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There is no question that the Civic March for Change in Cuba (15N) scheduled for the 15th of November did not match the multitudinous 2021 Cuban Uprising of the 11th of July (11J) in sheer numbers. Varying factors contributed to this. Primarily, the reasons for this impediment include the Draconian militarized siege of Cuba, a heightened crackdown on potential protesters, as well as the bizarre episode where the former leader of Archipiélago, the main group which organized the 15N event, disappeared and then mysteriously reappeared in exile in Madrid a few days later. However, the facts surrounding the general discontent on the island support the premise that Cubans are taking their civic fight for freedom more intensely.
Cuba has become a hub of liberty-seeking individuals in numbers unseen since the first two decades of communist rule. During the 1960s and 1970s, the war of liberation included violent challenges. Since the 1980s, the human rights movement with its passive resistance strategy has predominated the course seeking to disrupt Marxist-Leninist tyranny. The year 2021 has witnessed an explosion of Cuban society’s partaking in this quest for freedom.
The Cuban Conflict Observatory (CCO), a project of the Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba, reported 353 protests throughout the island in November. Of these, 79 took place on the 15N occasion. This is a stunning figure given the fact that Cuba was under a literal paramilitary barricade. The extraordinary level of mobilization that the Castro regime undertook of its armed forces and political and secret police apparatus could not hinder totally the 15N demonstrations.
The CCO noted that manifestations of discontent by groups of Cubans in public spaces have systematically risen since September 2020. The Cuban Observatory for Human Rights (COHR), an NGO in Spain, concluded that November contained the second-highest number of protests in 2021, a year of mass social expressions demanding an end to Castro-Communism. Additionally, the COHR has documented 1,130 repressive acts executed by the Castro regime, as well as 197 arbitrary detentions in the mentioned month. On 15N alone, 485 homes of opposition and dissident individuals were blockaded, thus preventing their exit or the entrance of anyone.
The epic 11J may not have been duplicated in November. In wars, some battles are bigger than others. The most critical factor to keep in mind is that the liberation process in Cuba is unfolding and unstoppable. Despite the tepid response from the Free World and specifically, the Biden-Harris administration, the Cuban people are determined to bring Cuban communism to an end.
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Julio M Shiling, political scientist, writer, director of Patria de Martí and The Cuban American Voice, lecturer and media commentator. A native of Cuba, he currently lives in the United States. Twitter: @JulioMShiling // Julio es politólogo, escritor, director de Patria de Martí y The Cuban American Voice. Conferenciante y comentarista en los medios. Natural de Cuba, vive actualmente en EE UU.