Thousands of protesters took to the streets last July 11, in several cities in Cuba (Havana, Santiago, Santa Clara, Trinidad among others), demanding food, vaccination and shouting for “freedom”.
In Havana, Cuban dictatorship forces attacked the demonstrations and arrested, among others, activist Frank García Hernández. A Marxist historian, sociologist and journalist, Frank is one of the editors of the Communist Blog, and organized the first Leon Trotsky meeting on the island, in 2019. Besides Frank, the Physics student at the University of Havana, Leonardo Romero Negrín, the director of Tremenda Nota magazine, Maykel González Vivero, and underage student Marco Antonio Pérerz Fernández. All left-wing activists in Cuba.
Sunday’s revolt (11/07) reflects the growing popular dissatisfaction with the increase in hunger and poverty.
If, on the one hand, Cuba has been suffering for decades a severe and unacceptable economic boycott by successive American governments, including Joe Biden, who subject the country to immense difficulties and economic and humanitarian deprivation, on the other, the fact is that there is a process of capitalist restoration on the island that has been imposed for many years by the bureaucracy that governs it. This policy that has already caused that around 30 or 40% of sectors of the economy are submissive or directly controlled by foreign capital or directly by the “new” national military bourgeoisie, leading the country to destroy structural, economic and social bases, which came to exist in the post-revolutionary period.
The consequences of the current economic and health crisis have further aggravated the situation and living conditions of the Cuban people who, legitimately, erupted in protests and street demonstrations on July 11 and had to face repression and political arrests imposed by the Cuban State.
A process of capitalist restoration was set in motion in the country and, today, the economic and social situation on the island is terrible (GDP dropped from 8 to 11% in 2020). The foreign exchange brought by tourists, responsible for an important part of the economic life of the population, literally dried up.
Faced with the shortage of foreign exchange, the government decided to anticipate a monetary and exchange reform that unifies the two currencies issued by the State and reforms the structure of the national income. It does away with subsidies to popular consumption and public companies, adopts measures to open up foreign investment, causing price increases (previously there were wage increases of up to 500%, but inflation could be higher than that). Not to mention the role played by Raul Castro’s own economic reforms, which are now having an impact on Sunday’s revolt.
Following the process of capitalist restoration, in 2011, the Cuban government facilitated the creation of private, self-employed, individual businesses, which grew from 50,000 to more than 500,000 between 2010 and 2020, to the detriment of cooperatives and collective administration.
The economic crisis (Blockage, restoration, pandemic, near-zero tourism, shortage of foreign exchange and products, abrupt end of the CUC – Cuban currency, inflationary pressure from the parallel market, profit as an important element in the economy, imbalance between need and income) it now imposes a dead-end trap, and it is always the poor and oppressed working people who foot the bill. In addition, in June and July, Cuba faced the worsening of the pandemic, risking a shortage of syringes to apply the vaccine and an increase in the contagion curve.
The government itself anticipated discontent and social tension with the reform. That imperialism tries to harness any manifestation of discontent towards its goals of liquidating Cuba’s sovereignty, and that its lackeys in Latin America cynically clamor for “democracy” on the island, while trampling on it in their own countries, is part of the dirty game they always play. . It is clear that imperialism will “play its role” and Cuban Americans in Miami will try to appropriate the feeling of the streets of 7/11. Since 1994, the Cuban right rooted in the US has not had such a fertile political opportunity for its counterrevolutionary militancy.
Imperialism at the same time produces the crisis and benefits from the country’s internal difficulties. The US blockade represents an important part of this crisis, no doubt about it. But it is a mistake to attribute the problem solely to the blockade.
The CSP-Conlutas Labour and People Federation stands in solidarity with the struggle of the Cuban people. All support the struggle and revolt of the people! Hunger hurts, the struggle is just!
– No to the dictatorship; For the broad right to freedom of expression, expression and organization that we defend for people around the world!
– For the immediate release of all prisoners during the protests, and an end to the repression of demonstrations. Fighting is a right!
– Immediate end of the blockade of Cuba (which Biden kept unscathed)! No imperialist interference from the US or any European countries!
– The Cuban people must decide their fate and their sovereignty must be preserved!