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Cubans Call for a ‘National Strike’ on the Island to End the Dictatorship

Cubanos convocan un "paro nacional" en la isla para acabar con la dictadura

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Cuban exile organizations and the Frente Hemisférico por la Libertad (FHL) announced Wednesday in Miami their unconditional and proactive support for a “national strike” in Cuba that activists and citizens of the island are carrying out to reestablish democracy after 63 years of dictatorship.

The announcement was made at the headquarters of the Presidio Político Histórico Cubano, where an open letter entitled “We Cubans, for the salvation of Cuba” was presented, signed by the “first 318 brave ones,” as they were called by Uruguayan National Party deputy Martín Elgue, a founding member of FHL.

The strike, which for now consists of “not cooperating in the least with the regime” and “taking to the streets at every opportunity and place we can to demand our freedom,” is already underway, as several activists and ordinary citizens from Cuba said in videos shown during the event held in Miami.

According to the letter, this is the first phase before proceeding, “when the conditions are right, to the great general strike” in Cuba.

The 318 people who signed the letter, among them several political prisoners currently imprisoned such as Mitsael Díaz Paseiro or former prisoners such as Keissel Rodríguez, have been joined later by others until there are more than 500, who for now support the strike, according to the organizers of the event.

Orlando Gutiérrez of the Assembly of Cuban Resistance  (ARC), which includes organizations inside and outside the island, announced various measures to support Miami’s “national strike.”

Among them, to go to international bodies such as the European Parliament to report on this civic protest on the island and also to organize demonstrations against companies belonging to figures of the “regime” that “profit” from the separation of Cuban families and the “misery” in which those who remain in Cuba live.

“We are all in this together because we are all Cubans. Enough,” said Sylvia Iriondo, of M.A.R. for Cuba, at the same event.

Latin America is in debt to Cubans.

Elgue affirmed that there would also be acts supporting the “national strike” in other countries where parties and politicians, even of different ideologies, coincide in helping Cubans’ right to freedom and democracy.

“Latin America is indebted to the Cuban people who are fighting for their freedom,” added Elgue, who is part of FHL, made up of conservative politicians and activists from Latin America and countries such as Syria and Taiwan, since its founding in March 2021 in Miami.

Also speaking at the event were Luis Infante, president of the Presidio Político Histórico Cubano, and former political prisoner Jorge Luis Pérez “Antúnez,” who spent 17 years in prison, as well as his sister Berta Antúnez.

All indicated that this current moment is “critical” to achieve the goal of “getting the dictatorship out,” with an increase in peaceful protests since July 11, 2021, against the regime and because of the country’s poor economic situation.

“The conditions are clear, and it is the right time,” said Berta Antúnez.

The signatories of the letter “for the salvation of Cuba” refer to the “moments of anguish” experienced by Cubans on the island due to “repression, lack of electricity, lack of supplies of all kinds” and stress that they are the “accumulated result of the policies that a dictatorship that has been in power for 63 years has imposed on the people.”

“Faced with this reality, and especially since July 11, 2021, the people are openly resisting, losing fear by leaps and bounds in a national challenge to tyranny,” they say.

“Neither the (jail) sentences imposed nor the military force outpouring have succeeded in appeasing Cubans. We want to be free. We have the sacred right to be free,” says the letter, in which Cubans are encouraged to join the strike and to “go out to the streets.”

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