The Paris Club Must Stop Financing the Repression in Cuba

Havana Provincial Police Patrols. (Vladimir Molina Espada)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Luis Zúñiga, Miami, 22 November 2021 — The Cuban regime faces a very delicate and dangerous situation to maintain itself in power. On the one hand, the July 11 protests, in more than 40 cities and towns, showed the disgust of the population, which is living under the longest dictatorship in the Western Hemisphere, as well as multiple economic and social disasters.

On the other hand, Havana is on the verge of economic bankruptcy and does not have the slightest possibility of reversing that situation, already unsustainable for millions of Cubans.

Recently, several Members of the European Parliament joined with the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance in their denunciations against democratic governments and credit institutions, such as the Paris Club, which has just forgiven $8.5 billion in debt loaned to the ruined Cuban economy. Such indolence materializes behind closed doors, with its back to the Cuban people, and without demanding structural reforms from the island’s government.

As Orlando Gutiérrez-Boronat, president of the Cuban Democratic Directorate, pointed out, those 8.5 billion dollars were not used for the development of Cuba, or to carry out urgent infrastructure works. Nor even to solve the enormous need for housing.

The loans ended up in equipment for repression. It’s enough to see the expensive equipment of the special troops, the hundreds of police cars bought for the Police and the amount of fuel spent in the massive military mobilizations, on November 15. Meanwhile, hospitals are falling apart.

The communist leadership had always placed its trust in avoiding any dangerous situation, thanks to the terror imposed on the population with the power of arms, its special troops, and with guaranteed impunity to strike, repress and even kill.

Any cancellation of the enormous Cuban debt must be conditional on real changes in the country. Otherwise, governments and financial institutions will continue to finance the repression in the country. Cuba will need, when the conditions for a democratic transition are met, the goodwill of many countries to rebuild its economy, after decades of communist disaster.

The Island will have to change, inexorably. This is demanded by a large majority. On November 15, despite the gigantic police and paramilitary deployment, significant events occurred, such as seeing priests and nuns lead groups that circumvented police controls and took to the streets; in addition to many houses that displayed messages of “Patria y Vida” (Homeland and Life) and balconies with white or yellow fabrics, as a symbol of rebellion.


Editor’s Note: The author is a political analyst and former political prisoner in Cuba.


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