A March or the Chronicle of a Provocation Foretold

By Marco Velazquez Cristo on May 13, 2019

The advancement of LGBTI rights in Cuba will continue. Photo: Bill Hackwell

We had previously announced that there were intentions to manipulate and utilize the LGBTI community to create a confrontation with Cuban authorities because they did not grant permission to carry out a march against homophobia and transphobia.

Some skeptics may have thought we were exaggerating or making up excuses to justify the decision of the State. It makes no sense to think that the State would view the march as subversive or harmful if we take into account that the mentioned event was being organized, fostered and backed by Cuba’s National Center for Sex Education (CENESEX), an institution within the Ministry of Public Health, aimed at, among other objectives, promoting the recognition and guarantee of the population’s sexual rights.

On May 5 the manipulation we had warned about took place, resulting in the distortion of the humanist essence of the march due to actions undertaken by individuals who are counterrevolutionary.

While other activities were being carried out in the context of the Cuban Day against Homophobia and Transphobia (an annual event since 2008 with the support of the state-run CENESEX) with the attendance of most of the LGBTI community, a group of activists gathered nearby to try to carry out a counter march that had not been authorized.

The call to the march was made mainly through social media, which were utilized by unscrupulous counter-revolutionary elements with a view to manipulate and take advantage of these people’s feelings, encouraging them to take part while all along their intention was to turn it into a political provocation.

We understand some were misled given how sensitive people be can be in front of possible discrimination. The idea that this was an official action was so cleverly spread among activists that some who were there thanks to previous legitimate organizing suddenly felt they were the organizers;  turning them into victims of a  cruel and inhuman manipulation.

These types of actions are not new. Let’s just remember another example: a march carried out a few years ago by a group of young people against violence in the world. They had noble feelings, apart from any political end. But what did the counter-revolution did? They sent in their miserable elements to try to confuse the march by trying to bear banners with their usual lies against the Revolution until they were forced to leave the place.

Famous mercenary Yoani Sanchez tried to put on a show for the press on that occasion to the point that it was necessary to arrest her, spoiling the activity organized by the young people.

There were no banners this time, not because they did not intend to carry them but because they could not introduce them into the activity organized by CENESEX.

An important question to ask is who was leading the march on May 5?

Ariel Ruiz Urquiola. who is a person called by some media sources as an “environmental activist”. In reality he is a counter-revolutionary who has taken part in several provocations, introduced as a great scientist claiming leadership in researches he was not part of. There are plenty of papers about it.

His relationship with the U.S. Embassy in Havana is publicly known. He is one of the “opposition leaders,” whose real intention is to try to build a counter-revolution.  Let’s remember some of his associates, Juan Carlos Gonzalez, aka Panfilo, a heavy drinker they tried to transform into a “fighter” against the Castros, or the fake “disabled poet” Armando Valladares, who was not either of those things.

Other members of the counter-revolutionary high society attending the event were Ileana Hernandez, Yosmany Sanchez, Yennia del Risco, Oscar Casanella, and Boris Gonzalez Arena. All of them played the role of instigators against the orders issued by the authorities. They all appeared with thorough bred certificates obtained in institutions that practice subversion against Cuba.

The intention of having one of these elements previously inserted into the march to cause a show for the media is proven by the following facts: Authorities acting calmly despite the activity not being authorized, allowed them to go on until Paseo del Prado and then tried to convince them to stop to prevent the interruption of vehicular traffic along the busy street of the Malecon, which was really at the risk of their own lives.

In that moment, Ruiz Urquiola together with the rest of his group started to instigate a clash by pushing through with the march, challenging authorities and subsequently being arrested. His resistance to the arrest was the needed show for the media, including those of the counter-revolution to do what they expected to do; lie, enhance and manipulate the event into a biased opinion campaign against Cuba. This is not the first time Urquiola has been part of this type of offence including resisting arrest.

Some naive observers — or people who act naively — criticize the decision of  the authorities for not authorizing a march we all knew would be manipulated by the counter-revolution, which was not able to accomplish its plans thanks to the restrained performance of the Cuban police.

They talk about repression, “The action of violently subduing an uprising, a political demonstration…” But where was the violence against the marchers? Ruiz Urquiola and others who resisted arrest provoked authorities to subdue them, but there is not one picture of them being hit, tear gassed, knocked down by water cannons, or suffering any injury (scenes that we see all the time on the streets of Paris and in the U.S.-edit), they have nothing. What they do have are images of police officers talking to activists, explaining the reasons why they would not be allowed to continue, trying to convince them to obey orders, actions that are not undertaken anywhere else in the world when a police force steps in.

What they are not talking about is that only counter-revolutionary elements were arrested, those whose  “clean record of service to the empire” will be published at another time.

These events will not cause a limitation on the rights of the LGBTI community in Cuba or a setback in their advancement for equal recognition. If there is anyone to blame for what happened it is the mercenaries at the service of the United States Government, who tried to transform a march with noble intentions into something else with political ends.

We know the guidelines issued from Miami; fostering public marches with apparent innocent purposes, leaving the Government without reasons to ban them or raising condemnation among the population in case such activities are not allowed. To take advantage of those activities authorized “to denounce violations against human rights and democratic liberties.”

This is the truth. This is all part of an attempt to undermine the Cuban Revolution, an attempt to pave the way for an alleged scenario in which Venezuela’s Chavismo is defeated, to find a split in society that makes the task of destroying the social project that bothers them easier.

But they won’t succeed. Our people are educated, they know their Revolution and they will not be tricked.


Source: Post Cuba, translation Resumen Latinoamericano, North America bureau