Saturday, November 13, 2021

Trotsky and the Cuban Political Crisis

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Note: We are reprinting an English translation of an article penned by Frank García Hernández in the Cuban online publication, Communistas. The original article is here: https://www.comunistascuba.org/2021/11/trotski-y-la-crisis-politica-cubana.html
We wish to thank Robert Montgomery for providing this English translation.

While we may not agree with everything presented in this analysis, it is on the whole a sign of the increasing political maturity of the Marxist left opposition in Cuba, acknowledging the important contribution of Trotsky’s analysis of Stalinism.  It is written by a courageous leader of that movement Frank García Hernández, who organized the first International Conference on Trotsky in Havana, Cuba in May of 2019. See our coverage of the conference:

http://forum.permanent-revolution.org/2019/05/first-international-academic-meeting-on.html

http://forum.permanent-revolution.org/2019/06/first-international-academic-meeting-on.html

by Frank García Hernández

In addition to the triumph of the Bolshevik Revolution, the birthday of Leon Trotsky was commemorated on November 7. His analysis on the degeneration of the Soviet bureaucracy is an essential instrument to understand the political crisis that Cuba is going through. Similar to the Soviet bureaucracy, the Cuban government has been moving away from the reality experienced by the working class. The most resounding example of this is the very fact that the July 11 protests took place. [1] Added to this, as another sign of disconnection, is the way in which the official discourse has handled the protests, criminalizing them and reducing them to supposedly having been functional to the counterrevolution.



After the July 11 demonstrations, the Cuban government did not realize the urgent need to create new mechanisms for citizen participation. The way the government understood how to approach the working class was not by stimulating socialist democracy but by making visits to the popular neighborhoods. In general, these visits, planned vertically from above and announced in advance, end up putting on makeup over the area where the high official will pass, and later everything remains the same.

 

In a recent interview to a foreign media, a high Cuban leader declared that in Cuba there was neither hunger, nor unemployment, nor poverty. This serious case of a break with reality can only have two motives. Either, the most dangerous one: the bureaucracy is unaware of the reality of the country; or, it knows about it but transmits a triumphalist discourse which causes discontent among broad sectors of the Cuban working class. In December 2020, the Minister of Economy Alejandro Gil informed that in 2021 the Gross Domestic Product would grow by 6%. Contrary to this, in the past sessions of parliament, Gil announced that the GDP had fallen by -13%. The same official announced in May 2021 that this year Cuba would receive at least 2 million tourists. According to Cuba's National Statistics and Information Office, as of September the country had not exceeded 190 thousand tourists and health restrictions for foreign visitors will only be lifted on November 15. In three months, of which only 45 days will be without restrictions for international travelers, Cuba will not be able to receive the 1 million 810 thousand tourists it needs to meet the figure announced in May by the Minister of Economy; even if Gil knew that up to that month only 120 thousand tourists had entered Cuba.


 

To this worrisome scenario, it should be added that an important sector of the Cuban youth is becoming increasingly depoliticized, identifying socialism with the stagnant official discourse. Young people contrast the triumphalism of the Communist Party with an increasingly critical daily reality, marked by a deep shortage, long lines to buy basic foodstuffs and an important concentration of basic necessities offered in stores where one can only pay with cards backed by foreign currency. In this way, an important sector of the Cuban youth ends up repelling Marxist ideas, falling into political apathy, and in the worst cases, turning to the right.

 

At the same time, this deep economic and political crisis has produced the emergence of new and young figures in the Cuban critical left. Most of them share a common denominator: they find Trotsky's book, The Revolution Betrayed, a useful analysis to understand the Cuban crisis. Except for the Stalinist purges, the complexities involved in a multi-ethnic state, and the distance in time, those young people who publicly position themselves to the left of the Communist Party, discover how in the Cuban bureaucracy dangerous features of the Soviet bureaucracy are reproduced.

 

That young socialist left sees that Cuba is increasingly marked by the separation of the Cuban bureaucracy from the reality of the majorities, the stagnant and empty ideological discourse, the rise of young opportunists to public office, the unequal standards of living between the bourgeois leaders and the working majorities, as well as the political double standards, among other factors typical of a socialist project that has degenerated politically. The new Cuban Marxist left finds, therefore, a scenario very similar to the one described by Trotsky in The Revolution Betrayed.

