On February 24 Cubans on the island vote for, against and abstained from changing their constitution so it could give the Cuban Communist Party the power to legally persecute anyone who opposes socialism, according to Article 3.
Therefore, arbitrary arrests, looting, torture and arrests have multiplied these days. For everyone who campaigns for voting “no” or for abstention is being silenced.
But it is no longer necessary for the political police to go house to house in the early morning to remove whoever opposes the regime from their home, because hundreds of Cubans took to the streets to protest censorship and persecution.
They are no longer afraid.
Protesta en La Habana en éstos momentos. Decenas de cubanos se lanzan a la calle a exigir Libertad y Democracia para Cuba!!. Arriba Cuba!! pic.twitter.com/3KdkOb0lxh
— Félix Llerena Cuba (@FelixLlerenaCUB) February 23, 2019
Since the days of the revolution in 1959, Fidel Castro’s iconic speech said “Weapons for what?”, in order to unarm the population and seize all firearms. So the Castros and the Historical Commanders made sure there would be no insurrection in Cuba.
By boat and plane to Miami most of the first generation opposition fled the island with Castro’s endorsement, he took a burden off his shoulders and those who remained were crushed in the battles of Escambray and the streets of Havana in 1962 when Fidel Castro freed violent criminals from prisons in order to attack protesters with metal bars and steam hoses, soon after the regime officially recognized it would be Communist, contrary to its origins as a guerrilla force against the socialist (social-democrat) dictatorship led by Fulgencio Batista.
When interviewed by the American press, Fidel Castro always denied that he was a Communist and even laughed about it, just like Hugo Chavez. They both reached power with a discourse and governed with another.
— Observatorio Cubano de Derechos Humanos (@observacuba) February 24, 2019
Currently, artists are at the forefront of the demonstrations, given that the regime aims to establish a legal system where all art must be authorized by the regime and whoever dares to have a public exhibition without permission will be fined, arrested and/or have their goods expropriated.
The same applies to whoever lends a space for artistic and cultural expositions, they run the risk of losing everything. Given that by lending their space, they become an accomplice to the dissemination of “counterrevolutionary” information, a name that the regime gives to everything that questions the revolutionary process.
On the other side of the sea, the US Government strongly condemns the repression suffered by members of the opposition in recent days as a result of their activism against the referendum.
The most affected have been the activists of UNPACU, the Patriotic Union of Cuba, which currently has more than 130 members on hunger strike as a peaceful protest against the raid on 20 of its headquarters, which operate inside the houses of its members, in which they and their relatives have been arrested and their homes have been looted.
El Cristo, Santiago de #Cuba. Momentos en que se llevan detenido a José Antonio López Piña, huelguista de #UNPACU y Observador del gran fraude. Esto ocurrió cuando salió hacia el "Colegio Electoral". Detenciones, golpes, cercos, terrorismo de estado. pic.twitter.com/GIV2n3IMRe
— José Daniel Ferrer (@jdanielferrer) February 24, 2019
The most valuable object that was stolen from their houses is a document with the names of all the activists, which represents a danger for them and their families, given that they become targets of attacks executed by the political police of the regime.
Kimberly Breier, a diplomat who serves as Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, issued a statement on social media in English and Spanish stating that in Cuba there is a failed revolution.
Socialism, by definition, means that the means of production are in the hands of the workers’ revolution. But in Cuban there is actually an oligarchy, where the ruling class has privilege and the people crumbs, a problem increasingly visible when technology shows Cubans, who have remained isolated for decades, how the rest of the world lives.
This has allowed the regime to try new ways to reinvent itself, change the president, use a leader who does not wear the attire of a guerrilla member who became a soldier or have elections where the only option is the one ordered by the government.
The democracy provided by the single-party system is being questioned, now from the streets and loudly. #YoNoVoto, #YoVotoNo, “I don’t vote”, “I vote no” and all the voices that refuse to give more power to the regime through a constitution that legalizes extortion, censorship, persecution and dictatorship.