The Malecon Uprising / Rosa Maria Rodriguez

12 -- The Maleconazo. (Wikimedia)
The Maleconazo uprising of August 1994. (Wikimedia)

This August 5 will be the 19th anniversary of the Maleconazo. The rumor that boats from the United States were reaching the Havana Malecon to transport Cubans to that country, turned into the gunpowder that moved hundreds of people — aware of the Mariel Boat Lift in 1980 — to the north coast of Cuban with the intention of migrating to the democratic and supportive land of Lincoln. Many expressed their desires to live in freedom and also, with public expressions, their discontent toward the caudillo Cuban government which by then was 35 years old.

Like many disturbances that arise spontaneously and in which there are no specific demands nor is there a clear pre-established and agreed on objective, the vandals of the Cuban political police mingled with the crowd, smashed shop windows and caused various damage.

We thought then, as we do now, that they had been duly instructed and oriented through “their channels” to take the initiative and to internationally discredit and minimize the impact of the civic protest. A police device that seems to have been anticipated all possible scenarios and their rapid responses pre-established for every social action.

Later, when the authorities’ reinforcements arrived in vehicles with soldiers dressed in plain clothes, and paramilitaries armed with rebar to “fight” for the government, the “barbarians” joined the side and shouted the same “Revolutionary” slogans of the last 50 years. So it turned into the largest anti-government protest recorded in the history since 1959.

Almost twenty years later, the Castro dynasty continues in government, with Raul at the front (or the side?), and with a political intolerance that is closer to the rigidity of a systemic rigor mortis.

Connoisseurs of the current speed and diversity at the global scale, have had plenty of time to prepare for change before the eyes of the world: a gradual and controlled Maleconazo that wins them and their families 19 more years. Hopefully, so much political stubbornness and irresponsibility will not cost our noble people an irreparable national fracture!

7 August 2013