Caimanera and Boquerón: Hunger, protests and repression near the Guantánamo naval base

a few hours to be violently repressed a peaceful protest in the town of Caimanerafrom the province of Guantánamo, and if the deployment of military personnel in the area is known, the news of another previous demonstration in the neighboring town of Boquerón transcends, a local source assured CubaNet.

The reasons are the same: the population is hungry and the authorities do not supply supplies to an area isolated from the rest of the country – and previously prioritized – that adjoins the US military base in Cuba. The status of “special municipality” for Caimanera is no longer so.

“They have only given us two little pounds of rice so far this month and the people are stubborn.’ We do not have anything. They are no longer bringing us meat; Now it’s hash, and when it comes. In the month of April they did not bring us oil. Everything is a lie and a farce,” said a local source who preferred to remain anonymous for fear of reprisals.

Before Caimanera, Boquerón protested

In a similar situation are the residents of the Caimanera town of Boquerón, who also staged a civic demonstration last Monday.

“Recently there was a riot because they left 150 nuclei without food. [Sucedió] about 5 days ago, it was like last Monday… Just [fue] a revolt, but they already gave him his errands,” he said, adding that, in this case, there was no police repression or known detainees.

“They are starving us while they live well. We go to the hospitals and they treat us with holy cane because there are no medicines either ”, had said another source from Caimanera to CubaNet.

In the videos of this May 6th, the protesters – already positioned in front of the municipal government headquarters – were seen demanding solutions from the authorities for the problems of food and public health care.

But there are more reasons for the tiredness of the people of Caiman, in addition to those that were made known in the midst of cries of Homeland and Life! Down with Communism! and Freedom!

Added to the lack of food and medical supplies is the evident deterioration of the municipality that affects all sectors and the daily life of its inhabitants, fueled by the isolation to which Caimanera has been subjected by the Havana regime, due to its proximity to the US military base and for fear of a migratory stampede towards the neighboring territory, leased by the neighbor to the north.

“We must go by our means to the Guantánamo province to buy food from individuals, in fact, very expensive,” added a local interviewee. This person clarifies that the offer in his municipality is very poor because the State does not supply its sales establishments in national currency or in MLC.

Note that it is a municipality about 25 kilometers from Guantánamo that has two land entrances guarded day and night by military personnel who control everything that enters and leaves Caimanera. They also require a safe-conduct or permit to set foot in the municipality for non-residents, which makes it difficult for private distributors to supply the town.

“Here it is difficult to enter. So from time to time a tractor or a truck comes in with some food, ”he said, while in the hard-currency stores“ there are only items such as refrigerators, fridges, fans and such nonsense ”, he assured.

The current crisis exceeds that of the 90s

The situation is worse than in the most difficult years of the so-called “special period” in the 1990s. In those years, while in the rest of the country the queues to buy food were endless and people contracted neuropathies due to nutrient deficiency, in Caimanera, hamburger sandwiches were sold on demand, the Egg House offered varied menus and fish and shellfish were sold.

“Now none of that exists anymore, they only have the names. What they sell here is croquettes and fish heads to make broth, ”she laments.

Similarly, and as has happened in the rest of the country, there have been cuts in social assistance and other benefits. Although the payment to workers of the special stipend of thirty percent above the monthly salary is maintained, “it was taken away from retirees; Here retirees earn 1,542 pesos, and a carton of 30 eggs costs 1,400 pesos, you can imagine, ”he explains.

The reinforced food plan that incorporated extra doses of meat and milk to the basic basket subsidized by the government also seems to have disappeared.

In addition, there are serious problems with the water supply, which is lacking for days and whose plumbing is out of date and lacks maintenance: “All the streets fill with water every time they put it in because no pipe works; They have been in use for a long time. This has changed a lot. It’s messed up”

This Sunday, Caimanera was filled with Black Berets and was visited by party officials: “This woke up a bit full of government cars and bosses. Now everything [está] Don’t worry,” the source reaffirms.

However, the balance of the repression that stifled the peaceful protest has yet to be counted. So far, five violent detainees are known.

As confirmed by the activist and independent reporter Yeris Curbelo, a resident of the town, their names are: Yandris Pelier Matos, the brothers Felipe Correa Martínez and Luis Miguel Alarcón Martínez, and the brothers Rodi and Daniel Álvarez González.

In the case of Alarcón Martínez, they took him away unconscious as a result of the beating he suffered, Curbelo said.

Later, pro-government spokesmen tried to sell the version that they were drunk people who broke public order, although witnesses assured that at no time were they seen with drinks in their hands or staggering, or talking entangled.

Until the time of writing this note, the whereabouts of the detainees are still unknown.

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