Worthy Cubans are at the Protests Fighting for Freedom

Young men in plainclothes armed with sticks and bats to confront the protestors in Cuba. (Cubalex)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Elías Amor Bravo, Economist, 16 July 2021 – With nearly 200 people detained and disappeared, because their families say they do not know where to find them, with the Black Berets patrolling through the streets asking random passersby for documentation, with the army and state security forces ready to go out at any moment to forcefully repress whichever protest, Cubans now have in the state newspaper Granma and in president Díaz Canel yet another demonstration of the regime’s stupidity, an example that the Castro brothers’ paradise has ceased to exist, as simple as that.

Turning to quotes from Fidel Castro’s speeches at this point “this country will never again lack patriotic virtues” and with everything that is happening, it is reckless and closes any possibility of finding a way out from what is happening in Cuba. Basically, because Fidel Castro does not serve as an example of reconciliation, possible dialogue and consensus. He never wanted dialogue with anyone, only with himself, and during his life, he generated an exclusionary political and social model, that distinguished, for his own benefit, between revolutionaries and ’worms’. He never wanted to understand the plurality of the Cuban community and when he had the opportunity to clear up unknowns and recover democracy as a political system, he said “elections, for what” which marked the origin of the disaster that came after.

Made and unmade at his whims, based on his priorities, above all in matters of economic affairs closing Cuba in the Bolshevik armor of the Cold War, knowing that he had at his disposal a court of sycophants ready to applaud any of his misdeeds. Basically, because if they didn’t, the weight of the law could fall upon them, the repression or the exile and the bicycle and the pajamas*. With Fidel Castro, his paradise functioned in a very clear way: Either you were with him, or against him, and in the latter case, you had to prepare for the worst.

Nobody could question his crazy decisions. He mortgaged the productive capital of the nation several times, expropriating several generations of Cubans, stuck Cuba in the worst warlike conflicts of the world, he confronted his neighbor to the north for political motives, supported terrorist movements and said all kinds of barbarities in the United Nations, receiving enthusiastic applause from many ignorant people. It would be necessary to consider what purpose this painful inheritance he left serves, if it is not to bury it and forget it permanently.

In reality, nothing that Fidel Castro left serves to resolve the real problems of Cuba and much less, the ones that can come in the future. The inheritance is sterile, useless and characterized only by an explosive verbiage of which Cubans are fed up. Only in this way can we understand the spontaneous protests against Ramiro Valdés, who many people identify as a representative of those times.

This is why the fact that they say in Granma that the Revolution is an inheritance that requires continuity seems incredible at this point. What requires what? Don’t lose even a minute of your valuable time. The Revolution does not compel anything. The Revolution could disappear tomorrow and nothing would happen, well, yes, what could happen is that the doors of freedom could open wide and that Cuba would stop being a failed state, without a future. The Revolution has passed by, if it even really existed at all. The social and economic model that was implanted by force in Cuba as of 1959, too. The economy testifies to it, and the social unrest that has provoked the protests has much to do with the anger Cubans have with the conduct of the incompetent government that is incapable of bettering the conditions of their lives.

Granma’s quote about Fidel Castro’s difficult times, referring to a speech from 1992, is not wasted. Then the tyrant said that “difficult times are difficult times. In difficult times the number of hesitant people increases; in difficult times — and this is a law of history — there are those who get confused, there are those who get discouraged, there are those who cower, there are those who soften, there are those who betray, there are those who desert. This happens in every era and in every revolution.”

That vision is consistent with the tyrant’s unhealthy personality. It has nothing to do with reality, because in difficult times societies fight to open spaces to their participation and question those responsible for those visible “difficulties,” as is happening in Cuba at the moment. The obsession with implanting the ’Ordering Task’** on January 1 had to bring with it negative, hard, difficult consequences, as has already happened. It is normal for Cubans to blame those responsible for these decisions. The government and the party. And to make demands of those responsible. Difficult times help understand many things, for example, that the propaganda that tends to destroy the free personality of men ends up dying of ineffectiveness.

The tyrant was right in only one aspect from that phrase cited in Granma. Certainly difficult times “are really when men and women are tested; difficult times are when the ones who are worth something are really tested.” He is absolutely right. Here they have them in front of their noses. The hundreds of thousands of Cubans who went out and will go out again to the streets to fight for freedom and against communism, are the people of worth who are in Cuba, and who want a better future for themselves and for their children. The tyrant could not negate that they are brave people, of courage, full of patriotic virtue for all Cubans, an example to follow. In front of them, the revolutionaries are the ones who travel in busses to repress those who protest and who ask for the “little bag” for their services. The choice is clear. There is no other way to say things.

Fidel Castro said that “there are people who are not aware, there are people who don’t understand, there are people, even, who will never understand.” Of course, to understand him alone was worth it, and for many years what Cubans thought, believed and fought for, was what Fidel Castro offered them. He showed them to think, but when people really put themselves to thinking independently, state security smashed them. Because of that, Fidel Castro accused them of not understanding, because those Cubans simply didn’t think like him, they were worms, a sickness, and they only had one alternative — flee the country.

Díaz-Canel, who by this age should be thinking about the future of Cubans, goes around quoting this speech of the tyrant that can backfire. With this fake wickerwork he could not weave any basket, and he will end up losing the little credibility that he has left, if he has any left at all after inciting a civil war and ordering his “revolutionaries” to smash the “enemies.” The world cannot remain impassive towards this scenario that has opened up in Cuba, and that will surely continue to grow, because the origins of this unease are far from being corrected. The people have simply grown tired of living in the Castros’ paradise.

Translator’s notes:

*Ousted, senior officials in Cuba, told to go home and stay there and keep their mouths shut, are said to be on the “pajama plan.” 

**The so-called ’Ordering Task” — Tarea ordenamiento — is a collection of measures that includes eliminating the Cuban Convertible Peso (CUC), leaving the Cuban peso as the only national currency, raising prices, raising salaries (but not as much as prices), opening stores that take payment only in hard currency which must be in the form of specially issued pre-paid debit cards, and others. 

Translated by: La Estrellita  


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