 

This November 9 marks another anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, an event that preluded the disappearance of the so-called Eastern European Socialist Camp and the final disintegration of the Soviet Union on December 25, 1991. Thirty years ago the Soviet working class did not know how to defend its rights, to lead the fall of the bureaucracy towards a new revolutionary process and to carry forward the construction of a truly socialist system. The hundreds of young people who crossed the Berlin Wall that November 9, 1989 did not do so to carry the red flag of revolution and overthrow capitalism to their fellow Germans in the West. They did so in pursuit of a bourgeois society where they were promised high levels of consumption. At the cost of predatory financial policies -where Greece appears as the most critical case-, Germany is one of the main economic powers of the world; but if the Cuban government falls, Cuba will fall towards an underdeveloped capitalist system corresponding to the most serious economies of the third world. The supposed fall of the Cuban government will only produce the enthronement of an anti-communist regime, with neo-liberal economic policies and bent to the political interests of the United States. The neoliberal economic project of the Council for Democratic Transition presented for a future socialist Cuba, only shows what would be the fate of the Caribbean nation under a capitalist regime.

 

In the midst of an ever worsening political crisis, it is an urgent duty of the Cuban critical left to act, or at least to raise awareness. Every young socialist must expand their ideas in their range of action. To demonstrate to their fellow students and workmates that the errors committed by the Cuban government are not intrinsic to the socialist project, that another socialism is possible, thus stopping the expansion of political apathy, which is functional to the counterrevolution.

 

Trotsky is not Marx's prophet. To see him as such is to destroy him. Trotsky is a defining Marxist tool to understand and apply to the current Cuban political crisis. The difference in lucidity between the young Cubans who have incorporated him and those who either represent the bureaucracy or proclaim a class conciliatory socialism is quite perceptible. The political lucidity of the new Cuban Marxist left is expressed in that they assume socialism as an emancipatory project only viable if it is built in freedom; but freedom and democracy built and led by the working class. The naivety that economic and political power can be shared equally between the bourgeoisie and the working class is something that, by the fact of being Marxist, the young Cuban socialist left has rejected.

 

This explains the position of the new Cuban Marxist left regarding the November 15 demonstration: it defends the right to demonstrate for those who decide to march on that day, but at the same time refuses to march on November 15, since it understands that it is a serious political error to share space with representatives of neo-liberal organizations such as the Council for Democratic Transition. This is the great difference between Trotsky's united front and Stalin's popular fronts. The former grouped the revolutionary forces, while in the latter the communists could even ally themselves with characters such as General Fulgencio Batista. [2]

 

The Cuban government has declared the November 15 demonstration illegal. It warned from official media that those who participate in the demonstration will be punished by law, however sometimes some legal decisions do not bring with them the necessary political legitimacy. Although the November 15 demonstrations have almost no popular support, they do have an important political weight. To repress them would therefore be a serious political mistake and a violation of the right to peaceful protest. It is true that the Marxist critical left should not participate in the November 15 demonstration, but if it positions itself in favor of repression it will be making the same mistake of marching with the Council for Democratic Transition. This is another of the great differences between Stalin's project and Trotsky's political proposal. The former has repression as the central axis of his political program. Trotsky's socialism is grounded in freedom.

 

In this hour of definitions that Cuba is living, let us have the political lucidity and militancy to be and do two, three, many Trotsky.



[1] See the previous statement on the events of July 11 from the Communistas blog: http://forum.permanent-revolution.org/2021/08/concerning-july-11-protests-in-cuba.html

[2] The reference, well-known to students of Cuban history, is to the support offered to the dictator Fulgencio Batista by the Cuban Communist Party.  Support for Batista was sanctioned by the Stalinist controlled Communist International in 1934 basing itself on the new policy of a “Popular Front” between the “progressive” elements of the  bourgeoisie – represented in this case by Batista - and the working class. The Cuban Communist Party’s support for Batista continued, more or less uninterrupted, for over 20 years.


Sunday, August 8, 2021

Concerning the July 11 protests in Cuba

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Protestors at Maximo Gomez monument in Havana, Cuba.


Note:


We are reprinting a statement from the Cuban blog, Comunistas, that provides an extended account of the anti-government demonstrations of July 11.  The original post is here: https://www.Comunistascuba.org/2021/07/acerca-de-las-protestas-en-cuba-del-11.html. Frank García Hernández  is a member of the editorial board of Comunistas. We wish to thank Robert Montgomery for providing the English translation. 

 

 

Part 1

 

Six days after the events and after a profound analysis, Comunistas makes known its official position on the protests that took place in Cuba last Sunday, July 11. 

