By Alejandra García – Mar 22, 2022
The events of July 11, 2021, in Cuba were not fortuitous. On that day, a group of Cubans took to the streets of Havana, looking for economic relief amid asphyxiation brought about by overwhelming shortages and the pandemic. By that time we had been standing in endless lines for over a year to get food or medicines, while carrying in our hearts a terrible fear of contagion. Many who took to the streets that day did so for understandable reasons; however, the vast majority of those demonstrators took to the streets to cause disorder, chaos.
I repeat, the events were not fortuitous. During the four days before the violent riots broke out, the ultra-right wing of the West increased a toxic campaign through social networks, calling for and urging on a social outburst in Cuba, hoping that it would lead to a government and political system change.
Artists, activists, even pornstars, mainly from the United States and Europe, called for all hell to break loose and urged Washington to send its military into Havana’s bay. From abroad, they called for butchery in Cuba while they watched with their mouths full of burgers and beer as if we were characters of a grotesque reality show.
That day, many demonstrators took to the streets following their instructions, aiming to encourage others to break shop windows, overturn police cars, and injure whoever came their way.
I was as scared as I had ever been in our country which is known for its tranquility. Cubans want a better, more progressive, developed, just, and equitable country. But we will not succeed in that purpose through violence. We are used to achieving everything we set out to get, not with sticks and stones, but with stubbornness and willingness.
Cuba is a peaceful island and Cubans are noble people. I am not used to a different reality. We have problems, like all countries worldwide. But we have something that no other suffers: the constant siege and hatred of those who want to see our country with a different political system. For them, July 11 was a failure.
Authorities managed to quell the protests and things calmed down in less than 24 hours. They also identified those who took to the streets to create chaos and brought them to justice. As in any democracy, violence does not go unpunished in Cuba. Like all countries we have laws. Many who were convicted for crimes, like those who attacked a hospital in Cardenas, have received up to 30 years in prison. If an insurrection of this nature happened in any developed country wouldn’t their sentence be at least this harsh?
But now, eight months later, the toxic campaigns against Cuba and the events of July 11 persist through a vicious social media campaign, this time against the prosecutors and jurists who are carefully sorting through all the details to do justice.
The US Embassy in Cuba and the ultra-right-wing media in the region are trying to give a supposedly pacifistic characteristic to the demonstrations in order to disqualify the trials and, on that basis, accuse the Cuban government of brutality.
“According to those who exalted the protest and turned simple vandals into a symbol of rebellion, the ones on trial are innocent and those who judge them should be accused,” Cuban journalist Arleen Rodríguez wrote in an article published in Resumen Latinoamericano.
What no anti-Cuban report says is that half of the thousand people detained for the events were never sent to court, received only fines and minor sanctions, based on their ages, occupations, and motivations.
“Being a prosecutor is a pride and a very difficult task because you have to bring together responsibility, justice, and human sensitivity,” jurist Anabel López Reinaldo said.
Cuba has truth on its side. During the prosecution of the protest participants, there has been no hatred, only justice. Only Cuba gets to determine that here, certainly we do not accept criticism or advice coming from those whose bottomline agenda is promoting regime change.
Featured image: Overturned and vandalized cars in a Havana locality during the July 11 protest. Photo: Getty Images
Editor2https://orinocotribune.com/author/yullma/December 6, 2018