Cuban protestors on the right side of history

In a striking assemblage of unity against the dictatorship, Cubans have woken up.



July 14, 2021 - 9:23 AM

Hundreds of people participate in a rally in support of freedom in Cuba at the Cuban Memorial at Miami's Tamiami Park, Tuesday. (TNS/MICHAEL LAUGHLIN)

For the first time in 62 years of dictatorship, Cubans are, indeed, no longer afraid.

And thousands showed the world Sunday that they’re willing to risk their lives to protest, speak up, and stand up to “president” Miguel Diaz-Canel’s brutal brand of post-Castro Communist dictatorship.

Diaz-Canel’s reign since Raúl Castro installed him as president in 2019 has been characterized by unrelenting repression against writers, rappers and other artists, mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic and failure to deliver on the most basic needs.

As a Cuban protester shouted: “You keep building hotels for tourists while we starve.”

The Cuban president answered the unprecedented protests by authorizing police shootings on unarmed civilians — and, in his words, “summoning all the revolutionaries and all the communists” all over Cuba to confront the demonstrators.

Openly instigating Cuban-on-Cuban violence is a new low — even for a leader caught on video at the onset of his rule boasting that he could care less about international condemnation of his repressive methods.

“They got the response they deserved,” Díaz-Canel said Monday, blaming the people for his own violence.

Cynical. Contemptible. Coward.

Cuban President Miguel Diaz-Canel on Dec. 21, 2019. (Yamil Lage/AFP via Getty Images/TNS)

Under the cloak of night into Sunday and in the light of day Monday, Cuban police and special ops moved into neighborhoods all over the island, at times shooting at homes and at ordinary people staging protests across Cuba, from Havana to Guantánamo.

The unprecedented rebellion — thousands of Cubans taking to the streets chanting “Freedom!” “We’re no longer afraid!” — and the brutal response of Diaz-Canel calling for Cuban-against-Cuban combat has been captured on dozens of videos.

A man holding up a bloodied Cuban flag in a Havana neighborhood, shots ringing in the background, says it all.

Still, they marched on in San Antonio de los Baños, Guanabacoa, Artemisa, Cienfuegos, Cárdenas and Camagüey.

“¡Ya no tenemos miedo!” they yelled at police. We’re no longer afraid.

“¡Abajo la dictadura!” Down with the dictatorship.

¡Libertad!” Freedom.