Cuba: Demonstration of “Revolutionary Reaffirmation” in Havana

July 17, 2021

thousands in the streets for the Cuban Revolution. photo: Roberto Suarez

As in all the key moments of the Cuban Revolution, the response to the challenges came from the hand of massive participation. In the early hours of Saturday morning found Havana’s Malecon covered by a crowd under the slogans “Down with the Yankees!”, “We were born to win and not to be defeated!”, came out in support of the call for “revolutionary reaffirmation” proposed by the Cuban government a week after the beginning of the media offensive unleashed after protests over the economic situation on the island took place last Sunday.

There is “an overflowing hatred in the social networks”, denounced Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, and “what the world is seeing of Cuba is a lie”, he assured. The Cuban government “is not a government that represses its people,” the president affirmed. But “no lie has arisen by chance or by mistake, everything is coldly calculated in a manual of unconventional warfare”, he added.

He also said that what happened “will be reviewed in the light of the possible mistakes that could have been made, especially in the last two years of intense pressures”, when the United States multiplied economic sanctions on Cuba in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

“In defense of the Cuban Revolution, we are engaging in a political-cultural act on  Havana’s Malecon. Together with the people, Army General Raúl Castro Ruz, First Secretary of the PCC, Miguel Díaz-Canel and other leaders of the PCC, the government and mass organizations,” announced the Cuban government’s Twitter account at the beginning of the rally.

“What the world is seeing from Cuba is a lie,” Diaz-Cabel said about the dissemination of “false images” on social networks, which “encourage and glorify indignation and destruction of property.”

“We were born to win and not to be defeated!” shouted the crowd, which the Cuban government estimated in the thousands, that began to convene early in the morning, through workplaces and universities, on Havana’s Malecon. Alongside Díaz-Canel was Raúl Castro, 90.

“Anyone who feels for the Revolution, who has felt for Fidel, who has felt for what has been done in this country and what must continue to be done, knows what Raul’s presence there means,” said Carlos Cruz, a 65-year-old retiree.

According to the official newspaper Granma, events are also planned for Saturday in other cities of the country such as Santiago de Cuba, Bayamo, Camagüey and Santa Clara. These rallies are taking place as Cuba is at its worst moment of the pandemic, although still far from the figures shown in the United States or Argentina itself.

Havana yesterday registered 763 new infections, one of the highest records since the beginning of the health crisis caused by the coronavirus.

“They have thrown everything at us and, worst of all, they have wanted to divide us,” said Gerardo Hernandez, deputy of the National Assembly and another of the speakers at the event. Hernández, the national coordinator of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), is considered a hero in Cuba, as he is one of the five Cuban agents imprisoned for years in the United States accused of espionage and who was returned to the island thanks to a prisoner exchange agreement in 2014.

The leader said that among the Cubans who took to the streets to demonstrate on June 11 there were people with legitimate concerns and problems, and to them he assured that they can count on the Revolution.

“The duty of revolutionaries is to approach those people, even those who may think differently, and listen to them, talk, find common ground,” he emphasized.

But Hernandez also referred to the hate campaign unleashed against the Caribbean nation: “They threw everything at us and the worst thing is that they wanted to divide us,” he said, adding that unity is the target because they know that throughout our history it has allowed Cuba to “overcome all crises and move forward”.

The act of “revolutionary reaffirmation” was the massive response to the protests held last weekend, the largest since the Maleconazo of August 5, 1994. The anti-government demonstrations reflected the difficult economic and social situation the country is going through in the midst of the pandemic, which paralyzed the entire tourism sector, fundamental for the income of foreign currency, and the reinforcement of the blockade decided by Donald Trump and still in force under Joe Biden.

Mobile Internet access was cut on the island from Sunday noon to Wednesday morning, before being restored but in an unstable manner. To the claim that the cut was due to the start of the protests, Cuba responded that its servers were damaged by a cyber-attack launched on July 11.

Source: Pagina 12, translated by Resumen Latinoamericano – English