In today’s interconnected world, it seems that every story reaches our smartphones in a matter of minutes.
When Australia’s forests were on fire last year, the world became immediately aware of the environmental damage that was being done to the planet. When George Floyd was brutally killed by an American policeman during an arrest, it did not take much time for the free world to condemn the act and express their support to those people in the U.S. that believe in a more racially equitable country. And when people stormed in the U.S. Congress back in January, it seems like everybody knew the story in a few minutes.
Yet, when it comes to Cuba, we are not seeing a similar type of reaction. Why aren’t more newspapers covering the story? Why aren’t more activists asking for the freedom of the Cuban people? Why is the world turning its back against this noble cause; a cause that is trying to liberate a country that has been completely repressed for over two generations.
What is taking place in Cuba is historic. So, here at FTN, we will briefly but accurately summarize the story for you. So that you understand the magnitude of the situation.
Cuba’s Unprecedented Protests
The last time Cuba saw a big wave of protest was in 1994. These protests are known as “El Maleconazo,” as they took place in Cuba’s seaside esplanade or El Malecon in Spanish. At the time, the Cuban people were protesting the severe economic depression that the country was experiencing. Since then, there has simply not been any kind of big protests in Cuba as a result of the regime’s repression.
Today, Cuba is experiencing even a bigger wave of protest when unexpectedly, thousands of Cubans went to the streets claiming freedom and dignity. In the past, protests were small and almost always in Havana, Cuba’s capital. Today, there are thousands of people protesting not just in the capital but in several towns across the island.
Contrary to what some media outlets have reported, the protestors are not on the streets demanding vaccines for the coronavirus pandemic. They are claiming freedom.
However, what may be true, is that the pandemic exacerbated the living conditions of the Cuban people, which may have triggered this unprecedented wave of protests. The lockdowns have worsened the already decimated Cuban economy. The pandemic was collapsed the depressing healthcare system of the island. And overall, the pandemic was another blow to the already suffocated Cuban people.
Beyond the pandemic, the Cuban economy has also been severely affected by the collapse of the Venezuelan economy. Cuba used to get cheap oil, food, and resources of all kinds. Now, Venezuela cannot keep maintaining the island economy.
Interestingly, something similar occurred with the 1994 protests when the Cuban economy was feeling the consequences of the fall of the Soviet Union.
To stop the protestors, the Cuban regime is calling citizens to “defend” the revolution. President Diaz-Canel also sent its security forces against the protestors. Sadly, the result of all this will be thousands of people incarcerated, perhaps hundreds of them killed, and an entire society will be reminded about the price that they have to pay for speaking out against power.
However, the major difference with the protests of 1994 is that now Cubans have smartphones. They have the power of the internet so that the world understands what is going on the Island. This is why we need to keep reporting about it. We need to show the fight of the Cuban people because their fight is our fight as well.
At Freedom Today Network, we believe in sharing the stories of those who fight for the ideas of freedom. The only ideas that have lifted people out of poverty, given a voice to those who feel voiceless. And overall, the only ideas that have brought human dignity to our world.
So, when they ask you what is happening in Cuba, let’s be clear: they are fighting for their freedom, and we must help them achieve that.
By FTN Editorial Team