Leer en Español
It was clear, judging from the heroism displayed by hundreds of thousands of Cubans that took to the streets on the 11th of July in what has been referred to as the Cuban Uprising of 2021 (J11), that despite the expected savage crackdown levied upon the mostly young demonstrators by the sixty-two-year-old Castro regime, the popular demands for the cessation of communist rule in Cuba would not stop. Having over 5,000 Cubans immediately detained, as reported by 14YMedio, and in some cases extravagantly perverted prison sentences being handed down, such as the twenty-five-year jail term sought for Maikel Puig Bergolla, a husband and father of two minors who participated in the J11 peaceful protest in the city of Quivicán (Havana province), on fabricated charges of “disorderly conduct, contempt of court, instigation to commit a crime and attempted murder,” the planning of future protests on the Island has not been impeded.
The Civic March for Change is a follow-up event to the J11 demonstrations. This programmed peaceful protest calling for a democratization transition in Cuba and a host of human and natural rights demands is scheduled for the 15th of November (N15). The date was changed from the original November 25, due to the Marxist dictatorship’s reactive announcement of conducting military exercises across the whole country to thwart the project. Its organizers, Archipelago, a civic action committee formed by Cuban playwright Yunior García on social media platforms, reconvened the nationwide call for a march for November 15, to upend the Castro regime’s scheduled repressive military show. Cuban communism, in customary zealot mode, has instituted a host of quashing measures to inhibit the protest from being executed.
The Castro-communist government has adopted a two-fold methodological strategy in its attempt to keep Cubans from publicly expressing their legitimate demands in the streets. One, has been the obvious brutal regime response following the J11 civic rebellion. This includes indiscriminate tortures (physical and mental) to those confined, the negation of basic state-monopolized services to their family members, the threats of potential “criminal” charges against close relatives, and the imposing, or threat of, long prison terms for alleged “crimes” on those who dared to protest or who are considering joining the N15 demonstrations./The other mode is the mobilization of regime actors to confront and physically attack and or intimidate protesters or potential protesters from taking their valid claims to the public forum.
Through their Facebook page, the N15 promoters alerted the public to the Castro regime’s amplification of its oppressive reactionary scheme, “Until last week,” they state, “the summons had been addressed to the coordinators of the Archipiélago group, signatories of the letters to the provincial governments, relatives, and friends. Now they have begun to randomly summon the signatories of the list of support for the march, which includes more than 1,200 people, and even those who have expressed their support for the civic initiative of 15N in networks.” The clear design by the communist authorities is to stifle popular participation with the potentiality of facing long prison terms. The socialist legalism in place in Cuba, an overt instrument of dictatorial rule, is adamant about the supremacy of socialism as a systemic order and its enforcement is omnipresent in every layer of the Cuban Penal Code, Castroism’s laws, and the recent 2019 Constitution.
Castro-communism is adding layers of repressive tactics in its attempt to minimize Cuban popular participation in the N15 event. The Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), a paramilitary snoop army of informants that are located on every block, in every locality in Cuba, are being weaponized to violently attack any expression of opposition, as one of the CRD’s Facebook page highlights. Other examples of regime-concocted front organizations that are preparing for war against Cubans who want to publicly demand freedom are being showcased with tactful precision, as social media posts unveil.
The fight for Cuba’s freedom is being waged throughout the entire world. All the liberation-seeking action unfolding within the geographical confines of the country, undoubtedly, take precedence. The N15 is on all freedom-loving people’s radar. The archipelago was direct when they cited in the mentioned social media post the popular-based direction of the demonstrations, “The people who have supported in any way the initiative of the Civic March for Change has not done so on behalf of any political organization, but in the exercise of their rights as citizens. To inquire about personal motivations or intentions for doing so is clearly irrelevant inasmuch as none of them has committed a crime.” There should be no doubt, the J11 uprising marked a before and an after. The Castro regime knows that.
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.