The repressive social spell that maintained the international left museum pacified has been broken. Under the “Cuban Revolution” the “Cuban State” has emerged publicly in all its crudeness and grandiloquence. The same Cuban State that, to face US imperialism, has created omnipresent political police to combat the society under its control. The same Cuban State that in the name of socialism has destroyed all grassroots and working-class organisations that made that word a daily reality. The same Cuban State that has transformed solidarity into an international brand, while keeping us in a constant state of mistrust and fear between neighbours. The same Cuban State that, in the midst of the intensification of the US blockade, is building more hotels for foreign tourists than infrastructures to produce milk and fruit. The same Cuban State that has produced the only vaccine in Latin America against COVID 19, but keeps its health service staff as zombies for the political police. That Cuban State that in these days of July 2021 has proven what it is: a mafia-style oligarchy plain and simple, a vulgar kleptocracy with airs of humanism and enlightenment. A pyramid of power so solid and out of proportion as the lonely megaliths of Easter Island.
To sustain now geopolitical arguments, about Cuba’s place in imperial global strategy; to argue that the anti-government protests in Cuba are inevitably paid for by the Cuban right in Miami; to argue that the protestants are simply criminals looking to loot, that the real revolutionary people are with the government, are all arguments that describe a significant part of reality but don’t account for one point: the people of Cuba have as much of a right and a duty of protest as the Colombian and Chilean, what is the difference? That they are oligarchies with different origins? With practices more or less brutal? With ideological makeups more or less different? With postures of more or less servitude to the government of the US? With ideals more or less mighty to justify their privileges? All of these massive differences between Colombia, Chilean and Cuban oligarchies are reduced to nothing when a lovely Sunday morning you discover that, as well as the mafia-like oligarchies in Colombia and Chile, the Cuban oligarchy is also armed to the teeth, a bit more or a bit less, to squash you and your siblings, your body and your mind if you even consider questioning the normality that they control.
All the Cuban State has done to produce the national vaccine against COVID-19, all the labour subsidies, all the salary improvements offered to many sectors of the Cuban State in the middle of the pandemic, have evaporated suddenly, not only because of the inflation spiral and the endemic food shortages in Cuba, but also because everything that formed part of the macabre framework of “repressive tolerance” came to light, which any decent person can figure out without having to read the legendary Rudi Dutschke.
All who attempt to sweeten that repressive tolerance in Cuba and lift over it the illusion of governmental understanding can be defined as the new face of the enemy. All those that in the name of future democracy or good functioning of the economy, are the enemy as well.
The “masses” have once again become “people” when they stop obeying and started trusting again the feelings, the affinities and the basic capacities to do and think together that have re-emerged in the disobedience and solidarity between equals in the midst of the spiral of the pandemic and the shortages. This is the new reality born in Cuba these days in July 2021 and the new reality that, as anarchists in Cuba, we want to be a part of.
This text was written for Freedom News by a Cuban anarchist who, for obvious reasons, prefers to remain anonymous.
Image: Woman angry about food shortage, Havana, Cuba, May 2019. By Adam Cohn, published under CC BY-NC-ND 2.0.