The Cuban people took to the streets on July 11, 2021 and showed the world the truly evil, brutal, and murderous nature of Cuba’s communist dictatorship so beloved by leftists in the U.S. and the world.
On July 11, 2021, the Cuban people unmasked the Castro dictatorship
This Tuesday, two years since July 11, hundreds of protesters remain imprisoned in inhumane conditions
On July 24, 2021, Granma newspaper, the official organ of the Cuban Communist Party, published the following statement regarding the protests that took place earlier that month: “The events of July 11 were conceived, organized, and financed from the United States.” This baseless and incredible assertion not only ridicules the dictatorship but is also unacceptable, especially when fewer and fewer people persist in ignoring the scourge of harsh living conditions that triggered those simultaneous popular protests throughout the entire island.
In fact, those conditions have not only failed to improve, but have worsened. Due to growing hyperinflation, the level of poverty among Cuban families is increasing daily across the country, as the price of food and other essential goods far exceeds any salary. This translates into an inability to meet monthly needs. To further exacerbate the depths of this indigence, the government has removed products from the ration book while imposing, within the framework of the so-called “Ordenamiento” task, a budget for the family basket that does not correspond to the low wages and pensions, not even after the alleged salary increase.
On July 11, 2021, the same outcry of a deceived people resounded in most streets, towns, and municipalities of Cuba, stung by the lack of food, clean water, personal hygiene products, and essential household items. By the absence of public transportation, the constant power outages, scarcity of medicines coupled with the anguish of needing medical attention in a collapsed healthcare system where the lack of doctors is evident because the government sends them abroad and pockets the profits that the people never see.
And to make matters worse, all of this took place during the COVID-19 pandemic and was accompanied by repressive measures imposed by the regime supposedly “to control the spread of the virus,” but seized upon by authorities to suppress the desperate population with hefty fines or imprisonment for those who secretly wandered or waited in long queues to buy food. Meanwhile, state-run media used by leaders to distort the truth and attempt to conceal the dire situation faced by Cubans, continuing the tradition since the time of Fidel Castro, promising a future of well-being that never materializes.
Perhaps that is why, in addition to demanding essential needs such as food, water, medicine, electricity, or transportation, the Cuban people also demanded freedom, that invaluable intangible asset they have been deprived of for over six decades. And while citizens peacefully marched on July 11, the regime in Havana, in addition to severely restricting internet access, revealed its bestial and bloodthirsty nature, long disguised under the veneer of a humanist revolution that purportedly had the support of the people.
Thus, an imposed president, visibly desperate at the prospect of losing power and driven by the aggressiveness born out of fear, used national media at his service to incite his henchmen in the repressive organs to attack the population in order to defend the privileges of the regime’s top echelons: “The combat order has been given.” In this way, members of paramilitary “rapid response” brigades, the Ministry of Interior, Special Forces, Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, the Federation of Cuban Women, trade union leaders, and other regime accomplices took to the streets armed with clubs and other objects to beat citizens who peacefully exercised their fundamental rights.
In addition to those who were captured and mistreated on that same day, in the weeks that followed, many other protesters were arbitrarily detained, assaulted, and tortured, following the methods of military dictatorships of the 1950s. They were later sentenced to colossal prison sentences in summary trials held behind closed doors, in absolute violation of due process guarantees, where they were arbitrarily charged with common crimes inconsistent with the rights to freedom of assembly and expression.
Speaking of repression, we cannot overlook the protests by residents of La Güinera, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the Cuban capital, belonging to the Arroyo Naranjo municipality, who took to the streets on July 12. Precisely for that reason, the repression against them was particularly brutal, as they made it clear to the regime that the previous day’s reprisals had not been enough to instill fear in them. This time, the demonstrations were suppressed with firearms, resulting in at least one reported death so far (young protester Diubis Laurencio Tejeda) and multiple people injured with permanent consequences.
Today, two years after that popular uprising, countless male, female, and child protesters remain captive in inhumane conditions. They remain separated from their spouses, parents, mothers, and children, who themselves are victims of repression and constant surveillance by State Security agents as retaliation for their steadfast defense of their incarcerated relatives.