Filed under: Caribbean, Editorials, Repression, The State
A statement on the situation in Cuba by members of Black Rose Miami.
The current situation in Cuba began on the night of July 10th with reports of spontaneous protest in the city of Palma Soriano located in Santiago de Cuba. People began marching in the streets with pots and pans, protesting in a cacerolazo, amidst increasing blackouts, food shortages, and a public health crisis that had been bubbling up for some time.
As the numbers of covid infections and deaths began to rise at the beginning of this year, reports of desperate people left to die at home due to a lack of essential resources and supplies in hospitals began to be spread across the internet. The Cuban people were able to inform each other and the world as they were denied access to food and medicine, waited in long lines for minimal and overpriced goods, and endured prolonged periods of isolation due to the state’s inability to care for the converging crises. By the morning of July 11th, a wave of rebellion had been sparked across the island, making this popular uprising the most significant in decades.
This major crisis facing the Cuban people has been building up as a result of not only national state domination but also imperialist and otherwise antagonistic foreign states. This is especially clear with the tightening US embargo, recent restrictions on remittances, and in the calls for “humanitarian intervention.” This imposition over the people is the real ongoing legacy of states everywhere, and especially that of Cuba.
We, as anarchists, hope for every popular rebellion to become a revolutionary force towards final liberation from class exploitation and state domination. However, because of the authoritarian roots of Cuban state capitalism and the systematic co-optation of almost every form of opposition by the US government, class-based political organizations are practically non-existent in Cuba, making autonomous movement building a challenge.
As for the current social and humanitarian crisis, it is premature to forecast future developments. Still, we must acknowledge that if the popular protests in Cuba continue to develop into a more generalized rebellion, the current Cuban state and the Communist Party might be entering into its last stage. We believe popular power is emerging and has the capacity to defend its own autonomy, but we also fear both repression by the Cuban state and the ability for right-wing opposition to co-opt popular movements – both of which have already begun.
For example, in Miami, a blockade of a major freeway on July 13 stood for hours with the Cuban-American diaspora raising demands for US for military intervention. For us, this raises the question of how Cuban popular classes would benefit from a change of regime. Given the absence of self-organized popular organizations, we should expect that their struggle and this moment will only be exploited by capitalist and right-wing interests.
However, it is not out of the question to expect that, if the regime is defeated:
1) Cuban popular classes would recognize themselves as social actors with self-determination and capable of wielding social power – a reality rarely experienced by generations in Cuba for the last 60 years.
2) We will most likely see the replacement of the current regime with a new neoliberal colonial political administration but with a veneer of “democratic” rhetoric. Cuban exploited classes, however paradoxically, may gain more room for organizing while developing much needed class consciousness allowing authentic revolutionary tendencies and practices to grow. However, we are also aware that all of this may occur in a climate where many positive social changes introduced by the Cuban Revolution would be eliminated or eroded, and again, these popular classes that heroically fought an oppressive regime would be the ones bearing the worst part of this.
It is with these understanding that the road ahead is not an easy one. We send our love and international solidarity to the Cuban people. We demand freedom for all those arrested during the protests, accountability for the instances of murder and physical abuse, the restoration of internet services, and an end to the genocidal blockade. Our hopes are with you and we salute every attempt of popular social power, every rebellion, every insurrection and every protest for social liberation.
¡Arriba les que luchan!