Tuesday, November 30

Díaz Canel asks Cubans not to allow themselves to be manipulated

The Cuban president calls on his supporters to fight street protests

The Cuban president calls on his supporters to fight street protests

The Cuban president, Miguel Diaz Canel, used a striking analogy to explain the protests that rocked Cuba on Sunday: compared them with what happened in Venezuela during 2017, when clashes between radicalized opponents and the security forces caused more than 100 deaths. Not surprisingly, he said, the first message of solidarity he received was from his colleague Nicolás Maduro. The recurrence of that Venezuelan crisis seems to speak, without saying it, of the dimension of social problems that crosses the island, and the dangers that are insinuated on the horizon.

Díaz Canel, who in mid-April was elected the main authority of the Communist Party (CCP), was forced this Monday to establish the position of the Government in the face of the mobilizations and incidents that were known in Havana and other small cities of a country burdened by the economic debacle and the advance of the covid-19. The president acknowledged that “not all“those who took to the streets”they are counterrevolutionaries“. Only “a minority”. In that sense he admitted that “we have dissatisfied people, with confusion and misunderstandings, lack of information and the desire to demonstrate ”. Those who launched rubble to the policeThey smashed their cars they looted shops of electrical appliances or shouted “down with communism”, are linked to “a sector that commits crimes“. For the president,“it is legitimate to have dissatisfactions “ but he asked society to have the ability “to discern where they want to manipulate us.”

The pandemic advances in Matanzas

The protest had another seasoning: the advance of the pandemic in the province of Matanzas. In the risk territories, including the capital, tests are carried out with two of the five vaccines that Cuba develops: ‘Soberana 02’ and ‘Abdala’, which are highly effective, according to the authorities.

Summer is usually unforgiving in the largest of the Antilles due to its high temperatures. Power cuts have been added to the shortage. Díaz Canel attributed all the problems to the blockade of the United States, in force since 1962. Washington, he said, has a “speech of slander and double standards” regarding what is happening on the island. “The United States supports freedom of expression and assembly in Cuba, and will strongly condemn any violence or an attack on peaceful protesters exercising their universal rights, “White House National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan said Sunday.

Crisis history

With that of the last hours, Cubans have witnessed three social outbreaks since the triumph of Castroism, in 1959. The first, in 1980, became known as “the Mariel crisis“, in relation to the Havana port through which more than 100,000 people went to Florida. Fourteen years later, and in the midst of the economic collapse derived from the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the main supplier of the island, the so-called “Maleconazo” took place. Fidel Castro he got personally involved to defuse what appeared to be a social bomb. Recent episodes differ from previous ones for two compelling reasons: there is no longer a figure like the late “Commander-in-Chief” capable of managing collective unrest. The other factor is related to profound technological changes that have radically modified political conflicts. In that country of 11 million people circulate at least seven million phones. Therefore, this is the first protest filmed and even transmitted through social networks.

The Venezuelan mirror

This new character of the dispute allowed Díaz Canel to formulate the comparison with Venezuela. The former ambassador in Caracas, and current ideological head of the PCC, Rogelio Polanco Fuentes, assured that it is trying to implement in Cuban territory a “unconventional fighting manual“Which is a kind of” soft coup “. Those” tactics of non-violent struggle “seek”induce repressive actions that generate the perception that human rights are violated. “All this” is enhanced by the existence of a digital public space, they facilitate the generation of false news. ” Cuba, he remarked, will defeat its enemies as Madurismo did. One of the first measures was internet censorship.

However, the difference between the Venezuelan and Cuban cases is relevant: in the first country there are opposition political parties while on the island only inorganic expressions are known.


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