Cuba has been at the forefront of American news media, but what is this all about?
Cuba has been under the rule of a communist regime for over 60 years now, but things in these recent protests are different. The Covid-19 pandemic added a huge amount of stress on the already struggling Cuban population. It is normal for a person to wait eight hours in line for some bread in Cuba. While the people are starving, those in power flaunt their luxurious lifestyles, and the people are sick of it.
The island-wide protests began in San Antonio de Los Baños which is about 20 miles southwest of Havana. Thousands of Cubans attended the protest, no longer scared of the tactics used to repress such movements against the current regime. As the message of freedom spread, more protests sparked in over 30 cities.
Dictator Miguel Diaz- Canel responded by loading buses of military men dressed in civilian clothing, armed with metal bars and sticks to beat the demonstrators. Violence spread in the streets, and everyone knew at least one individual that risked their lives for freedom.
Following the demonstrations, the authority ordered house-to-house searches for enemies of the revolution, and over 5,000 citizens were arrested. They also launched a very tactical misinformation campaign that stated that protestors were confused revolutionaries and delinquents. Sometime later the authority also said that the protesters are people who want the United States to invade Cuba.
The government did not stop there. They have prevented access to the internet and blackmailed those that made anti-communist posts on social media outlets. The Cuban authority is searching for a leader, someone to take responsibility for the uprisings, but this time is different. The people are united against a common aggressor- their authoritative figures. It comes as an effect of 60 years of oppression and loss of liberty.
In America, the interpretation of Cuba’s events has been received differently depending on the political spectrum. The left needs to understand that events taking place now are not the result of the US’s embargo. The Cuban authority is to blame for the current situation and the beating of so many young citizens. Cuba is not a paradise of social justice; it is a dictatorship that does not protect human rights.
On the other hand, the right needs to understand that military action will not solve this problem. Having military intervention could sway people to begin to back the government simply to maintain Cuba’s independence. It is clear that there needs to be clear disapproval of the Cuban authority’s behavior, but military intervention would divide Cuba and make matters worse.
To be truly helpful in this war for freedom, the United States must stand with the Cuban people. The message is clear, WE ARE ALL CONNECTED and “Cuba libre!”