Usurping the Public Space / Luis Felipe Rojas

Photo/Luis Felipe Rojas

There is no way the Cuban government is noted for civility and good manners in sharing the country, the land, the public space with its peers, though they be adversaries in the social or political arena.

For several years, over her, as the level of civil disobedience grows, the repressive forces, propping up the unsalvageable, prohibit any public act, any gesture of public participation and the popular imagination has fabricated the idea that the “the streets belong to the revolutionaries,” or “this street belongs to Fidel,” as some of the partisans and those sent to repudiate dissidents scream.

To place flowers on Marti’s monument, a wreath on the statue of Martin Luther King, Gandhi or Lincoln, becomes a suicidal act ending in beatings, taunts and arrests that last from hours to days. The recent twenty arrests in the east of Cuba when the distinct independent civil society groups tried to commemorate the birth of Jose Marti last January are the most recent proof. The public space has been usurped in the name of national security, on the pretext of maintaining public order, leading to beatings and arbitrary detentions.

Public space and civic action are hostages of a law is a dead letter, but needs more voices claimants. The scenario is there.

February 17 2011