Cuba: The Violence of July 11th Will Not Go Unpunished

By Alejandra Garcia on March 22, 2022 from Havana

photo: Getty Images

The events of July 11, 2021, in Cuba were not fortuitous. On that day, a group of Cubans took to the streets of Havana, looking for economic relief amid overwhelming shortages and pandemic asphyxiation. By that time we had been standing in endless lines for over a year to get food or medicines, while carrying a terrible fear of contagion. Many who took to the streets that day did so for understandable reasons, however, the vast majority of those demonstrators took to the streets to cause disorder, chaos.

To repeat the events were not fortuitous. During the four days before the violent riots broke out, the ultra-right wing of the West increased a toxic campaign through social networks, calling for and urging on a social outbreak on the island hoping that it would lead to a government and political system change.

Artists, activists, and even porn actresses, mainly from the United States and Europe, called for all hell to break loose and urged Washington to send its military into Havana’s bay. From abroad, they called for a butchery to take place in Cuba while they watched with their mouths full of burgers and beer as if we were characters of a grotesque reality show.

That day, many demonstrators took to the streets following their instructions, aiming to encourage others to break shop windows, overturn police cars, and injure whoever came their way.

I was as scared as I had ever been in our country  which is known for its tranquility. Cubans want a better, more progressive, developed, just, and equitable country. But through violence, we will not succeed in that purpose. We are used to achieving everything we set out to get, not with sticks and stones, but with stubbornness and willingness.

Cuba is a peaceful island and Cubans are noble people. I am not used to a different reality. We have problems, like all countries worldwide. But we have something that no other suffers: the constant siege and hatred of those who want to see our country with a different political system. For them, July 11 was a failure.

Authorities managed to quell the protests and things calmed down after less than 24 hours. They also identified those who took to the streets to create chaos and brought them to justice. As in any democracy, violence does not go unpunished in Cuba. Like all countries we have laws. Many who were convicted for crimes like those who attacked a hospital in Cardenas received up to 30 years in prison. If an insurrection of this nature happened in any developed country wouldn’t their sentence be at least this much?

But now, eight months later, the toxic campaigns against Cuba and the events of July 11 persist through a vicious social media campaign, this time against the prosecutors and jurists who are carefully sorting through all the details to arrive at justice.

The U.S. Embassy in Cuba and the ultra-right-wing media in the region are trying to create an alleged pacifistic nature of the demonstrations to disqualify the trials and, on that basis, accuse the Cuban government of brutality.

“According to those who exalted the protest and turned simple vandals into a symbol of rebellion, the ones on trial are innocent and those who judge them should be accused,” Cuban journalist Arleen Rodriguez wrote in an article published in Resumen Latinoamericano in Spanish.

What no anti-Cuban report says is that half out of the thousand people detained for the events never went to court, received only fines and minor sanctions, based on their ages, occupations, and motivations.

“Being a prosecutor is a pride and a very difficult task because you have to bring together responsibility, justice, and human sensitivity,” jurist Anabel Lopez Reinaldo said.

Cuba has the truth on its side. During the prosecution of the protest participants, there has been no hatred, only justice and only Cuba gets to determine that here, certainly we do not accept criticism or advice coming from those whose bottom line agenda is promoting regime change.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano –  English