 

Almost simultaneously and with greater or lesser intensity, on Sunday, July 11, Cuba experienced a series of social outbursts that covered at least 6 of the 14 provinces that make up the country. In the 62 years since the triumph of the Revolution led by Comandante Fidel Castro, Cuba had never faced a situation like this one. 

 

Although initially, the first protests began peacefully, almost all of the demonstrations ended up marked by violence, which was exercised by both sides. This series of simultaneous anti-government demonstrations is an event never seen before in socialist Cuba. This is a necessary factor to take into account in order to understand the facts. 

 

It is worth remembering that in Cuba, the last mass protests date back to August 5, 1994, later known as Maleconazo, which was contained in a few hours with the presence of Fidel Castro at the scene of the events. A demonstration of 200 people chanting slogans against the government in a central location is almost inconceivable in Cuban society. However, at least in Havana there was a spontaneous march of at least 3,000 people.

 

The events in Havana

 

The protests - the trigger for which was the demonstration in the city of San Antonio de los Baños, located no more than 100 kilometers from the capital - quickly spread to Havana. Shortly after 3:00 p.m. local time, around 200 people took over the central Fraternity Park, later moving in front of the Capitol (official seat of Parliament). 

 

During the first hour of the protest, police arrests were isolated, allowing, at least tacitly, the march of the demonstrators, who moved towards the central Máximo Gómez Park, located between the Spanish Embassy and the headquarters of the National Bureau of the Union of Young Communists. At that time, more than 500 people were peacefully gathered on the esplanade of the park, while arrests continued to be made on a case-by-case basis. 

 

Later, a group of approximately 100 people, waving Cuban and 26th of July Movement flags, with socialist and pro-government slogans, peacefully took over the Máximo Gómez Park. At the same time, other groups linked to the Communist Party and the Union of Young Communists, together with cadets of the Ministry of the Interior, ended up occupying the area. 

 

The demonstrators voluntarily demobilized and it seemed that in Havana, at least where they originated, the protests had ended, almost peacefully. However, it later became known that the march had turned into a long demonstration which was traveling through important streets of Havana. As the protest march progressed, people joined it, and according to unofficial sources, between 2,000 and 3,000 demonstrators chanted slogans against the government. 

 

At a certain point, the demonstrators decided to go to the emblematic Plaza de la Revolución, where the headquarters of the Presidency, the Central Committee of the Communist Party, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of the Armed Forces, as well as the main national newspapers are located. In the vicinity of the Plaza de la Revolución, the demonstration was repelled by forces of public order and pro-government civilian groups, generating violent clashes between both sides, which resulted in an undetermined number of arrests and injuries. 

 

At the same time, in the 10 de Octubre Causeway, Havana, seriously violent events took place, where two police cars were overturned. Subsequently, videos of serious acts of vandalism were released, such as the stoning of a children's hospital. The death of civilian Diubis Laurencio Tejeda has been confirmed during the protests. No other deaths have been reported so far as a result of the demonstrations. Violence was exercised both by the demonstrators and by the civilians who came out to confront them, mainly with stones and sticks. The number of people injured on both sides is unknown. The number of people arrested at the scene is also unknown, as well as any subsequent arrests linked to the protests. We still do not know the number of citizens who six days later are still being held in irregular detention.   

 

While the protests were taking place in Havana, similar events took place in the cities of Bayamo, Manzanillo, Camagüey, Santiago de Cuba, Holguín, among others of lesser intensity, which also ended, or even began, in a violent manner. 

 

 

Part 2

Origin and essence of the protests

 

The protests that took place in Cuba last July 11 cannot be understood as a confrontation between counterrevolutionaries and communists, as the government has tried to make it appear; nor of oppressed people versus dictatorship, as bourgeois propaganda has insisted; nor of revolutionary working class versus politically degenerated bureaucracy. 

 

The July 11 protests brought together at the same time the three previous perspectives: the counterrevolutionary organizations -paid by the United States- violently attacking the Communist Party; groups of intellectuals who feel their civil liberties severely curtailed confronting censorship and the working class demanding from the Government improvements in their living conditions. However, although this last variant was the overwhelming majority, it cannot be understood as a politically conscious socialist mass, demanding more socialism from the stagnant bureaucracy.

