Cuba. The “red scarves” in defense of the revolution

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Part of the Cuban youth danced on Sunday. So, at Don Quixote Park in Havana, musical instruments were out. Men and women swayed their hips, not far from rain-soaked banners celebrating “July 26”, the date of the attack on Moncada barracks by Fidel Castro and his comrades in 1955. At the Central Park, where people converged. “Red scarves”, rallying sign invented by young people on social networks, the country’s president, Miguel Diaz-Canel, sat among the young people during a concert in support of “the sovereignty of the nation” . “We seek the improvement of society (…), defending socialism and condemning, like you, the campaigns to disrupt internal order, the media campaigns against Cuba”, declared the secretary of the Cuban Communist Party.

These rallies, like others in the country, were intended to show that Cubans still support the revolution, while on Monday, November 15, the opposition was to organize protests. The date chosen by organizations challenging Cuban power owes nothing to chance. This Monday was the day of recovery in the Big Island, which suffered from twenty months of restrictions taken to fight against the coronavirus, on the one hand, and sanctions related to the embargo pronounced by the United States, on the other side. From Monday, children return to primary school and tourists can return to Cuba – a significant financial windfall that has been lacking in recent months, accentuating the economic problems. The shortage of some basic products led to massive protests on July 11, giving the opposition food for thought.

The situation is tense in Havana

Part of it was to demand, Monday, the release of political prisoners. The NGO Cubalex estimates that more than 600 people are still imprisoned since July. What the government denies. Three days before the demonstration, the Sakharov Prize, Guillermo Fariñas, was reportedly arrested. In 2013, the latter appeared in the United States with the terrorist Luis Posada Carriles.

On Sunday, another opponent, Yunior Garcia, said he was stranded in his accommodation as he planned to march alone. The situation is tense in Havana where the work permit was withdrawn on Saturday from five journalists from the Spanish agency EFE. Some have since had their accreditation restored. The situation becomes even more tense as the United States sponsors the opponents. Even before yesterday’s protests, Secretary of State Antony Blinken called on the Cuban government to “respect the rights of Cubans, allow them to assemble peacefully and speak out without fear of government reprisals or violence, to keep the Internet and lines of communication open ”.

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