Cuba Demands Peace for Palestine through Community Art

By Alejandra Garcia on March 31, 2024 from Havana

photo: Jose Manual Correa

This Saturday, Cuba remembered the Palestinian Land Day and rejected in a heartfelt way the hatred and desire for extermination poured on the Gaza Strip. During this day of solidarity with the victims of Israel’s war that seems to have no end in sight, a group of Cuban visual artists came together to create a mural for all to see, at Paseo Avenue and 21st Street, in the Vedado neighborhood of Havana.

Since early Saturday morning, cartoonists from Palante, Dedeté, Juventud Rebelde, among other national media, have painted their art on the exterior wall of the Guido Fuentes elementary school in Havana’s Vedado district. Plastic artists and cartoonists made an urban intervention to commemorate the first general strike against the theft of part of the Palestinian territory by the Zionist regime.

photo: Yaimi Ravelo

Palestinians observe Land Day or Yom al-Ard, to recall the events of March 30, 1976 when six unarmed Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces during protests against the confiscation of 5,000 acres of land belonging to Palestinian citizens of Israel in Gallilee.

“We needed to take it to the streets,” artist Aristides Hernandez Guerrero, popularly known as Ares, told Resumen Latinoamericano – Cuba while explaining the reasons that led him to come up with this project.

“We needed to take advantage of the public space to show support for Palestine. It was important that we reach the street and that people could see and participate,” Ares said, mentioning the premises of that idea that emerged among friends and which had the immediate support of Gerardo Hernández Nordelo, Hero of the Republic and National Coordinator of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution.

photo: Yaimi Ravelo

The most endearing aspect of this initiative is that curious onlookers and inhabitants of the surrounding area joined in the artistic work, drawn by the cause. To complement the mural, everyone painted their hands with the colors of the Palestinian flag and left their hand prints on one side of the wall, as a symbol of the Cuban people’s condemnation of the war. Today, every Cuban and foreigner who crosses the busy Paseo Avenue will think of Palestine and yearn for peace for the suffering and friendly people.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel commented on the mural from social networks, multiplying the expressions of solidarity with Gaza on this important date that the Palestinians will never forget.   The president went on to call on the international community on Saturday to take action to end the genocide that is continuing to unfold in Gaza.

photo: Jose Manuel Correa

Sharing a photo of the Palestinian flag being projected onto Jose Marti Memorial in the Cuban capital Havana, Miguel Diaz-Canel assured: “Cuba demands that the genocide stop now. As long as Palestinian land continues to be martyred, bled, destroyed to its foundations by the hatred of the Israeli occupier, we cannot get tired of denouncing the crime and calling on the international community.”

Cuba has never ceased to raise its voice for peace in Palestine, in its eagerness to defend fair causes. Since October 7, 2023, the Caribbean island has been one of the leaders voicing the strongest opposition to Israel’s ongoing onslaught on Gaza, where more than 32,000 people have died -mostly children-, more than 70,000 have been injured, and thousands more remain missing or buried under the rubble. But today, more than ever, Palestinians are not alone.

“I thank Cuba because it has always shown its support and solidarity with us, the people of Palestine, who have suffered a lot. This mural moves me because I know that whenever I pass by here I will always see my flag and images that remind me of my country and my cause,” Omayma Alkhawaga, a young Palestinian resident studying for a degree in Ophthalmology in Cuba.

Source: Resumen Latinoamericano – English