On Sunday, July 11, a libertarian-peaceful cry broke out in 40 cities and towns on the island: “We are hungry,” “Freedom,” “Down with the dictatorship.” Two impeccable testimonies in their national belongings. The singer-songwriter Pablo Milanés recently wrote: “It is irresponsible and absurd to blame and repress a people that has sacrificed and given everything for decades to support a regime that, in the end, what it does is imprison it. For a long time I have been expressing the injustices and errors in the politics and government of my country. In 1992 I was convinced that the Cuban system had definitely failed and I denounced it. Now I reiterate my pronouncements and I trust the Cuban people to seek the best possible system of coexistence and prosperity, with full freedoms, without repression and without hunger ”. (In 1989 the Berlin Wall fell, Russian imperialism collapsed, material and political support for the island collapsed. I traveled to the island for the second time in 1990, this time married. On July 26, in commemoration of the assault. At the Moncada Barracks, in the Plaza de la Revolución, in Havana, Vicky and I saw hundreds of thousands of people arrive, entire families, happy, hopeful. With inclement sun, we first heard Milanés sing from a very high platform, still a believer. Then Fidel Castro gave a very long speech, with a cataract of figures, in several hours. He blamed Yankee imperialism for his ills, and ended with his cry “Socialism or death.” Between Havana and Varadero we recognized that his socialism had some visible achievements. in health – oral hygiene -, sports, and all with a roof, and yes, at a high cost of freedom and fear.
The Cuban writer Leonardo Padura –one of my favorites– also wrote of this scream: “It is a cry that is also the result of the desperation of a society that is going through not only a long economic crisis and a punctual health crisis, but also a crisis of confidence and a loss of expectations. To this desperate claim, the Cuban authorities should not respond with the usual instructions repeated over the years, but rather find the solutions that many citizens expect or demand ”. Padura reiterated the guilt of the United States embargo, and warns, above all, that “Cubans need to regain hope and have a possible image of their future.” But “to convince and calm those desperate, the method cannot be the solutions of force and darkness, such as imposing the digital blackout (internet blocking). And much less can the violent response be used as an argument for convincing, especially against non-violent people ”(This after the Castroist repression left one dead, dozens injured and several hundred prisoners). “It is necessary for solutions to arrive, answers that should not only be of a material nature but also of a political nature, and thus an inclusive and better Cuba can address the reasons for this cry of despair and loss of hope.” Eloquent both. The third trip I did with Pablo, Elia and María in December 2015. My daughters wanted to know Castro’s Cuba (the previous trip Pablo chose to travel to Kenya and Tanzania, on a photographic safari, and there, as before in Egypt, we do not hear blame others of their reality). We hired a driver with a vehicle and in three weeks we toured Havana, Cienfuegos, Trinidad, Santa Clara, Cayo Santa María (we saw Raúl Castro’s residence) and Varadero. Garbage piled up in the streets for weeks. Pauperization in houses, clothing and sustenance. Insalubrity. People wasting time on the street, wondering what to bring to the table. Out of expectations. Diaspora of young people around the world (the driver’s daughter lived as a dancer in China, sends remittances, does not return) Yes, Cuba has the right to regain hope: it demands answers, and the fundamental one is the libertarian and inclusive policy, and food and medicines. Mexico must stop being a comparsa of this dictatorship and of the Venezuelan and Nicaraguan ones. Solidarity with the people. Long live Cuba Libre!
Juan Miguel Alcantara