Protests against the Cuban dictatorship continue to increase on the island, despite the repression of the forces of the Castro regime. In July there were 263 demonstrations, two of them massive, where people took to the streets to demand better living conditions, in a country that is going through a serious food, health, energy and inflation crisis. In just the first half of the year, more than 1,700 protests were recorded.
“The mobilization of security forces throughout Cuba to prevent public demonstrations against the government on the first anniversary of that historic revolt did not prevent 263 from taking place in July, including these open street challenges. Of these, those motivated by economic and social problems exceeded 71% (188) while those of civil or political origin reached 28% (75). The imbalance between the two reflects the general crisis that in Cuba has turned so-called daily life into daily death,” says a new report from the Cuban Conflict Observatory (OCC).
According to the OCC, the protests against the Cuban dictatorship have a strong political component. In just one month (from June to July) there was a significant increase in demonstrations, from 28 to 85.
“Two of the forms of violence exercised by the Cuban dictatorship against citizens, physical (police) and cultural, through the monopoly of the media and education, have become ineffective in controlling citizen behavior. The reason is the unbearable structural violence of everyday life. Said structural violence – which is expressed in the food, health, electrical and other crises – generates victims just like the police but, unlike the former, impacts the great majority every day,” says the report.
The Cuban dictatorship has increased its repressive tactics to try to stop the growing number of protests. However, the harsh living conditions and the growing dissatisfaction of basic human needs is causing the population to take to the streets.
Cuba is currently going through a serious energy crisis where there are constant blackouts. For this reason, in July 47 protests were registered.
“The growth of protests for economic and social reasons is related to electricity cuts (“blackouts”), the collapse of the health system in the face of the growing dengue epidemic, food and medicine shortages, as well as inflation. It is noteworthy that 47 of these were caused by blackouts, which shows a growing trend for this motivation compared to the 39 in June and the 28 that occurred in May,” the report states.
The Cuban dictatorship resorts to direct physical violence, cultural and structural violence to try to control the population, according to OCC. However, these forms of violence have become ineffective. Social discontent is so great that citizens have lost their fear of the regime’s forces.
Among the provinces where the most protests took place, Havana ranked first with 79 concentrations. Followed by Villa Clara, with 20; Camagüey, with 19, and Holguín, with 19.
“The general governance indicators have continued to point downward while the protests, far from disappearing, have taken the form of multiple rebellions of varying magnitude and for now geographically isolated. The trigger that triggers them is the continuous decline in the population’s subsistence conditions, aggravated by electricity cuts,” says the report.
Among the many dimensions of the crisis in Cuba, the OCC report highlights energy, the crisis in the health and sanitation system, rising inflation, the public transportation crisis, and the housing crisis, among others.
Regarding the energy crisis, the report indicates that Cuba’s energy system has collapsed. Most of the plants in the country are old and need to be renovated. The dictatorship admitted that the island’s energy situation will not be solved in the short term and recognized that the problem is generating strong irritation in society.
“It hurts us, it upsets us that the population has to go through this situation,” said the dictator Miguel Díaz-Canel in his last speech to Parliament.
And regarding the crisis in the health system, the report states: “The principle of equity in access has been buried by the growing inequality marked by class privileges and access to dollars. Without convertible currencies, instruments and utensils, medicines and other details, it is very difficult to undergo surgery or access the necessary medicines to control a chronic condition that can become lethal.”
In June, the NGO Prisoners Defenders denounced that from June 1, 2021 to May 31, 2022, a total of 1,236 people had suffered political imprisonment.
“At this specific moment, with data closing as of May 31, 2022, the list of political prisoners in Cuba contains 1,046 political prisoners suffering judicial sentences, as well as provisions limiting their freedom by prosecutors without any judicial supervision. , in flagrant violation of international law and due process,” denounced the NGO.
In its latest report, the organization indicated that it carried out a study of some of the most flagrant generalized violations of international law, common to the 1,236 indictment processes.
These are: “Detention of more than 24 hours and provisional prison; always imposed by the accusing party (police and prosecution) without any judicial supervision; they have only had ‘lawyers’ dependent on the Government; they have not had access to the case and the complete file of their accusation; trials have been held behind closed doors; the expert evidence is all partial, since the experts depend on and work for the Ministry of the Interior; and the witnesses were all policemen, members of the organizations of the ruling party or State officials.”