CUBA EXPOSED: Cuban political refugee and journalist, GELET FRAGELA, founder ADN Cuba, explains why Cuba has erupted in protests amidst shortages as well as civil and political oppression
Gelet Fragela is a Cuban political refugee in the United States who fled Cuba with her family in 1994. She is also a journalist and founder of the website ADN Cuba which provides extensive coverage of events today in Cuba. As the world focused its attention in recent weeks on the traumatic events in Afghanistan and the chaotic US exit, there has been unrest and upheaval in another troubled land. The Communist island nation of Cuba, under Miguel Díaz-Canel, erupted in protests amidst food shortages and anger with the government.
In a recent opinion piece in the Sun Sentinel, Fragela was unsparing of her criticism of the Communist dictatorship in Cuba: “When Fidel Castro came to power in 1959, he promised democratic elections within 18 months. That never happened,” she wrote. “After 62 years of authoritarian rule, the Cuban people have had enough, and they are finally letting the Cuban regime and the world know it.”
“What is happening in Cuba right now is a true moment in world history,” Fragela added “This could be the end of the communist regime and the beginning of a truly free Cuba. It could be Cuba’s Solidarity Movement, or its Perestroika moment. Or it could be Cuba’s Green Revolution — a minor, interesting footnote in a vast story of oppression.
“The outcome depends heavily on the extent to which the free peoples of the world, including the U.S. actively support the freedom of the Cuban people. Although there are many things the U.S. can do, the first step should be to make clear to the world America does not recognize the Cuban communist regime as a legitimate government and instead holds it accountable for its long history of brutal oppression on the island.”
Fragela continued: “Delegitimizing the status of the Cuban regime would have a significant impact on its ability to continue its 62-year façade that it has the popular support of its people when in fact it has suppressed popular sovereignty with repression, persecution and propaganda. If we have learned anything from the island-wide demonstrations this month, it is that the Cuban people want the communist dictatorship to end, and want democracy and freedom instead – or as we heard throughout the streets of Cuba on July 11, “Libertad!”
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