Havana Cuba. — Last Saturday, the big national news was the courageous protest staged by hundreds of locals in the town of Caimanera, Guantánamo province. Due to its proximity to the US Naval Base, Castro’s propaganda has dubbed it the “first anti-imperialist trench”. This has been reflected in the special difficulties faced by outsiders in accessing this coastal municipality.
But the proximity of the “Yankee enemy” has also been reflected in some small privileges for the people of Caymanera. Like the modest bonus assigned at the time to local workers. Or the improvements in the famished quotas assigned by the ration card that the regime calls “supply notebook”.
Despite the Internet cuts that the Castroites carried out immediately afterwards, on the afternoon-night of this Saturday it was possible to see a large crowd that very clearly expressed their rejection of the official policies. I clarify that, when referring to the considerable number of protesters, I am speaking in relative terms; We must bear in mind that the municipality of Caimanera has only about 11,000 inhabitants.
I confess that, upon learning of this new display of citizen rebellion, I was interested in knowing how it had been celebrated in that town, on Friday the 5th, International Workers’ Day. It seemed opportune and instructive to make some comparisons of what happened there on the two successive days. But I had to stay with the desire.
My searches for Caimanera were unsuccessful. A broader investigation, focused on the celebration in the province as a whole, led me to a brief report with a pretentious title: In Guantánamo square ‘flooded’. The text is brief —barely four normal-sized paragraphs— and is accompanied by fifteen photos.
The images are colorful and attractive, but one who knows the bad tricks of these communists is struck by the fact that there is not a single one taken from a higher level that allows us to appreciate the protesters as a whole. The text by Leonel Escalona Furones is quite restrained. In this report, the colleague had the good sense not to try to give numbers. Nothing, then, that resembles the “more than 27,000 Guantanamo residents” that the National Television Newscast ventured on Thursday.
But all the information overcome It is limited to the provincial capital and its square, which bears the name of the great patriot Mariana Grajales Cuello. Of the remaining municipalities in the territory —in particular, of Caimanera—, not a word, not an image. For that reason we are deprived of the possibility of making comparisons.
But it was not necessary to do them either. With the great demonstration of courage that is evident in the videos circulated, enough is enough. And, as was inevitable in a popular demonstration directed against the counterproductive policies of Castro’s continuationism, the cries of “Freedom!”, “Homeland and life!” resounded in the public places of the small town of Guantanamo. and “Long live human rights!”.
It should be noted that the determined show of disagreement began with lower claims. Apparently, the initial claim of the Protestants focused on food. And it is natural that it should be so. In these same pages of CubaNet appears the testimony of Victoria Martínez Valdiviamother of two of the peaceful protesters, who were brutally beaten and are missing.
According to the version of the troubled lady, the protest began because of what her relatives were eating: “Peans with weevils, rice and a boiled plantain, all cooked without oil.” And, using the word that is usually used in that eastern region to refer to pigs, Doña Victoria formulates a lapidary rhetorical question: “What are we! Males!
According to reports from the independent press, the unofficial versions of what happened are given by puffers and cyberclarias lower level. These elements make the manifestation responsible for “mercenaries encouraged by imperial hatred against Cuba”. According to Miguel Reyes Mendoza, “three people who were consuming alcoholic beverages began to demonstrate against the Cuban government in the municipality.”
This so-called “journalist” does not clarify what was the portentous syllogism that he used and that allowed him to determine that the repudiation of the takers was not directed against the Cuban government in general, but only against that of the “municipality.” For the rest, the ingestion of liquor by those supposed initiators of the protest, which pursues the clear purpose of disqualifying them, reminds me of the classic apothegm: “In the wine is the truth”; which of course sounds better in Latin: In vino veritas.
And that hundreds of residents of a small and sparsely populated municipality decisively support the sayings of “three drunkards” speaks very loud and clear of the degree of weariness and despair that overwhelms the Cuban citizenry as a whole. Because it is necessary to say it: Saturday was Caimanera, but tomorrow it could be any other locality, and the day after, the whole of Cuba, as the glorious July 11.
It should be noted that, until now (and unlike what happened that day in 2022), the regime has not attributed the Caiman explosion to instructions or financing from the North. Of course, this “restraint” is not free. Twenty-two months ago, the protests took place in more than 50 different locations in the country. This makes it easier to launch accusations of this type, without bothering to make details.
But in the case of a specific protest like this one in Caimanera, things get complicated for Castro’s liars. Questions would arise: Who issued the order? How did you transmit it? Who financed? How much? By what routes? Who received the instructions and money from the North? Given the impossibility of giving a satisfactory answer to all these questions, until now they have chosen to remain silent.
On the part of the regime, it is possible that the most exalted leaders, as they are atheists, limit themselves to giving thanks to Marx and Lenin because this time the repressors of the so-called “black berets”, through a brutal onslaught, have been able to put down this popular protest. And perhaps they will cross their fingers so that the same thing does not happen again in any other town in the country.
But it is inevitable that Cubans, in the midst of the situation of general misery they suffer, protest more and better. Because any spark is enough for the concentrated indignation of the people in the face of the permanent calamity they are experiencing, to express itself over and over again. It would be better for them to implement a decided change of course in the political, economic and social spheres, which allows citizens to reasonably expect a clear improvement in their situation.
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