Cuban artists and intellectuals on the recent protests: ‘There’s nothing more political than hunger’

Thousands of Cubans took to the streets of Santiago de Cuba on March 17, 2024 to protest the Cuban dictatorship.

While the international media tried its best to characterize the massive protests in Cuba this past weekend as being about food and not politics, Cubans remind them that hunger is indeed political. The hunger, misery, and poverty Cubans suffer is solely the product of politics, socialist politics.

Via Diario de Cuba:

‘There’s nothing more political than hunger.’ Intellectuals and artists react to the protests in Cuba

After the protests this Sunday in Santiago de Cuba and other cities in the country, which triggered frays over the course of Monday and Tuesday, prompting major police deployments on Cuban streets, there have been several intellectuals and artists have spoken out on social media.

Through a live broadcast on the Facebook profile of the organization Cuba X Cuba, historian Alina Bárbara López Hernández asked the Government “to understand the gravity of what is happening in the country, and to assume its responsibilities, which is a substantial part of the current situation, and to avoid, by every means possible, crackdowns on people who are demonstrating peacefully.”

From the Parque de la Libertad (park) in Matanzas, where the intellectual demonstrates on the 18th of each month, she demanded that the authorities respect the people’s right to peaceful demonstration. Regarding the regime’s downplaying of the protests and efforts to depoliticize them, López Hernández stated: “There’s nothing more political than hunger, than not being able to feed a child.”

In her message she also reserved a few words for those who have demonstrated in recent days, and to those who plan to continue doing so: “Let’s try to respect civic spaces. Peaceful demonstration is a right, and one should not be ashamed, but let’s avoid violence by all means… we have a voice, but that voice must should not be raised with violence.”

The intellectual also stated that “we have a historical responsibility, and that is why it’s important that we realize what is happening.” Regarding her presence in the park, and the behavior of repressive authorities in response to her civic act of protest, she said, “I haven’t been bothered. There are people who are very aware of what I’m doing, but that doesn’t worry me: I’m expressing myself freely. I wish everyone could do the same thing.”

Comedian Ulises Toirac, meanwhile, wrote on his Facebook profile: “An increasing number of people are facing extreme economic situations, without a drastic change of course in sight that could give people a modicum of hope. More serious than the lack of hope is the absence of any glimpse of it in the future.”

“I’m not inciting anyone to violence. Personally, I hate violence, and consider it only as a last and desperate resort,” he said, calling on the authorities to take into account “the desperate situation of families. Hopefully things don’t get out of hand in a catastrophic way. They’re already out of control. They have been for a while,” he concluded.

Singer Yotuel Romero, who wrote the song “Patria y Vida,” which has become a protest anthem in Cuba, transmitted a message to the Cuban military through his Instagram account: “You’re not allowed on their planes, you’re not in their plans, you’re not part of their families, but it’s not too late to stand by the Cuban people, because you’re going to confront the anger of a people thirsting for freedom, thirsting for life, thirsting for hope.”

Along the same lines was the message of the reggaeton artist Osmani García, who echoed the messages against violence and added: “The only way is for those weapons to no longer to defend those who have made us hungry, by force, without even giving us the right to say that we’re hungry.”

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