Through arrests, threats, and intimidation, the communist Castro dictatorship has made it clear to Cuban women that they are not allowed to commemorate International Women’s Day in public under any circumstances. These prohibitions have pushed Cuban women to go online, but with Cuba’s new social media laws, any statements posted online the regime deems to be anti-government or counterrevolutionary is also a crime and punishable by prison.
Taking to the streets to make your voice heard on International Women’s Day is a right taken for granted in most countries. Not in Cuba.
Three activists who sought to obtain permission for demonstrations in different parts of the communist-run island were arrested on January 13, interrogated, and had their phones checked, according to the Red Feminina women’s group.
The right to assembly and protest is recognized in Cuba’s new constitution, adopted in 2019. But in the absence of a rulebook, anti-government marches are generally banned.
The Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) does organize activities, mostly in businesses and schools, but it is linked to the government.
The Internet “is our only place of struggle. We cannot have a physical space because that’s banned in our country,” journalist and feminism activist Kianay Anandra, 24, told AFP.
This is what every socialist revolution is about: Within the revolution, everything; outside the revolution, nothing.