Credit: Via Twitter

“We want Freedom”: Cuba erupts in protest

Is the Communist one party state in Cuba on the verge of collapse? The weekend has seen unprecedented protests across many cities including the capital Havana. It comes after a series of hunger strikes and other events largely ignored by the world media, though covered on this platform.

Cubans, incensed by food shortages, lack of medicine, and continued repression, erupted in anger, with mass rallies calling for an end to the regime. Protests are usually not tolerated and ruthlessly crushed by the regime, but the crowds took the authorities by surprise at the weekend.

“Never seen images from #Havana,” Alexandre Krauss, Senior Advisor EU Parliament, tweeted. “Thousands are mobilizing across #Cuba demanding the end of the communist dictatorship while screaming ‘we are not afraid…we are not afraid.’”

Bloomberg reported that protesters chanted #PatriaYVida” or “Homeland and Life” and that the government shut down the internet to stop demonstrators broadcasting.

It is being reported that protestors chanted in front of Communist Party Headquarters shouting “Cuba isn’t yours!”

 

The response of the regime has been predictable. It has blamed the United States of course and called on the party thugs and informers who make up the all pervasive Committees for the Defence of the Revolution (CDR) to take to the streets to confront the protestors who appear to have responded spontaneously to the original protest in San Antonio de los Banos.

Perhaps ominously for the regime, the CDRs were not able to nip the protests in the bud. Even more so, and in scenes reminiscent of the collapse of the vile Ceausescu regime in Romania in 1989, some footage shows that much of the violence against the protestors was being carried out by plain clothes secret policemen rather than uniformed police.

A crucial factor therefore will be what the army does if the protests develop into a sustained movement. It is unlikely that the Castro gang will agree to internal reforms of the sorts demanded by the protestors, as the tiny elite at the top has too much invested in its unaccountable tyranny in which the party bosses live lives of luxury while the majority subsist in grinding squalor.

Among the demands voiced by people have been for an end to food shortages, measures to address slum housing conditions, but above all to end one party rule by the Communist Party and to hold free elections. The Cuban government is unable to meet basic social provisions, and is certainly not of a mind to allow itself to be replaced by anyone who might.

Ironically, given the inane parroting by even the centre left regarding Cuba having the “best health service in the world,” protestors refer to the shortage of medicine as one of his reasons for taking to the streets.

 

 

 

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