On July 11 of last year, Cubans protested against the dictatorship. The impact of the demonstrations in the 15 provinces now has the regime’s radars activated to avoid a new outbreak in the commemoration of the first anniversary of unprecedented days since the famous “Maleconazo” of 1994.
Alejandro Castro Espín is attentive. Castroism is “mobilizing” workers for “guards” in state companies and summoning opposition leaders to repress any intention of mobilization.
Independent reporter Luz Escobar will have “surveillance” at her home from Monday, July 11, to Wednesday, July 13, as well as other activists such as Yerly Velázquez, from Santa Clara, who will also have to appear before the political police after being accused of “disrespect” on the eve of the anniversary of the protests for his posts on social networks.
The streets of Havana and Cienfuegos -two epicenters of the demonstrations in 2021- are under the supervision of security forces, civil agents and workers who are supporters of the Cuban regime to dissolve community gatherings.
There is special monitoring of billboards in central places such as the Plaza de la Patria, parks and walls that can be used to express popular discontent exacerbated by the endless blackouts.
Already a gigantography of Fidel Castro, on a corner of Bayamo, appeared with an anti-Castro proclamation that was quickly covered up and then withdrawn, showing that the repressive efforts of the Cuban regime do not frustrate the claim of “Fatherland and Life”.
In addition, if the organization of the protests of July 11 of last year began through the Facebook page of the residents of San Antonio de los Baños called “La Villa del Humor” -dedicated to the reunion between those who remained in Cuba and those refugees abroad – nothing prevents a call from being repeated through similar channels at any time.
“Stronger than ever”
According to the Cuban Attorney General’s Office, 790 demonstrators have been prosecuted for the July 11 protests, of which 55 are between 16 and 17 years old, while the organization Prisoners Defenders specifies that until May there were 1,046 Cubans in prison for political reasons, in mostly due to the July 11 demonstrations.
However, Ted Henken, professor of sociology and Latin American studies at New York University, in an interview with Radio France International, assures that the figures have not prevented the consolidation of “a potentially independent civil society and a range of independent media digital”.
Cuban actor and singer Yotuel Romero, who now resides in Spain, affirmed that the spirit of July 11 “is stronger than ever,” while insisting that the situation in Cuba is equivalent to “the fight of God against the devil.”
In Miami, the Assembly of the Cuban Resistance (ARC) under the slogan “if Cuba is in the street, Miami too”, convened a rosary for Cuba in the hermitage of the Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre and an artistic, poetic event and musical at the Museum of the Cuban Diaspora with the participation of artists from the San Isidro Movement (MSI).