 

The July 11 protests could be characterized in nine essential points:

 

The great majority of the demonstrators were not linked to counterrevolutionary organizations, nor were the protests led by counterrevolutionary organizations. The main cause of the demonstrations was the discontent generated by the terrible shortages caused by the economic crisis, the economic sanctions imposed by the U.S. government and the questionable and inefficient management of the state bureaucracy. It was the shortage of food and cleaning products, the existence of stores in freely convertible currency which can only be accessed through foreign currency and which accumulate an important part of the supply of basic products; the long lines for the purchase of basic foods such as bread; the shortage of medicines; the restriction on the deposit of dollars in cash in banks; the price hikes in public services (transportation in Havana increased the fare by 500%); the cutback of gratuities; the drastic increase in inflation; the increase in the price of basic products; and the long power cuts, the objective factors that caused a scenario conducive to a social outburst.  

 

Part 3

 

At the same time, let's not forget that Cuba is going through its biggest economic crisis in 30 years. Cuba needed the visit of 4 million 500 thousand tourists and stable prices in the international market for its Gross Domestic Product to grow at least 1% in 2020. In 2020 Cuba only received 23% of the tourists needed, or 1.5 million tourists, and the world economy went into crisis. The decrease in foreign visitors caused the loss of about 3 billion dollars in 2020. Cuba imports about 80% of its food and the government spends about 2 billion dollars on this.

 

Except for a discreet recovery in China, the rest of all Cuba's trading partners fell into economic recession. As of June 2021, Cuba had only received a little more than 130,000 tourists. Most of the country's reserves had been consumed by 2020. The costs of public attention in confronting the coronavirus have caused serious damage to the Cuban economy. To this must be added the serious sanctions imposed by Donald Trump, which have not been lifted by President Joe Biden, intensifying the already accumulated impact of the blockade.  

 

However, the reasons why the Cuban economy is in crisis do not matter to the working family at the time of serving the table, even more so when the political legitimacy of the government is progressively deteriorating.

 

2. The political legitimacy of the Government is considerably diminished. The official political discourse is far from being effective; it does not reach the youth. The political propaganda of official youth organizations is alien to the youth. As an example of this, among the participants in the protests there was a large number of young people (at the moment it is impossible to give an exact figure). 

 

At the same time, the political wear and tear of several years of crisis and the accumulated errors of the state administration in general. In addition, the current government does not have the political legitimacy of the historical leadership of the Revolution. The separation between the country's leadership and the working class is increasingly visible, and a gap in living conditions is being questioned.

 

Part 4

 

3. The protests originated in working class neighborhoods and those with the greatest social problems. Social inequality is a growing problem in Cuban society. Poverty. Social neglect, the precariousness of public and social policies, the scarce supply of food and basic products from the State, as well as impoverished cultural policies, are predominant characteristics in the peripheral or lower-income neighborhoods. In these areas, political awareness tends to diminish, imposing the rigor of precariousness and survival over ideology. In addition, political discourse often runs parallel to the daily needs of working people. In contrast to this socioeconomic situation, in the imaginary of these economically vulnerable neighborhoods, the country's leadership is associated with high standards of living.

 

4. The protests did not have a majority character. The majority of the Cuban population continues to support the government. Although it is true that the demonstrators had support among part of the neighbors of the areas where the events took place, an important sector of the population also rejected and has rejected the protests. Although the protests in Havana gathered in general around 5000 people, it would be a complete lack of objectivity if we were to say that the demonstrations had a majority support. In spite of the political deterioration suffered by the Cuban government, the latter is gathering the political capital of the Revolution, capitalizes on the image of Fidel Castro and maintains a hegemony over the socialist imaginary. It is largely due to these factors that it achieves considerable political legitimacy among the majorities. 

 

5. There were no socialist slogans in the protests. The slogans launched in the demonstrations were centered on "Homeland and Life", "Freedom", "Down with the dictatorship" and offenses against President Miguel Diaz-Canel. "Patria y Vida" is a slogan born from an openly right-wing song, propagandized from Miami and by the right-wing opposition. The other slogans mentioned have the character of demands for citizens' freedoms, which does not imply socialist demands. Beyond the claims against censorship and the demand for greater civil liberties, the slogan "Down with the dictatorship" is a slogan used and capitalized by the Cuban right wing and the counterrevolution. Members of the Editorial Committee of Comunistas spoke with several demonstrators who were not against Fidel Castro or Socialism, but were demanding better living conditions. However, this differentiation was not made explicit in the protests.

 

Part 5

 

6. A minority sector of intellectuals was linked to the protests. A minority group of intellectuals, mainly grouped in the 27N movement, demanded civil liberties, centered on the right to free creation and expression. However, this was not the central character of the protests. To a large extent, this was due to the fact that the demands of dissident intellectuals did not respond to the needs of the majorities, who were demanding basic demands for a better life.

