Largest Peaceful Protest in Cuba in 6 Decades
Reader Charles, whom I met in Chicago in my second job after graduating college, suddenly reached out about events in Cuba.
It is not just Havana. This is no Tiananmen Square. Here are videos from all over the island. Finally, it’s OK to say that the emperor has no clothes.
For years, when Cuban-Americans visited their relatives in Cuba, they noted there was near-universal private disgust with the corrupt Castro regime. But there was also universal fear of its efficient and ruthless secret police and the honeycomb of regime spies throughout the society. So everyone kept quiet.
American tourists were escorted to Potemkin villages by Communist Party guides and special hotels open only to foreigners and staffed by Party members. All who tell the Americans how everyone is really committed to the Revolution.
And the US press, by and large, has bought the story, blaming Cuba’s troubles on the US embargo – even though no other country embargoes Cuba – rather than the corrupt system which squelches capitalism and favors the 5% who are Party members, whether they work or not.
The protesters are NOT protesting shortages and price increases, as much of the US mainline media sympathetic to the regime are reporting. Those who understand Spanish can hear that they are chanting “Liberty!” And “end the dictatorship.” They are protesting the whole terrible system.
Who knows if this will last Already, there are reports of dissenters “disappearing.” But it will be great if the great US left-wing alliance with these dictators is exposed and, with luck, broken.
Center for a Free Cuba
Charles emailed 12 videos on protests in 12 different Cuban cities.
He also put me in touch with John Suarez, the Executive Director, Center for a Free Cuba.
Suarez in turn sent me still more links on various political and socialist aspects. Many of the clips, historical references, and ideas below are from Suarez or by me following links to the links that he sent.
Is Cuba Facing a Watershed ‘1989 Moment’?
The protesters pouring into streets across Cuba have a common rallying cry: “Patria y Vida,” or “Fatherland and Life.” The phrase comes from a hip-hop song released a few months ago by dissident Cuban artists who set out to challenge the government—and in the process helped spark a wave of protests against the 62-year-old communist regime.
“The problem they have now is that it’s not a handful of activists or artists or independent journalists — it’s now a massive swath of the population all throughout the country,” he said. “So the genie is out of the bottle. They’re trying to put it back in.”
It is too early to characterize this weekend as Cuba’s 1989 moment, says analyst James Bloodworth. But Cuba’s communist rulers are rapidly approaching a similar juncture to the one leaders of their Eastern European sister parties faced three decades ago. The Cuban Communist Party can liberalize the system and risk their own displacement, or it can deploy the full force of the state against the population, albeit right on the doorstep of the United States, he writes for Foreign Policy.
The above from the National Endowment for Democracy.
Rally Cry “Patria y Vida”
Lead image from WSJ ‘Patria y Vida’: The Dissident Rappers Helping Drive Cuba’s Protests
Part of the video was recorded in secret in February by rapper Maykel Castillo and performance artist Luis Manuel Otero, who were careful to elude the police officers who routinely follow them. The pair met in an abandoned house and tapped into a power line to turn on their lighting equipment. From Miami, superstar rapper Yotuel, the founder of the Cuban group Orishas, coordinated production, stitching together images recorded by rappers in Havana and Miami.
Where is AOC?
AOC is one of four Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) members in Congress. She's strangely quiet on Cuba.
Ocasio-Cortez, Michigan Rep. Rashida Tlaib, New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Missouri Rep. Cori Bush make up the four DSA members in Congress.
Bernie Sanders Chimes In
63 Consecutive Years of Sanction Failure
I agree with Sanders about the embargo. Indeed The US Has 63 Consecutive Years of Sanction Failure Against Cuba!
If embargoes worked, the Cuban dictatorship would have ended six decades ago. Besides, as Charles pointed out "no other country embargoes Cuba" so it's madness to believe embargoes will accomplish anything.
However, blaming embargoes coupled with generalized statements of support for Cuban citizens is not going to win many friends in Cuba.
What About the Black Caucus?
