cuba protest american flag

Since July 11, Cuba has been facing a protest that started in a city and then spread to 60 to 70 points of turbulence. Everyone knows that Cuba is a thorn in the flesh for the US imperialist. Imperialist propaganda for decades was Cuba was alive only due to Soviet Military Umbrella and Soviet aids proved partially wrong after the dissolution of the Soviet three decades ago. Cuba suffered so much – no Soviet help particularly imports from Russia and trade with eastern block – plus the ever-tightening US Blockade which stopped almost all supplies to Cuba from other countries in sea-route. But Cuba overcame the suffering, became a more or less success in terms of per capita GDP (PPP), having Human Development Index better than OECD member Mexico. Cuba is the Health Tourist destination for poorer Europeans and US-Americans with a high level of excellence in medical sciences. Cuba developed its own COVID vaccine. More than 45% of engineers, more than 60% of doctors in Cuba are women, and such many achievements shows that Cuba has a good position as far as gender-parity is concerned. More over Cuba has become a synonym of anti-imperialist bastion sitting under the nose of the USA.

But all these do not mean the Cuba is a very happy country right now. Though the US and Cuban émigré bourgeoisie always try to foment trouble in Cuba — it is not the sole reason behind the present trouble that brewed in Cuba. Though needless to say, the USA as always is trying to fuel aggressive protest by right-wingers and there are proofs of pro-US stance of some protesters. These ‘some protesters’ are all those who are unhappy with the govt. handling the present crisis.

And please remember, not all ‘communists’ in Cuba (and Latin America) staunchly support everything that is being told by the Cuban govt and things that are done by the Cuban govt. But whatever be their differences, they are in unison when the issue is resisting imperialist aggression and safeguarding Cuba’s sovereignty.

Joven Cuba is a platform of youth of Cuba, who on occasions showed that they share ML politics, they feel themselves as proud descendants of Cuban revolution. They do not feel that Cuba is a socialist wonderland – a unique socialist island amidst the capitalist-imperialist ocean; they are aware of shortcomings, they want Cuba to have democratic spaces but not a sham democracy like parliamentary democracies around the world. On July 12, they published an editorial statement as the main article: “Los sucesos del 11 de julio” or Events of July 11. That day the recent protests flared up. With utmost concern they warned the protesters about the necessary precautions for the new COVID wave there – there should not be such crowds right now which may help further propagation of the virus. They warned about safeguarding Cuba’s anti-imperialist position and sovereignty and also condemned ‘the violence and vandalism of some protesters,’ but, they also criticised ‘the repression unleashed by the forces of order’. When the country was passing through crisis due to the pandemic and also crisis due to US imperialist blockade that put the prices on fire and unavailability of many supplies, they did not forget irresponsibility of ‘government and its followers, despite the alerts that the epidemiological situation could get out of control and that real accountability to the population was necessary, they became intoxicated in their own propaganda and triumphalism’! Moreover, they mentioned: (1) The inability of the Cuban government to legislate rights for all is one of the reasons that have led to this outbreak. (2) A political and constitutional solution to the crisis is necessary. We call on the parties involved to remain calm and initiate a process of dialogue … Violence is not the way to solve the problems that the country suffers. (3) Political proposals should be inclusive; all sides should recognize the rights of others and seek their participation instead of imposing themselves on others.

Atilio Boron, a senior Marxist sociologist from Argentina, in his writing in Pagina 12, ‘Cuba, el bloqueo y la crisis’ (Cuba, the blockade and the crisis) also distinguished two types of protesters – (1) a part is ‘product of money and the enormous destabilization campaign hatched by the White House’ while (2) others are citizens who could not bear the unbearable crisis in the country. His explanation tells the revolutionaries that they must go to those protesters and clarify that this justifiable anger against the crisis should not be misled and that this crisis is mostly caused bt the imperialist blockade – but surely the govt is to be blamed for mismanagement and there were several errors done in the sphere of macroeconomics. He urged Cubans not to forget their glorious anti-imperialist history.

Famous linguist, translator and writer Rodolfo Alpízar Castilla also wrote a piece ‘Acerca de derechos, intervenciones y corredores’ (About Rightists, Interventions and Corridors) published on July 13, warned about so called ‘Humanitarian corridors’ for sending essential supplies in Cuba from abroad – because there were cases that these corridors ended up to be corridors for military interventions.

Professora Ivette García González in her “Paz y gestión política del conflicto” (Peace and Political Management of Conflict) dated July 14, informed us that the day just before the protest started, that is, July 10, there was a record 6,923 new COVID cases and 47 deaths. Due to blockades all supplies including medical supplies are scarce in market – because sudden spike in covid cases ate up most of the resources made within country. Her explanation is enlightening — when internal disputes are veiled, distorted or unappreciated and the government’s negotiating capacity is limited, the socio-political situation sooner or later leads to chaos. While warning about pro-US bias of several protesters she did not stop criticising the govt at all. She said – Human rights violations and repression have increased; the incarcerations … caused more trauma to families. The official media replicated the triumphalist style of the government … while criminalizing all criticism.

An interesting thing is that after a prolonged absence post-retirement, Raul Castro was seen back in action. He came to attend a Polit bureau meeting.

Many Cubans know what ‘bringing democracy’ ‘ending dictatorship’ means — Libya and Iraq showed the world how the western world forcibly ‘democratise’ countries.  Spanish journalist Pascual Serrano Jiménez in his recent post “El COVID como pretexto para atacar a Cuba” (COVID – as a pretext of attacking Cuba) on July 14. He exposed the role of several Cuban NGOs and the real intention behind the sudden demand of ‘humanitarian corridor’ for sending aid in Cuba. According to international laws a humanitarian corridor is defined as “humanitarian corridors are places used by humanitarian personnel, inter alia, to ensure access to the victims of hostilities so as to provide them with relief”. Hence creating such a single corridor means there is a state of warlike hostilities in which some ‘neutral’ parties or agencies will have liberty to send their aids. He reminded us of the book “Impérialisme humanitaire” by the Belgian Physicist Jean Bricmont, where the author showed how imperialism uses ‘human rights’ as an excuse to wage war.

We do not yet know what may happen in the coming days and some weeks, which will be very crucial for Cuba and freedom loving Cubans. We are to be attentive. And we are to explore ways – if there are any chances to send aid in Cuba.

Sandeep Banerjee is an activist who writes on political and socioeconomic issues and also on environmental issues. Some of his articles are published in Frontier Weekly. He lives in West Bengal, India. Presently he is a research worker. He can be reached at sandeepbanerjee00@gmail.com


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