Still shaken by the repercussion of the historic protests of July 11 and 12 in various cities and towns of the country, the Cuban Government made this Thursday the anniversary of the
on a patriotic date to stage the support of tens of thousands of people, who participated in marches, rallies, concerts and various festive activities organized by the Union of Young Communists on the Havana waterfront, and also in various parks and squares of the capital.
Although the pandemic is rampant on the island and the infections and deaths are growing for days - on Wednesday there were 8,399 positive cases and 93 people who died from covid-19 - the authorities decided to bet on a great act of revolutionary reaffirmation to the old custom, a sample of how profound the shock of 11-J has been and the need for redress.
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Despite the health risk, the official mass commemoration of the 27th anniversary of the
which until this year were the largest protests against the Government in the history of the revolution, was not free at all. "Some hoped that people would throw themselves into the streets today, but you see, here we are, the revolutionaries defending our country," said the general coordinator of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, Gerardo Hernández, who participated in one of the caravans that traveled the boardwalk.
While on this avenue and on Paseo del Prado - the scene of the August 5 demonstrations - the crowd summoned by the authorities took to the street, the country's president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, met at the University of Havana with a representation of young students. "We must listen to our young people as the most important people they are," Díaz-Canel wrote on his Twitter account. In the 11-J protests, young people were a key factor, both because they were the majority of the protesters and detainees and because of their role in amplifying the events through social networks, and for days there has been an official will obvious from gesturing towards them. But for the moment, they are just that, gestures, since spaces for participation have not been opened beyond those that already existed.
It is always nice to return to the #University, talk with students, listen to their proposals and suggestions to do things better and also problems to which we will solve.
They left us homework, we also left them.
# PonleCorazónACuba pic.twitter.com/wIOxd2KY6i
- Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez (@DiazCanelB) August 5, 2021
The official number of detainees during last month's protests remains unknown.
Various sources report that there may be more than 700, mostly young people.
Dozens of people have been released with precautionary measures of house arrest pending trial, but many remain under arrest, the families denounce.
According to Supreme Court sources, 62 people have been tried so far, most of them accused of public disorder and others for resistance, contempt and instigation to commit a crime.
In all cases, the maximum penalty is one year in jail.
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There are more and more voices demanding that no one who did not participate in violent acts be judged. And the Attorney General's Office has admitted that numerous complaints have been filed for various reasons, including "ignorance of the place where their relatives or friends are detained," "disagreement with the place where they are detained," as well as "the request for information on the terms of detention and the rights of the accused ”. According to Dixán Fuentes Guzmán, chief prosecutor of the Directorate of Attention to Citizens of the General Prosecutor's Office, there have also been disagreements "with the arrest, since it is argued that the presence in the place did not motivate any criminal act", and it has been questioned “The arrest of people who were recording [with their mobile phones],and that they were not carrying out any criminal act ”.
The consequences of the shock caused by the unprecedented 9/11 protests remain to be seen, but it seems clear that the government will accelerate the introduction of long-awaited economic reforms, such as the authorization of small and medium-sized enterprises. “The events that have happened in Cuba in recent weeks and days seem to indicate that the approval of the entire regulatory package related to SMEs, non-agricultural cooperatives and self-employment is imminent, perhaps in the next few hours or days the we will know, ”said Oniel Díaz, an entrepreneur who runs the consulting firm Auge.
Several economists have requested this and other opening measures for some time, but the authorities have delayed their introduction without explaining why.
Now it seems that it is the moment.
“This is an urgent change that the Cuban economy needs.
You have to wait to see the rules to have clarity in the small details, which are usually decisive in Cuba, ”says Díaz.
However, he adds, “without having seen the norm, it can be said that it will be an unprecedented transformation in the national economy.
Even when the context is extremely adverse, it will be a space that many Cubans will take advantage of ”.
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