For over 60 years, the people of Cuba have been subjugated under a communist regime which enslaves them and dehumanizes them. They have had to drive the same cars from 60 years ago, if not longer, and have little freedom when it comes to internet access, with the communist regime getting to censor and dictate what people see online.
Any act of seeming dissent against the regime is taken as a threat to the existence of the regime itself and is met with extreme hostility and harsh punishment. The people who protested Sunday put themselves at significant risk, as they could be arrested and face a firing squad because of their actions, despite how peaceful their protests were. This is just how communist countries treat their people when the people protest tyranny.
Despite the great bravery of these people, and immense risk they put themselves in, the American Left has sought, unsurprisingly, to not make this about the ideology which has ruined the island nation, since that is the very ideology the Left espouses, but rather to make it about rising Chinese coronavirus cases and deaths.
Julie Chung, Acting Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, tweeted: “Peaceful protests are growing in #Cuba as the Cuban people exercise their right to peaceful assembly to express concern about rising COVID cases/deaths & medicine shortages. We commend the numerous efforts of the Cuban people mobilizing donations to help neighbors in need."
Can you see the two things she was most wrong about?
First of all, the Cuban people can’t exercise their right to peaceful assembly because they have no such right. Like I said, they face great risk in protesting in this manner, peaceful as it is, because they risk arrest and execution at the hands of firing squads. No people who face such a risk are people who have a right to peaceful assembly. Chung is treating Cuba as though it’s as free as the U.S. and has the same constitutional rights that America has.
It doesn’t. The constitution which Cuba has includes no specific rights or freedoms of the Cuban people, just vague statements about how “Cuba is a free and democratic socialist state” which is a bunch of bullcrap which is typical for any communist country. Furthermore, they place particular importance on the protection of not the people or even the country itself but the socialist system it employs.
Article 4 of the Cuban Constitution (2019) says: “The defense of our socialist homeland is the greatest honor and the supreme duty of every Cuban. Treason is the most serious of crimes, whoever should commit treason will be subject to the most severe sanctions. The socialist system that this Constitution supports is irrevocable. Citizens have the right to combat through any means, including armed combat when other means are not available, against any that intend to topple the political, social, and economic order established by this Constitution.”
As with any other communist regime, its greatest priority is its own survival, not as a country or people, but as a system. They explicitly state that treason is the most serious crime which carries the heaviest sentence, meaning that the protestors on Sunday, because they were calling for “Libertad”, or “Liberty”, protesting the Marxist regime and even waving American flags, could face charges of treason. And to top it all off, the first specific right that the Cuban constitution affords to the Cuban people is in reference to the PRESERVATION OF THE COMMUNIST REGIME.
Cubans don’t have the right to peacefully assemble, to free speech, to freedom of religion, to freedom of the press. These are the first explicit and specific rights detailed in the American constitution, under the First Amendment. But for Cubans, the first right afforded to them specified in their constitution is the right to protect the communist system of government, social norms and economic system which suffocates the people.
So let no one fool you into believing that the Cuban people are, at any capacity, free in their own country.
The second thing Chung was wrong about was the purpose of the protests. She said it was about COVID, medicine, cases and deaths. Generally, that the Cuban people demanded better care from the communist regime against the Chinese coronavirus.
Like I said earlier, they were calling for liberty, freedom, and were not unclear about the reason for their protests. They are fed up with the communist regime destroying them and their lives.
Now, one might raise a fair question: “Why now, after 60 years of communist crap? We haven’t heard of other similar protests of this scale in years, so why now?” Again, that’s a fair question. The answer is that, frankly, I don’t think the Left is ENTIRELY wrong about the purposes of the protest. Don’t misunderstand, this is specifically about freedom and liberty from the Marxist communist regime, not about demanding better care or raising awareness about cases and deaths. But the reason for this protest might not be entirely divorced from the Chinese coronavirus.
Like other communist states and nations, Cuba locked down to “fight” against the pandemic and they are still locked down for the most part, with some restrictions having been lifted. Assuming that cases and deaths really are going up, it’s likely that the communist regime will want to lock things down again in full. And if you think the lockdowns were painful for Americans, imagine how devastating they are/were for people living in third-world countries which experience 10 times what America went through at the height of the pandemic on a DAILY basis.
Remember when store shelves were empty towards the beginning of the pandemic? That’s a regular Tuesday in Cuba. Remember when people feared toilet paper shortages? Cuba routinely experiences actual shortages of far more than just toilet paper. Remember when the economy was in freefall when we locked down? Cuba’s economy avoided such a freefall if only because it was practically already on the ground.
Put citizens of a communist nation through extreme lockdowns like that and you are bound to get some amount of pushback. And keep in mind, the Cuban people have gone through 60 years of indoctrination and brainwashing in order to be obedient slaves of the communist state. Americans protested because, at least for many of us, we still understand and have a sense and yearning for freedom and can see the tyranny that lockdowns impose on people. But Cubans? They will flee, sure, much as they can, but outright protest and demand freedom and liberty?
Only under extreme circumstances might you see that, and the fact that there were pro-freedom protests on Sunday is an indication that such extreme circumstances are at play here. This has nothing to do with the Chinese coronavirus’ cases or deaths or vaccines or medicine in the country, but it’s not divorced from the general subject of the virus, in my opinion.
Though, again, do not misunderstand what I am saying. They are protesting the communist regime, which is why the Left wants to make this about the Chinese coronavirus. They espouse the very communism which is suffocating Cuba, so they can’t go along with the whole “this is about freedom from tyranny” angle. They SIDE WITH THE TYRANTS the protesters are against. They won’t come right out and say that, of course, but they don’t have to tell the truth on this matter either.
They will pretend to be on the side of the protesters when in fact they sully the protesters’ intent.
They aren’t liars because they lie. They lie because they are liars.
“The righteous hates falsehood, but the wicked brings shame and disgrace.”
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