The July 2021 protests that shook Cuba and made the world look seriously at Cuban governmental oppression seem to have faded into distant memory. Unsurprisingly, the Cuban Communist dictatorship cannot forget this defiance. Six months later, protesters are going on trial for the “crime” of crying out against injustice.
The story of these prisoners is tragic, and the silence of the West is even more scandalous.
Miguel Díaz-Canel Imitates Castro who he Replaced
The background behind the July 2021 protests revolves around Miguel Díaz-Canel, the new communist dictator who replaced Raul Castro. Despite cosmetic changes meant to impress outsiders, his regime has proven every bit as brutal as the Castro brothers.
An example of his totalitarianism is Decree-Law 370, which bans Cubans from storing information on foreign servers, thus restricting Cuba’s illegal independent virtual press. Another example is Decree-Law 389, which allows for warrantless electronic surveillance of the population.
Under Pres. Díaz-Canel, the state of the nation has only worsened. Food and medicine shortages have ravaged the country during the COVID crisis and brought down the economy. The 2021 protests represented a population that had endured enough. Protests broke out all over the island, with participants using cellphone communication and social media to organize their efforts. Ironically, the Cuban government recently allowed access to the Internet on cellular devices in 2018. Cubans used this opportunity to protest the dictatorship. The avenue proved effective as discontent exploded in July.
The Summer of Reaction and Counter-Reaction
The protests mobilized at least 100,000 to 150,000 people in several dozen locations. People from all races, ages and backgrounds participated and thus showed broad support for the action. Many experts believe the demonstrations were most likely the biggest protests since the Communist revolution in 1959.
Eternal and Natural Law: The Foundation of Morals and Law
The Díaz-Canel regime lashed out fiercely against the unarmed protesters, using everything from undercover police to dogs. The authorities arrested 5000 people in the week of July 11-18. Díaz-Canel even tried to organize counter-protests to support the government and confront those asking for change.
The overwhelming impact of these measures and the silence of the West had the desired chilling effect. Prominent anti-government Cubans suffered harassment as police and government supporters prevented them from leaving their homes. Using fear and the threat of physical violence, the regime stopped protests and marches, especially a planned November 15 event that the opposition hoped would awaken world public opinion.
The government also shut down social media sites to keep protestors from communicating with each other. It also resorted to token appeasement by selling food at significantly lower prices. The government feared the reaction, as shown by the brutal suppression and the token concessions meant to defuse the situation.
The Crushing of the Cuban Dissidents
Once the protests quieted down, many expected the Díaz-Canel dictatorship to move and try to forget the unpleasant events in July. However, the regime is dead set on taking revenge against its citizens.
The government started prosecuting the protesters during the Christmas season, using the holiday to give cover from outside scrutiny. The dictatorship detained more than 1300 demonstrators, and 620 detainees are scheduled to face upcoming show trials. In mid-January, authorities held a high-profile trial of sixty Cubans, charging them with serious crimes resulting in up to thirty years in prison. Even teenagers face these harsh punishments. The depth and breadth of this persecution are shocking.
Learn All About the Prophecies of Our Lady of Good Success About Our Times
The Cuban Communist leadership intends to avenge the humiliation caused by the protest and frighten off any future attempt to dismantle the present dysfunctional system. To do this, it will keep using the Internet to control communication and those limit protest and keep a close watch on dissidents. Cuba will presumably use COVID-19 as a cover for their harsh crackdown on gatherings critical of the government. The authorities will continue to use violence, harassment, and calumny as their frontline tools of choice in quickly squelching anti-government action.
The American TFP Protest Petition
Meanwhile, the rest of the world is silent in response to this outrage. Because it involves Cuba, the sacred cow of communism, no one dares question the regime.
In July-August 2021, the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) held its “Free Cuba Now!” campaign collecting 71,128 signatures protesting the abusive treatment of the protesters.
On August 5, the TFP held a press conference/protest in front of the Cuban Embassy in Washington D.C. to register its total rejection of the communist regime and its actions. The petition was later sent to the White House, asking the American government to take action on behalf of jailed demonstrators.
Much more action is needed. However, through concerted efforts like these, Cuba will one day be liberated from the communist yoke and join the free nations of the West.
Photo Credit: © Julian Peters Photos – stock.adobe.com