The Cuban Spring
As someone who writes about ABCs (American Born Cubans), Cuba, and Cuban-Americans, people often ask me the following question: “If it’s so bad in Cuba, why don’t Cubans revolt?” Why don’t the people inside the island pour out into the street and lift their fists into the air, burn effigies, call out for freedom?
Images of the Arab Spring, blooming across our multi-media screens, have brought this question further to the forefront in recent years.
In the past, others have tried to answer this question by claiming that Cuba is too insulated to revolt. That not enough information seeps into the island to empower its people. Another answer is that hungry generations have been more busy figuring out how to eat than how to dethrone the government that was responsible for their stomach’s growl.
But there’s more. My response is as follows: If you are asking this question — if you are sitting back, chewing a stick of gum, and asking yourself why Cubans don’t act, then you’re not paying close enough attention.
There is an uprising surging from Cuba — voices coming up from cyberspace, like that of dissident blogger Yoani Sanchez, who since 2007 has been clacking away at her computer, sending messages across continents and nations, one byte at a time. For years she has been saying, in her blog Generation Y: This is Cuba — when we rise up, they jail us; when we strike against injustice, they let us die of hunger. As they let prisoner of conscience, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, die during a hunger strike while imprisoned in 2010.
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