What If the Protests in France Were in Cuba?

By José Manzaneda on April 3, 2023

Police attacking demonstrators in France. photo: EPA

300 demonstrations with more than three million people, 500 people arrested in a single day. If it were Cuba, Belarus or China… the headlines would be filled with terms such as “social outburst”, “popular uprising”, “repression”, “regime”….

But since they are in France, they speak of “serious riots”, in which the only people injured – 440 in a single day – were “policemen”. Only policemen. Curious this “free and independent press” which repeats, in unison, the data offered by the French Minister of the Interior.

A report by three human rights organizations concludes that, since 2015, in the world, more than 120 thousand people have been injured by tear gas, rubber balls, water cannons or acoustic weapons of the police. It cites many countries: the US, France, Chile, Colombia… Curiously, not Cuba. But do a test: Google the words “Cuba” and “repression”. You will get dozens of headlines. Then, search for “USA” and “repression”, and you will also find dozens of news items of the US Government accusing of “repression”… that of Cuba.

Well, to Cuba, to that country where the police rarely hurt people, the Spanish Government has decided that it cannot export riot control equipment, in application of a “human rights” clause. It is a veto which is not imposed, for example, on its partner Morocco, whose repression of Saharawi activists is internationally condemned. And whose police, in June last year, killed nearly 70 immigrants at the fence of Melilla.

Justice in Spain: in an interview, the former minister José Barrionuevo justified, without remorse, his participation in the dirty war against the Basque Nationalist group ETA, for which he spent three months in jail, after being pardoned. Inevitable contrast with the case of the eight young Navarrese from Altsasu, several of whom spent almost four years in prison for a fight with civil guards in civilian clothes.

After two years and a month in prison in Lleida, the Catalan musician Pablo Hasel has finished the sentence imposed for the lyrics of his songs. But he is still in prison, as he has been sentenced to two new sentences for another six years. Have you read it in any Spanish corporate media? Not a thing. That’s freedom of speech and press freedom made in Spain.

We are still talking about artistic censorship in Europe. In Poland, the concerts of Roger Waters, Pink Floyd’s leader, have been cancelled because of his stance on the war in Ukraine. And in Frankfurt, Germany, for his alleged “anti-Semitism”, which is really for his solidarity with Palestine. Nothing to be condemned as “censorship” by the European press, submissive to NATO’s discourse and Israel’s excesses. Whose government has just banned even the display of the Palestinian flag in public spaces. And which has killed, so far this year, almost 90 Palestinians. Where are the sanctions or the editorials of condemnation? The European sports press tells us that the top scorer of the Palestinian professional soccer league, Ahmad Atef Daragmah, “died during clashes with the Israeli army”. Clashes? No, he was killed by Israeli army bullets.

The government of the US has just published a new report on human rights in the world. And, as usual, it gives countries like Cuba the lessons it does not apply at home. Let’s take a look.

In the US, more than one hundred people die every day by firearms. In the first two months of this year, there were 102 mass shootings, which reached a record 648 in 2022 .  It was also a year in which the police killed almost twelve hundred people.

Nearly 600,000 human beings survive on the streets of the United States on any given night. There are 42,000 homeless people in Los Angeles alone, where a state of emergency has been declared for that reason.

Over 27 million people lack health insurance in the US. And, believe it or not, life expectancy in the richest country in the world is three years less than in Cuba.

Let’s read some other news. Michigan: a mother and two of her children freeze to death in a park; Memphis: 29-year-old black man dies after being brutally beaten by five police officers; Buffalo: 30 workers are fired by Tesla after trying to form a union; Alabama: an inmate dies after guards put him in a freezer as punishment . Imagine if just one of these events had happened in Cuba. How many times would we read in news and reports the word… “regime”?

Source: Cuba en Resumen