The National Rebellion Day, a day that is usually celebrated with massive events every year in different cities of Cuba, This Monday passes on the island with an unusual tranquility, without celebrations, under the watchful eye of the coronavirus pandemic and with optimistic messages from the official press and other tense ones related to the recent protests against the government.
The president and first secretary of the Communist Party, Miguel Díaz-Canel, went early with 100 young people to an area of Havana to do volunteer work in favor of food production.
Volunteer work was for decades an economic practice considered in Cuba as a means of improving the national economy and a way of educating the “new generations” in collective effort.
The president also published a message on his Twitter account in which he stressed: “Congratulations, all Cubans! Thank you, dear friends of the world! It is already 26! I reiterate my call for peace, work, unity and together move forward! #MiMoncadaesHoy
Surveillance and semi-deserted streets
In the neighborhoods of Havana, small commemorations were held with limited attendance due to the growing wave of covid-19 cases, which at the end of Monday added 8,184 new cases and 66 deaths in 24 hours, one of the highest figures since it was presented the first contagion on the island of 11.2 million inhabitants.
Thus, the island already has a total of 341,152 cases and 2,417 deaths since the start of the health emergency.
In the middle of a increased vigilance In some areas of the capital, this Monday no demonstrators were seen, who had isolated calls to go out, two weeks after the unprecedented protests in Havana and dozens of other cities that left at least one dead, dozens injured and hundreds of detainees.
This Monday, some of those arrested were released. The government confirmed that 60 people were prosecuted for “minor offenses” during the protests, but never gave a concrete number of those arrested.
Organizations such as Human Rights Watch spoke of about 400 people detained during the marches.
Flags of Cuba, this Monday in Havana, in memory of a historic date for the Revolution. Photo: AFP
The embryo of the Cuban Revolution
The day of July 26 is perhaps the most important ideological commemoration of the revolution led by the late leader Fidel Castro and which began with the attack under his leadership on a military fortress in the east of the country, the Barracks Moncada, in Santiago de Cuba.
The action failed and the rebels were arrested, but just over five years later they won a guerrilla war against the Fulgencio Batista regime on January 1, 1959.
“When on July 26, 1953 Fidel stormed the Moncada barracks, there were no blackouts in Cuba. There could be no blackouts. The first condition for blackouts to occur is that the houses have electricity, and at that time 56% of them were lit with lamps of bright light “in Cuba, highlighted an article in the newspaper Granma, spokesman for the ruling (and sole) Communist Party. “
The author of the note also added: “My family was part of that 60% of Cubans who lived in shantytowns in guano and yaguas, without a sanitary latrine or running water; in those fields where people died of curable diseases, and children were literally eaten by parasites. “
A woman with a photo of Fidel Castro, this Monday on a street in Havana. Photo: AFP
“In 1953 there were no queues to buy in Cuba either. Neither for meat nor for bread. For there to be a queue, there must be many people with enough money to buy, and those were not foods that were available to the lean pockets in the places where I was born “, he emphasizes.
Thus, the newspaper’s statements are reminiscent of the Cuban system that the rebels overthrew on January 1, 1959 and compares it to what is now called “difficulties” that frequently affect Cubans, and that have worsened in recent years due to the United States sanctions and especially since 2020 due to the pandemic.
Covid and protests
The Covid-19 epidemic in the country is going through the hardest moment of the entire pandemic in Cuba that began in March 2020, which has led to stronger containment measures and new protocols to combat it.
A protest in support of the demonstrations against the government of Cuba. this Monday in front of the White House, in Washington. Photo: AP
The protests that occurred in the country on the last 11 and 12 for which the government accused instigators especially via the Internet “at the service” of the United States, also generate tension in the celebration of this Monday, although for the moment the country is calm and no further demonstrations were recorded.
The government denied that the events were a social outbreak due to deficiencies but rather the result of political instigators from the United States in the economic “breeding ground” caused by the blockade applied by Washington 60 years ago and by the crisis that accompanies the pandemic. .
At the same time, he acknowledged that “some” who took to the streets were deceived and joined the protests because of the problems.
In this context, in addition to defending its programs, the government announced new measures to alleviate the shortage, especially of food and medicine, new analyzes to solve the problems and the decision to continue developing socialism.