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Shame and astonishment seem to have taken over the international public opinion, while the world watches, perplexed, the genocide that is taking place in Cuba and that, judging by its crudeness, may provoke an unforeseeable humanitarian catastrophe.
The savage repression being perpetrated by the Cuban dictatorship against people participating in the peaceful protests taking place in Cuba could mark the beginning of one of the most arbitrary massacres ever committed in the history of this country and one that we will never hear about, unless the United States, the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN) send a humanitarian intervention with the presence of international observers to document what is really happening.
Last Sunday, the Cuban people, fed up with their lack of freedoms, a dreadful and growing shortage of food and medicine and a health crisis plaguing the country, took to the streets to peacefully protest against the dictatorship that has ruled the island for more than 60 years.
In less than three days, police agents and paramilitary forces disguised as civilians, instigated by the Castro regime and the official media at the service of the dictatorship, have unleashed an unprecedented manhunt, while the international powers – including the UN – look the other way, in what constitutes the most unpunished paramilitary lynching in the history of this nation.
In spite of the internet blackout carried out by the Government to silence the dimension of the massacre, several chilling images and testimonies circulating in social networks testify to the consummation of a blood orgy so systematic and well organized by the regime that it should frighten scholars of crimes against humanity. All this in a country where the vast majority of the population barely communicates with the outside world through their cell phones.
Brutal beatings, murders, intimidations, arbitrary detentions, violent abuses against unarmed men, women, young people, children, and the elderly, massacred by force of gunshots, beatings, and starvation, make up the panorama of one of the saddest pages ever recorded in Cuba.
The numbers of the disappeared are terrifying, and even more so are the images we have seen, day after day, of regime henchmen raiding homes looking for demonstrators to cruelly shoot them in front of their families.
But in spite of police harassment and all the attempts made by the dictatorship to bring its population to its knees, Cubans have managed to stand up with a courage that arouses general admiration, and above all for the example of civil rebellion being set by hundreds of thousands of young people in this country.
Independent groups of the Cuban civil society, among them opponents and activists, attribute the decision to perpetrate a bloodbath to stop the popular revolt to the Government presided over by Díaz-Canel under precise instructions from Raúl Castro and Ramiro Valdés.
The official planning of the carnage has been diabolically premeditated. The regime’s advisors, informers and spokespersons foment collective terror by regularly offering names, addresses and probable hiding places of those who are to be lynched, encouraged by the president of the country himself, Miguel Díaz-Canel under the “combat order.”
Therefore, there is sufficient evidence to ensure that the Cuban totalitarian government is primarily responsible for this sinister operation of blood and terror.
The regime’s refusal to accede to the demonstrators’ requests and the lack of a forceful response from the international community to allow observers and humanitarian organizations to visit the island as part of a humanitarian mission, means that the tragedy could reach levels of cruelty never seen before.
Cuba as a nation, moreover, runs the risk of a social fracture if the corrupt group of generals leading the army is overcome by internal disputes that could aggravate the crisis. The conflict thus mixes features of civil war and clashes between military factions, with a background of ideological cleansing. Hence its complexity and the urgency of seeking an immediate solution.
While waiting for the bulk of the police and the military to side with the democrats, a new civil society has put itself at the service of the homeland. They are the brave young men who fight and die, the women who take to the streets to shout at the regime’s thugs, the journalists and local priests, who stand with the people, the YouTubers who denounce to the world, against all obstacles, this barbarism.
The European Union has condemned the arrest of opponents and journalists and demanded the Havana authorities to release them immediately. For its part, the White House warned on Wednesday that the protests in Cuba would have an impact on the course of relations between Washington and Havana, describing as “unacceptable” the repression unleashed against demonstrators by the Cuban regime.
But these demands are clearly insufficient. That is why, with each passing day, the international clamor for humanitarian intervention grows.
The Cuban regime is an expert at selling the image of the victim. The strategy consists of elaborating parallel alibis to blame the United States for everything that happens. The truth does not matter. Only the platforms through which their lies are transmitted.
No wonder Cuba has been sitting on the UN Human Rights Council for 12 years despite the fact that it has been severely criticized for serious violations of the freedom of its people.
Using its influence, the regime will try to force a new debate at the United Nations under the pretext of the spurious embargo issue. To this end, it will use the mediation of Russia and China. It is pinning its hopes on these countries to provoke fissures on the international front.
But, this time, its discredited maneuvers should not succeed before the UN Security Council, which is obliged to act to stop this perverse butchery committed against those who protest in search of their rights.
The Cuban people are not guilty of demanding their freedom and on this conviction should be based the future coexistence in the country, protected by the international organizations that have the responsibility to sit in the dock those who commit these crimes to perpetuate themselves in power.
For this reason, while the pressures on the Castro dictatorship to put an end to this massacre are reinforced, a transitory objective, although complicated in itself, could be the immediate sending of a protection mission with international observers to show the magnitude of the tragedy and to know the requests of the civil society, unheeded by an intransigent and authoritarian regime.
In the United Nations, in the 1990s, the duty to protect peoples from totalitarian regimes that commit crimes against humanity and for which there is already an indictment before the International Criminal Court was enshrined.
Therefore, the responsibility to protect that endorsed the presence of UN peacekeeping forces in Libya or Somalia must once again be put on the table in the face of the humanitarian tragedy suffered by Cuba.
It is worth remembering that Operation Turquoise – conceived as a humanitarian intervention in Rwanda and endorsed by the United Nations – arrived very late, three months after the orgy of bloodshed began, and when there were more than 800,000 dead at the hands of the genocidaires.
The use of diplomatic pressure and coercive action against the Castro dictatorship in the framework of a humanitarian intervention does not violate international law.
It would not be a definitive solution. But it could at least serve to force an important negotiation framework to facilitate a democratic transition on the island, in order to stop the wave of repression and avoid more civilian deaths.
With each passing day, the totalitarian government in Havana and its proxies take another step towards terror and bloodshed. It is not only about the ideological stubbornness of an extemporaneous communist dictatorship that for more than half a century has managed to divide Cuban families and imprison its opponents with fraudulent and undemocratic trials. It is also about the manifest incompetence of its leaders to ensure and protect the lives of its citizens, regardless of their ideas and beliefs.
Cuba is today a massacred country where insecurity and repression are rampant. That is why if there is a nation that needs to be democratic, it is Cuba. The proof that it is the only integral communist dictatorship in the Americas is enough to support the yearnings of freedom of its people, while at the same time it would be possible to root out the malignant force that intoxicates terrorism and subversive groups against the rule of law in the region.
It is therefore urgent that the organizations make the regime recognize that the Cubans’ capacity for suffering has been exhausted and that, with the help of mediators, the Castro brothers step aside and open a transition process in a society that wants to look to the future without reproach and with greatness.
But in no case should mediation be confused with handing the country back to the same despotic regime that has contributed to its devastation.
Juan Carlos Sánchez, journalist and writer. His columns are published in different newspapers in Spain and the United States. He is the author of several books and is preparing the essay "Nación y libertad en el pensamiento económico del Conde Pozos Dulces" // Juan Carlos es periodista y escritor. Sus columnas se publican en diferentes diarios de España y EE.UU. Autor de varios libros, tiene en preparación la obra de ensayo “Nación y libertad en el pensamiento económico del Conde Pozos Dulces”