Op-Ed

We Are Neither Intolerant Nor Irresponsible But We Will Give Up Our Lives for the Ideals of Revolution

Leader of National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba Speaks Out


The following is a Facebook post released in Cuba July 12, 2021. The author, Ernesto Limia Díaz, is First Vice-president of the Writers Association of UNEAC (National Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba).

World-Outlook is publishing it to amplify the voice of Cuba’s revolutionary leadership in confronting a barrage of lies and disinformation unleashed in recent days by the U.S. government, the Democratic and Republican parties, and the big business media as Washington has tried to foment a social explosion and destabilize Cuba. We publish it in solidarity with revolutionary Cuba, which is facing serious challenges due to the Covid-19 pandemic and a vicious U.S. economic war intensified under the Trump and Biden administrations.

The article below is published by the author’s permission. Translation, subheadings, and footnotes are by World-Outlook.com.


Ernesto Limia Díaz

By Ernesto Limia Díaz

HAVANA, July 12, 2021—I detect a certain tendency to misrepresent our president’s speech,[1] saying he incited a confrontation between Cubans.

First it is useful to clarify, that [President] Díaz-Canel clearly defined three groups involved in the demonstrations that occurred in various locations:

  • Revolutionaries affected by the hardships,
  • People who have fallen for the cock-and-bull tales broadcast by the mendacious media in Miami, and,
  • A hard core of counter-revolutionary provocateurs.

Unlike other nearby countries, including the United States, they were no images circulating in the media, “Escafandras”[2] or clubs; no one was killed like in Colombia, or blinded by rubber bullets like in Chile, nor were people beaten like in the United States during the Black Lives Matter protests. The world could witness a most unheard of image: a president in the eye of the hurricane chatting, discussing, explaining…

Nowhere else on this planet would something like be seen. His attitude is admirable, as admirable is the effort by the nation, and despite the efforts of its powerful neighbor, which seeks to strangle it, so as to present itself as its “savior” and impose its will on Cuba.

[President] Díaz-Canel did not call for mayhem, or for anyone to be mistreated. He did not call for lynchings or police repression, which is common in this hypocritical world, where they speak of freedom only to impose the dictatorship of the powerful.

[President] Díaz-Canel called on us not to allow a “soft” coup to succeed, which sought to serve as a pretext for a statement by the Organization of American States (OAS) calling for a “humanitarian” military intervention, as they have done elsewhere.

Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel (center) in San Antonio de los Baños on July 11, 2021, soon after anti-government protest by hundreds took place there. “I believe that life, history, the facts show what is behind all this, which is the effort to asphyxiate us and put an end to the Revolution, and for that they are trying to discourage our people, to confuse our people. And when the people are facing severe conditions, then events like the ones we experienced in San Antonio de los Baños take place,” he said. (Photo: Juventud Rebelde [Rebel Youth] )

It’s worthwhile recalling at this time what [José] Martí[3] said to Gonzalo de Quesada more than a hundred years ago: “And once the United States gets in Cuba, who will remove them?” It’s up to the revolutionaries and the Cuban people, patriots and rulers of our own destiny, to prevent it. This is no time for naivete, a destabilizing operation against our country has been underway for some time, and simply letting it succeed would be paid for in blood. Examples abound.

Regarding confrontations between Cubans: there were in the 19th century, between patriots and Autonomistas;[4] and also from 1898 to 1902, between supporters of independence and Anexionistas [annexationists];[5] and there were confrontations after the Republic was born, albeit deformed by the Platt Amendment, between patriots and supporters of the Platt Amendment;[6] and there were during the revolution of 1930, defeated by our ‘illustrious’ neighbor; and there was the year after the centenary of the Apostle (José Martí), when the streets and mountains of Cuba ran red with the blood of revolutionaries, in order to overthrow a bloodthirsty tyrant who brought grief and shame to our homeland.

The class struggle exists and will exist, it is the struggle between the bourgeoisie and its forces, arrayed against a revolution of the downtrodden, by the downtrodden, and for the downtrodden.

We must engage in discussions, win people over, provide perspectives, seek solutions all of us together, with young people leading the charge, all while facing an unremitting siege, which will only intensify. This generation of revolutionaries will not allow the conquests that our forefathers bequeathed us to be torn from our hands.

We are neither intolerant nor irresponsible. Despite foreign attacks and provocations, we have remained calm and acted with prudence. That’s not a sign of weakness. It’s evidence of confidence and strength. But have no doubt: should it be necessary, we are ready to give our own life for the ideals of justice and social equality for which so many men and women already gave their lives, ever since the Father of our Homeland[7] proclaimed: “Independence or death!” in Demajagua, and freed his slaves, inviting them into the vanguard of the Army of Independence.


ENDNOTES

[1] President of Cuba Miguel Diaz-Canel gave a speech on July 11, 2021, in response to protests in Cuba. An article in the July 12 edition of the Cuban daily Granma reported on that speech. See We Will Defend the Revolution Above All Else published July 12, 2021, on World-Outlook.com

[2] “Escafandras” or “diving or space suit” refers to a sarcastic remark by Fidel Castro saying the riot squad in the United States and Latin America appeared like astronauts.

[3] José Martí, Cuba’s national hero, founded the Cuban Revolutionary Party in 1892 to fight Spanish colonial rule. He organized the relaunching of the independence war in 1895, and was killed in battle that same year.

[4] Liberal Party advocates of home rule under Spanish domination but not independence.

[5] Supporters of U.S. seizure of Cuba as a colony.

[6] Imposed by U.S. occupation forces in 1901, the Platt Amendment gave the U.S. government the right to intervene in Cuba.

[7] The author is referring to Cuban revolutionary leader Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, a former plantation owner who freed his slaves and led the Ten Years’ War (1868-1878), the first of three independence wars against Spain.


World-Outlook extends its appreciation to Aaron Ruby for translating this article into English from the original Spanish-language version.

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