of detecting lies when they have them in front of them,” says García Aguilera, who again asks for courage in the face of government threats. “The regime openly announces a crime against a beautiful generation, whose DIGNITY (sic) has become much greater than their fears. That is why the regime would never sit with us to dialogue. They have shown their panic at civility, and they do so by exercising the violence that characterizes them.”
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