Protests in Cuba are not a reflection of a social outbreak

On June 23, 184 nations of the world once again approved a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly in which they demanded the lifting of the United States’ blockade against Cuba.

By Juan Carlos Marcof Sánchez

Since my arrival in India in 2017 I have been able to personally corroborate the enormous affection that this great country feels towards Cuba. The initial references and experiences that are still alive in the eyes of many Indians about my country, as I have heard them, are quite diverse. Of course, one always hears, depending on the interlocutor, the memories of the figure of Ernesto “Che” Guevara, of Fidel Castro and that historical embrace of Indira Gandhi, the Cuban Revolution and its sporting, scientific and biopharmaceutical achievements, the recent visit of the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind to our country in 2018, among others, but one refrain, that repeats itself always and can be pointed out as a common factor in all these perspectives is this: Cuba, the small island in the Caribbean, beautiful, quiet, peaceful, but capable of confronting the United States without fear.

That is why, observing the massive politically manipulated media campaign unleashed against Cuba from the US about the recent events that occurred in Cuba, presenting us as a country where violence and repression reign, where citizens’ rights are not respected, I feel compelled to write the present text.

Cuba, a small island, a developing nation, not only faces the vulnerabilities of this condition, but also currently faces the impact of a fierce COVID-19 pandemic, which has reached a significant peak in recent months in our country, causing an increase in the number of deaths and those interned in hospitals. Cuba has had to make a superhuman effort to allocate the greatest amount of the scarce resources it possesses to the areas most affected by the pandemic and to obtain necessary medicines and supplies. To this, add the fact that the US Government has used the pandemic in an opportunistic, deliberate and cruel way to reinforce the economic, commercial and financial blockade that it has subjected Cuba to for more than 60 years now.

During President Donald Trump’s term, a total of 243 new sanctions were adopted against Cuba, of these 55 during the COVID-19 pandemic, all of them in addition to the ongoing blockade. These have been continued in their entirety at the moment under the administration of the current US Government. The effect of the intensification of the blockade and this new slew of sanctions has caused grave difficulties for my country in the export and import of food, medicine, fuel, spare parts for our energy system, resulting in impairment in the electricity service, all of which has caused problems in the daily life of our population.

Even though there are legitimate demands emerging from our people, based on the difficulties mentioned above, the events that occurred on July 11 in Cuba are not a reflection of a social outbreak as it has been made out to be. Cuba was made a target of a political-mediatic operation orchestrated and financed from the United States, which caused disturbances on a limited scale and did not receive the support of the vast majority of Cubans.

It has now been established that the communication operation against Cuba did not arise spontaneously, or from its national territory, but was orchestrated from accounts based in US cyberspace, companies and groups, some with ties to terrorism that receive financing from the US Government. The Cuban Government, through its Foreign Minister, Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla in press conferences held on July 13 and 22, has made public the evidence of this and has urged the United States Government and the State Department to confirm or disprove this information. (It is clarified that until the moment this article is being written, the United States has not confirmed or denied the information).

On July 11 and in subsequent days, there was vandalism, violent attacks on institutions such as police stations, headquarters of organizations, shopping centres, and even stones were thrown at a pediatric hospital where children were admitted. Faced with these facts, the Cuban revolutionary people, together with the authorities of internal order, in particular the police, took to the streets to confront the perpetrators of these crimes, always with strict adherence to compliance with the laws established in our country.

As part of the disinformation and manipulation campaign against Cuba, a large number of fake news, montages, and gross misrepresentations have been published in important press media and on social networks, trying to amplify what happened and showing a false reality that is not the case of what happened in Cuba. Photos of demonstrations in favour of the Revolution have been used as if they were against, images that occurred in other countries, as if they were in Cuba, as also alleged murders of minors and missing persons that have not occurred in our country. It is important to note that after the events that occurred on the 11th, peace and tranquillity reigned in the streets of Cuba. The institutions are functioning normally, within the framework of the sanitary restrictions established due to the pandemic.

A couple of days back, on July 22, Cuban Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla confirmed that in Cuba there is no missing person, no minor detained or deceased linked to the events that recently occurred in Cuba on July 11 and in the days after, and summoned any authority from the United States or anywhere in the world to present evidence on an alleged missing person or minor detained or deceased. (It is clarified that so far no evidence has been presented in this regard).

Recently, on July 21, the Cuban Government has publicly denounced that the United States Government is putting brutal pressure on the governments of third countries, particularly Eastern European and Latin American countries, to join a joint declaration, prepared and drawn up in the United States Department of State against Cuba. This new action is part of the political-communication campaign manufactured, organized and financed in the US and by the US and follows the logical sequence of Washington’s plan to destabilize our country. It constitutes an interference in the internal affairs of Cuba and of those third countries too.

On June 23, 184 nations of the world once again approved a resolution in the United Nations General Assembly in which they demanded the lifting of the United States’ blockade against Cuba. On 23 July, over 400 politicians, intellectuals, scientists, clergy, artists, activists and ex-heads of State from all over the world, called on Biden to #LetCubaLive on a letter which was published in the New York Times, to immediately lift Trump’s 243 sanctions on Cuba and return to the Obama opening or, even better, begin the process of ending the embargo and fully normalizing relations between the United States and Cuba. These two actions, among others, are a confirmation of the international rejection of this act of the US against another State

As a Cuban diplomat accredited to this beautiful country, I can assure all that Cuba will maintain the path chosen by the vast majority of its people, which is none other than that of the Cuban Revolution. I would like also to thank the genuine solidarity we have historically received from India and particularly at this moment.

We will not accept interference in our internal affairs and we will defend our independence and our right to self-determination, always defending our small Caribbean island, beautiful, calm, peaceful, but capable of facing the United States without any fear.

(The author is Charge d´ Affaires, Embassy of Cuba to India. Views expressed are personal and do not reflect the official position or policy of Financial Express Online.)

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