Recently in Havana, a young mother of a sick child took out of her fragile home a mat and several chairs in the middle of the street in order to interrupt traffic and draw attention ―read peacefully protest― to the desperate situation of his son, for whom there are no resources or solutions in the Cuba of Miguel Díaz-Canel.
Days after the fire at the Matanzas Supertanker Base, where 17 men died, among them several recruits from the Active Military Service -compulsory- poorly trained as firefighters. Their anguished mothers demanded that the Díaz-Canel government cancel the Military Service, which has been in force on the island for six decades. The hashtags #NoAlServicioMilitarObligatorio and #NoAlServicioMilitarObligatorioEnCuba were positioned on social networks in those days.
A Cuban mother was summoned for her son to report to the Service. She has made it clear that she will not send her son to any military unit of the regime. The authorities informed her that if her son does not report to the Service, she could serve two years in prison, since he is of legal age. The Cuban stood up: “I don’t want my son to do Military Service. I don’t care about State Security. I do not care. I am not going to hand over my son so that they do the same to him as they did to those from Matanzas.”
At the end of June, several women took their furniture and refrigerators to the Calzada del Cerro in Havana and sat outside to block vehicular traffic, protesting the flooding caused by heavy rains. The Cuban women blamed the communist regime for six decades of neglect of the sewage system in the capital. Some residents of the place said that the protest blocked traffic and forced urban buses to circulate on other roads.
The mothers of the prisoners for the protests of July 11, 2021, led by Bárbara Farrat Guillén, María Luisa Fleitas and Caridad Castro, have sent a letter to Miguel Díaz-Canel. One of the letters collects more than 150 signatures, including those of relatives and friends of the detainees. It has been said of Bárbara Farrat Guillén that she “was able to coordinate all of this, she has become an activist; she was the promoter of the initiative and in the letter she requests an amnesty, pardon or dismissal of the cases of hundreds of political prisoners of 11J”.
For her part, María Luisa Fleitas Bravo asked to release a video in which she requested help for the case of her son, Armando Vázquez Fleitas. “I ask for justice […]. He is imprisoned in Valle Grande for the protests of July 11, when he peacefully demonstrated here in La Güinera. They are asking for 20 years as if he were a murderer or a rapist. I ask you to please help me; I do not know what I’m going to do; I’m desperate”. Fleitas Bravo asked that her video be uploaded to social networks “so that the whole world [would know] what was being done with young people in Cuba.”
Other mothers also protest and denounce on social networks: Zoila Rodríguez, mother of Katia and Exén Beirut, both imprisoned since the 11J protests. Katia was undergoing treatment for cancer when she was arrested, and her health in prison has deteriorated. Zoila Rodríguez has denounced the case of her children through a video published by the Cubalex legal group. Elizabeth León, mother of three young people detained during the 11J protests in La Güinera, denounces that her children and the other prisoners are regularly mistreated, and that mothers like her are being mistreated.
She also denounces abuses and injustices Marta Perdomo, mother of Nadir and Jorge Martín Perdomo. The first – seriously ill and without any medical attention – sentenced to six years in prison, which he is serving in the Melena del Sur prison; the second to eight years he is serving in the Quivicán prison. For her part, Milagros Machín, mother of Yordan Manuel Escobar Machín, denounced through a direct message on Facebook the beatings that her son has received, the threats that have been made to her and the constant harassment of Security agents. of the State.
Since the middle of the year, the protests have turned into cacerolazos during the long blackouts. In those cacerolazos, the presence of women and mothers is remarkable, and evident in the dozens of videos that Cubans upload to social networks from Santa Cruz del Norte, Santa Cruz del Sur, Pinar del Río, Jagüey Grande, Caibarién, Havana. , Bejucal, Las Tunas, Santiago de Cuba, Guantánamo, Songo La Maya, Mantilla, La Güinera, Playa, Artemisa, Puentes Grandes, Boca de Camarioca, Manzanillo, San José de las Lajas and many other places throughout the Island.
The rebellion of the mothers has begun in Cuba. There will be no one who can silence them. Far from dying down, the rebellion will intensify as hardships, abuses, repression and injustices are greater. The mothers’ rebellion has begun.