14ymedio, Havana, 11 November 2021 — The playwright Yunior García Aguilera, promoter of the Archipiélago collective that called the marches scheduled for November 15, will march alone on Sunday through Havana on behalf of all the people who are prevented by the Government from demonstrating. His walk will be carried out in silence at 3 o’clock in the afternoon along Avenida 23 del Vedado, from Parque Quijote to the Malecón in Havana, and he will carry a white rose. “This is not an act of heroism, it is an act of responsibility.”
In a long statement that the activist addresses to the entire nation, he expresses his respect for whoever decides to continue with the Civic March for Change called for Monday, but calls “respectfully, not to do anything that puts your physical integrity at risk, or that of other people.”
García Aguilera writes a preamble in which he calls attention to the violent path that the Government has chosen, trying to dissuade the protesters through subpoenas, threats from the Police, insults on social networks, acts of repudiation and, most seriously, showing images of armed civilians and haranguing children in schools.
“It is the regime that has threatened to unleash violence in the streets on November 15. Not us,” warns the playwright. In his opinion, not only are the families worried, but there is a reasonable fear of thinking that the government may organize some violent act to attribute to protesters to “provoke anger and indignation in the segments of the people that they still control.”
Faced with this situation, García Aguilera expresses that his objective is to end violence and not multiply it, reduce the list of political prisoners and not increase it. “We are not the same as them. We do care about the life and freedom of Cubans,” he proclaims.
Although he does not explicitly call off the march, on the contrary, he invites whoever wishes to do so from prudence to continue, and he announces that he personally assumes the representation of all the people who adhere to his position in his walk on the 14th, after having consulted, he says, with members of the Archipiélago.
“May everyone find ingenious and peaceful ways to express themselves without giving rise to violence against themselves, against anyone, absolutely. Several proposals have already been announced. And I am convinced that many more will appear, with courage, patriotism and civility. Rosa Parks, on that bus in 1955, found her own way of protesting against unjust laws,” he writes.
García Aguilera also thanked the Cubans who will gather on November 15 in more than 100 cities “where freedom of expression, assembly and peaceful demonstration is respected. We know that our emigrated and exiled brothers are not going to leave us alone,” he added
The author claims the year that Archipiélago has been asking for dialogue, since on November 27 of last year, several people who ended up forming the group demonstrated at the door of the Ministry of Culture.
“I know that, although it may not seem like it, there are some decent and honest people within the Government. I appeal to their sense of responsibility and their humanism,” he says.
In the statement, the playwright insists that there is absolutely no link with the United States Government and that Archipiélago’s purpose is for “conflicts, our internal conflicts, to be resolved without interference,” although he also considers it lawful to ask the international community for protection if the authorities of a country flout the international treaties they have signed, and human rights.
“Honestly, none of us aspires to power, nor do we intend ’soft coups’ or ’fraudulent changes’. We want each citizen of this country to become aware of their power to transform their reality,” he says before calling the entire population, without exception, to create an inclusive homeland. “There is no more time. It is up to us to achieve it. And the path has to be full of light, courage, brotherhood, good vibes, full of peace and full of firmness. This will not be my last hug,” he concludes.
The risk of serious violence has been the trigger for García Aguilera and Archipiélago to officially end the call, leaving the individual expression of adherence to a movement for change in the hands of each citizen.
A few hours earlier, the Pen Club of Cuban Writers in Exile had expressed its fear of an increase in “repression and violence” due to the use of armed civilians in the images disseminated on networks.
“The regime is unpredictable, the biggest measure it is going to take is to post agents at the doors of the houses and not let the citizens out. In the event that there is a deployment of people without being able to control it, it will brutally repress them,” said Luis de la Paz, president of the organization.
According to this Cuban narrator and poet exiled in Miami, “they do it to pretend that it is the enraged people” who are taking the initiative to stop the demonstrations.
“When you see the images (on the internet) you are amazed that those who arrest and repress the protesters are people in civilian clothes. What the police do is lead the paramilitaries to the station (police station), something typical of the communist regimes,” said De la Paz.
In a statement, the Pen Club of Cuban Writers in Exile warns that “the use of troops, military and paramilitaries to overshadow the announced march, this time is made more dangerous by the widespread images of civilians in the streets armed with assault rifles.”
In this regard, De la Paz details that the organization launched the statement out of “a capital concern” about the repression that the Cuban government is announcing, which “even shows civilians with long weapons in the media, something that the world does not allow.”
“The fact of showing people in the streets dressed in civilian clothes with long weapons is a warning of what can be reached, that is why we express our solidarity with the protesters,” he adds.
“Some of the recent events that have taken place in Cuba have a strong presence among intellectuals and artists, from the San Isidro Movement, the protest of November 27, 2020 in front of the Ministry of Culture and the convocation of the Archipiélago Project for November 15,” explains the statement.
The text points out that “these are not only episodes promoted by the intelligentsia, but a genuinely nationalist and spontaneous current, inspired by the hope of a change for a better Cuba.”
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