One would at least think the Congressional Black Caucus and Black Lives Matter advocates would be all over this freedom movement.
Well, nope. More silence.
Historically speaking, the Congressional Black Caucus has been in praise of Fidel Castro as well as Venezuelan thugs like President Nicolas Maduro.
Castro meets with Black Caucus
Flashback, April 8, 2009: Castro Meets With Black Caucus
Caucus leader Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., said she found Castro "very healthy, very energetic, very clear thinking" during his nearly two-hour session with the lawmakers. She said caucus members also visited his home and met his wife.
Lee's delegation is sympathetic to Cuba, with most of its members openly praising the country's communist government while decrying U.S. policy.
Rep. Bass Statement on the Passing of Fidel Castro
Flashback November 28, 2016: Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) issued the following Statement Regarding the Passing of Fidel Castro. (emphasis mine)
"As Cuba begins nine days of mourning, I wish to express my condolences to the Cuban people and the family of Fidel Castro. The passing of the Comandante en Jefe is a great loss to the people of Cuba. I hope together, our two nations will continue on the new path of support and collaboration with one another, and continue in the new direction of diplomacy," said Bass.
On November 28, 2018, Bass was elected chair of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC).
Comandante en Jefe
Comandante en Jefe means commander in chief. It is a term of respect.
Bass also reported statements from Obama and John Kerry.
"...Today, we offer condolences to Fidel Castro's family, and our thoughts and prayers are with the Cuban people. In the days ahead, they will recall the past and also look to the future. As they do, the Cuban people must know that they have a friend and partner in the United States of America," said Obama.
I rather doubt "condolences to Fidel Castro's family" went over very well with anyone brutalized by his regime.
Karen Bass, VP contender for Biden, renounces her praise of Fidel Castro
Flashback August 2, 2020: Karen Bass, VP contender for Biden, renounces her praise of Fidel Castro
Joe Biden VP contender Rep. Karen Bass on Sunday walked back comments praising late Cuban Communist dictator Fidel Castro in 2016 — insisting she didn’t know he was despised by his own people
“Lesson learned, would not do that again, for sure,” she continued, telling Wallace she now understood Castro’s leadership was a “brutal regime.”
Bass, a five-term congresswoman who represents Los Angeles, was asked to undergo the arduous vetting process by Biden last month.
Black Lives Matter Support for Maduro and Castro
PanAm discusses the Relationship Between BLM and Nicholas Maduro, president of Venezuela.
Black Lives Matter purportedly exists to combat the alleged racism inherent in America’s police forces. Police abuse, and particularly police abuse against black citizens is the raison d’etre of the organization.
Yet, at the PanAm Post we have found that while Black Lives Matter claim to oppose police abuse and racism around the world, the organization is simultaneously a great supporter of some of the world’s most brutal and repressive dictators. In particular, the founders of BLM have been staunch supporters and allies of the sanguinary Venezuela dictator Nicolas Maduro and of the Castro regime in Cuba.
Later that same month Tometi penned an article where she espouses, word for word, the regime’s standard text for international propaganda. “In these last 17 years, we have witnessed the Bolivarian Revolution champion participatory democracy and construct a fair, transparent election system recognized as among the best in the world ,” wrote Tometi about one of the world’s most corrupt voting systems in history.
Earlier in 2015 Maduro was given an award at the “Afro-descendants Summit” held in Harlem. Maduro was invited at the behest of the Black Lives Matter leadership.
Silence and Florida Vote Explained
In case you were wondering why there has been silence from AOC, silence from Black Lives Matter, silence from Socialists, and silence from the Black Caucus on Cuba, well, now you know.
And in case you were wondering why the Cuban-American Vote in Florida went 56-41 for Trump in Florida, you know that too.
Twitter Debate on Capitalism
It's easy to praise Socialism to economic illiterates and get away with it, but those who live under its oppressions don't believe it.
Those moaning about capitalism understand neither capitalism nor socialism.
The problem with capitalism is simple: We don't have enough of it.