Wed Jul 24, 2024
July 24, 2024

Cuba | Solidarity with the July 2021 demonstrators

Here, we reproduce a manifesto of solidarity with the Cuban demonstrators. The persecution by the Cuban regime continues without end. It is urgent to redouble our efforts for the freedom of all political prisoners and the end of the criminalization of protest on the island. We support this initiative and call for the collection of more signatures.
To Miguel Mario Díaz Canel Bermúdez, President of the Republic of Cuba;
To Esteban Lazo Hernández, President of the National Assembly of People’s Power of the Republic of Cuba;
To Rubén Remigio Ferro, President of the People’s Supreme Court of the Republic of Cuba;
To the Cuban people and the international left
Cuba is experiencing a deep structural crisis. This crisis, in the midst of a marked precariousness, led part of the citizenry to take to the streets on July 11 and 12, 2021. The hostile U.S. sanctions, within the framework of a policy of aggression and blockade that is now in its 60th year, the inability of the country’s administration to meet the most basic needs of the people, and the disregard for the social, political, and economic demands of civil society, contributed to the worsening of this situation and generated a growing loss of confidence in the government.
The decision to commercialize fundamental goods in the domestic market in foreign currency, outpricing the majority of people, and the effects of the pandemic, rightly exacerbated the discontent of sectors affected by poverty and marginalization, related to place of residence, skin color, gender, and other categories of exclusion. The country’s economic and political crisis is also expressed in the gradual deterioration of social indicators in health, education, sports, and culture. This decline precipitates the massive exodus of young people, adding further consequences for Cuban families and the economy in general.
In the social protests of July, the largest since 1959, there was violent behavior and physical confrontation on both sides, both by police forces and groups in support of the government as well as by some groups of demonstrators. While the latter have been subjected to criminalization and punitive practices, evidenced in the official discourse and disproportionate sentences, as clear exemplary measures to prevent similar future scenarios, the sectors sympathetic to the government, the forces of order and the officials responsible for the repression and the excesses of violence from the state remain unpunished.
In March two trials were held for the protests. The first was for the protests of the poor sectors of Esquina de Toyo and La Güinera in Havana, where 127 people were convicted in a massive trial with sentences of up to 30 years – 1,916 years in total – eight of them between 16 and 17 years of age. The second was for the protests in San Antonio de los Baños against 17 demonstrators with sentences of up to 10 years.
Among the latter, the six-year prison sentence for Yoan de la Cruz Cruz, one of the first young people to broadcast the protests live on social networks, stands out. The sentence states that “he transmitted live on social networks what was happening, which caused such acts to be visualized inside and outside the country and that in different municipalities and provinces the harmful actions were imitated”.
According to the Attorney General’s Office, a total of 790 people were prosecuted, including 55 between 16 and 17 years old.
At the same time, various civil society sectors and activism are subject to constant harassment by the authorities. This persecution and surveillance takes the form of police security apparatuses, which act outside constitutional legality and attack the dignity of individuals. Everything happens in a scenario of absolute impunity, in the absence of legal guarantees for the exercise of free association among individuals and citizen groups with concerns for participation in the public space. The cycle of repression is completed with the use of the media to discredit those involved, brand any dissent mercenary, and delegitimize any person or organization that questions reality. The right-wing supported by the United States and supportive of its attacks exists, but we are not talking about that right-wing here.
Faced with this context, the persons, collectives, and organizations that subscribe to this document, both Cuban and international:
We call for international solidarity with the unjustly condemned demonstrators.
We request an Amnesty Law for those unjustly condemned, as a necessary step to open the doors to a truly democratic socialism of equals.
Sign here:

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