The so-called Civic March for Change, called by the“Archipiélago” platform, did not happen. Havana woke up completely militarized. The main organizers of the protest were arrested, disappeared or stopped from leaving their homes by police sieges, followed by pro-regime demonstrations with many people. On the day before, the building where lives Yunior García, leader of “Archipiélago” who had announced a “solo march”, was surrounded by dozens of cops and government stooges.
By the International Workers’ League (IWL-FI)
The regime tried to pass an image of normality, despite the hundreds of cops and military men who covered the main points of the capital. THe government promoted events for the beginning of the school year, of the 502º anniversary of Havana’s foundation and, above all, the celebrations over the reopening of the island’s tourism after the pandemic, the main business among the high hierarchy of the armed forces and European imperialism. While Miguel Díaz-Canel smiled for the Granma photographers,dozens of opposers were besieged in their own homes, many arrested and even disappeared. The preliminary count shows that from November 3rd until now there were 56 prions, 27 on the day of the demonstration. Of that list, eight people remain unnacounted for and 21 are still in jail. These activists join the more than 650 political prisoners that remain locked up after the historical July 11th protests
The regime managed to avoid the 15N, although it’s still far from having suppressed popular discontent or avoiding possible social explosions like July 11.
Its only resource to deactive 15N was the imposition of a true climate of terror. Since “Archipiélago” asked for official permission to demonstrate, the Cuban leadership not only forbade the protest, they also warned that all the weight of the law would fall on its organizers. They intensified the sinister campaign of slanders of threats. Their turned the screw of repression more firmly. A few weeks before the 15N, the Cuban regime gave summary sentences of up to 25 years in jail to 11J demonstrators. The goal was to exhibit “exemplary punishments” to seed fear. There were layoffs and all sorts of intimidation. In the end, gangster operations in front of opposers’ houses and the militarization of the capital managed to stop the demonstration.
However, as we have said, nothing is lost. July 11th marks a before and after in Cuban political life. The material hardships and the oppression of the dictatorship’s boot are become more and more unbearable every day. Nobody can discard new explosions and protests, spontaneous or not, because the objective situation remains desperate and because the brave Cuban people knew and shall know how to break its chains.
The “Archipiélago” platform, which has the merit of trying to continue on the streets the popular explosion of July 11th, was deeply struck by the intimidation and siege imposed by the dictatorship. On the previous days a notable pacifistic discourse was evident, especially among its leaders. The announcement of the “solo march” of Yunior García holding a white rose, an individiual action which would have a merely symbollic effect, caused confusion. It was interpreted as a “change of course”, which probably opened space for a feeling of retreat and demobilization. The debate about how to face a ferocious dictatorship which is ready for all sorts of violence against any opposition must be reinforced between the Cuban activists given what happened to 15N.
The IWL-FI supported the 15N and will continue to be solidary to initiatives that fight the capitalist Cuban dictatorship, that promote the independ organization and movement of the people to achieve democratic liberties and improve the living conditions of the working class. We do that and will continue to do that with the perspective of giving these struggles features that are not only against the dictatorship, but also openly socialist and anti-imperialist. For this reason, we reiterate our rejection to any imperialist interference in the process and alert our class brethren in Cuba to the nepharious objectives of Washington and Miami. There must be no trust in imperialism or its agents. Our perspecttive of the anti-dictatorship struggle is part of a strategy of a new socialist revolution in the island, one which recovers all the victories of 1959.
The immediate task, beside the political balance of the many factors that influenced the 15N, is to redouble the efforts, inside and outside Cuba, for the liberation of all political prisoners; the guarantee of total freedom of expression, gathering, organization and manifestation; the end to all acts of violence and repression against opposers of the regime. The fight is only beginning. All experiences, democratically discussed, must strenghten the movement which woke up on July 11th.
For the right of the Cuban people to express, gather, organize and protest independently!
Freedom to political prisoners in Cuba!
No imperialist interference in the isle!
Down with the capitalist dictatorship of Diaz-Canel!
[translation: Miki Sayoko]