More than a hundred detainees during Sunday’s protests remain in limbo
It is difficult to know with certainty what is happening in Cuba. The intoxication muddies everything on both sides. The international media lost interest after the death of Fidel Castro and the retirement of his brother Raúl, delegating the information to local journalists, half activists who are periodically detained. The internet is cut off, visas are not issued to cover protests, and any visitor will have to serve a five-day quarantine.
What is verifiable is that hundreds of women are desperately searching these days for information about their children and husbands, who disappeared on Sunday during the police repression of the largest protests that have occurred on the island since the 1994 “maleconazo”, during the special period. . That would be the only precedent, although in reality no one remembers seeing thousands of people on the streets of Cuba demanding freedom shouting “down with the dictatorship.” The organization Human Rights Watch published yesterday a list with names and surnames of the complaints of arbitrary detentions that it has received, many of which had to arrive at the cells with their heads bloody from the sticks they received during the police charge.
»If the Cuban regime does not reconsider, or the world forces them to reconsider, the blood will flow, because the Cuban people have shouted loudly that they lost their fear. It is time to pressure them to step down. If we want to now, we will have many more years of dictatorship.
That was the last tweet from Camila Acosta, the Cuban journalist who served as a correspondent for the newspaper ABC. She was arrested when she left home with her father, accused of “crimes against state security,” according to the writer and blogger Angel Santiesteban, who placed her in the fourth police unit of Infanta, in the municipality of Cerro. That was already much more than the relatives of some of the disappeared knew. According to this source, the agents searched his house and confiscated his equipment. A score of independent journalists, from Camaguey to Matanzas, received similar visits the day after the protests. President Miguel Díaz-Canel had promised the day before that all “those who called for international intervention” would have to “answer for it.”
It was the first time that the absence of the Castros exposed the weakness of a government that has defended a timid opening, truncated by the presence of Donald Trump in the White House and the pandemic of the century. With the intensification of the blockade, the slowdown in tourism and the drought of Venezuelan crude, the shortage of supplies on the island and the blackouts have filled our patience.
It was necessary to bring Raúl Castro back, as the cover of the official magazine Granma highlighted yesterday when it recounted his participation in the meeting of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba, where the provocations orchestrated by organized counterrevolutionary elements were analyzed. financed from the US with destabilizing purposes.
This is how the Cuban government interpreted what happened, still tracking social networks in search of the origin of the #SOSCuba tags that would have unleashed the demonstrations. He placed her among the usual suspects in Florida, where the celebration between cheers and tears reached such a dimension that it seemed that Fidel Castro had died again. The enthusiasm was such that some followed Facebook’s anonymous call to embark on a flotilla heading to Cuba to support the riots, shouting “no to communism!” and “we have to support the people of Cuba.” For the ten-hour journey they carried water, cans of food and, of course, weapons. “We are not going to go without weapons!” Santiago Rivero, one of those who later became stranded at the Pelican Pier, told the Miami Herald newspaper, where the storm and lightning contained the euphoria.
The Cuban government was also seeking support from the “revolutionaries” to demonstrate its power in the streets and suffocate the rioters in number. It was time to reinforce the power of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution in the neighborhoods and in state-owned companies, where many are reminded these days that the next time the government calls them to defend it in the streets, their jobs are at stake. .