 

7. The lumpenproletariat played a significant role. In the protests the lumpenproletariat played an important role. These groups engaged in looting and aggressive actions of vandalism, which distorted the peaceful beginning of the demonstrations in Havana.

 

8. It is becoming more and more obvious that the propaganda of the counterrevolution had an organizing character in the protests. Although this was not the main factor that triggered the protests, it is undoubtedly undeniable that the United States orchestrated a strong right-wing campaign in the social networks, openly focused on the overthrow of the Cuban government. This campaign had a strong impact on an important sector of the population. It is necessary to take into account that 4.4 million Cubans have access to social networks from their cell phones. 

 

9. The demonstrations ended up being marked by violence. In Havana, initially, except for isolated events, the demonstrations in the center of the capital took place peacefully. However, in the capital, the demonstration degenerated into a serious confrontation with police forces and pro-government citizens when the demonstrators tried to gain access to the Plaza de la Revolución where the Central Committee of the Communist Party, the seat of the Government, the Ministry of the Interior, the Ministry of the Revolutionary Armed Forces and the headquarters of most of the national newspapers are located. At that time, violent events took place on both sides, causing serious injuries among civilians. At the same time, violent groups carried out acts of vandalism and attacked communist militants and government sympathizers with sticks and stones.

 

Conclusion

 

Why was comrade Frank García Hernández, founder of our Editorial Committee, arrested?

 

Comrade Frank García Hernández, who was on his way to a friend's house, with whom he had been with since the beginning of the demonstration, accidentally ended up at the scene of the violent confrontations that took place near the Plaza de la Revolución, but just as they were coming to an end. Comrade Frank had been present at the protest from the beginning, but as a Communist Party militant. When the demonstrators left the Máximo Gómez Park (around 6:00 p.m.), Frank and the comrade assumed that the protest was over, which is why they both went to the girl's house. She lives less than 200 meters from where the violent clashes took place between the demonstrators and the police forces, who were trying to prevent the protest from entering the Plaza de la Revolución. 

 

According to Comrade Frank, when they arrived at the corner of Ayestarán and Aranguren streets, shots were fired into the air. They both ended up inside a pro-government group which was marching accompanied by police officers. At that moment, Comrade Frank accidentally meets Maykel Gonzalez, director of the pro-LGBTIQ rights magazine Tremenda Nota, a publication that has reproduced the texts of Comunistas. Maykel Gonzalez had participated in the course of events, from the birth of the march to the violent events between the two groups, taking part of the demonstrators, although without carrying out any violent acts. 

 

When the protests were coming to an end in the presence of Comrade Frank Garcia, a police officer arrested Maykel Gonzalez, falsely accusing him of having thrown stones at the forces of public order. In view of this, Comrade Frank Garcia, as a Communist Party militant, tried to intercede calmly between the officer and Maykel Gonzalez. While trying to convince the policeman, asking him not to arrest Maykel Gonzalez, Frank Garcia was also arrested by the officer. The police officer accused Frank of violent acts and of being on the side of the demonstrators. This accusation was later proven false by the authorities. 

 

The arrest took place at around 7:00 pm. Both were taken to the nearest police station. Subsequently, around 1:30 a.m., Frank was taken to another detention center, where the facts were immediately clarified, proving that he had not participated in violent acts, nor in the group against the demonstrations. Together with the director of Tremenda Nota, Maykel González Vivero, comrade Frank García Hernández was released on Monday, July 12 at around 8:00 pm. During his detention of just over 24 hours, Frank affirms that he was NOT physically abused or tortured in any way. Frank Garcia is not currently being held in house arrest, but is under a precautionary measure that regulates his ability to move, limiting his access to his workplace and medical care. However, Frank is not required to make any statements to the authorities regarding his daily movements. The legal measure is part of the procedure to be followed until his non-participation in violent acts or in the demonstration is officially demonstrated. 

 

The Editorial Committee of Comunistas is grateful for the impressive wave of international solidarity that arose to demand the release of Frank García Hernández. Soon, Comunistas will publish a detailed report of the internationalist campaign, through which a just recognition will be made to the people and organizations that fought for the freedom of our comrade. 

 

It is worth noting that during the protests no other member of the Editorial Committee, collaborator or comrade close to our publication was arrested. Based on our elementary sense of revolutionary justice, this does not prevent us from demanding the immediate release of the rest of those arrested during the July 11 demonstrations, as long as they have not committed actions that have attempted against the lives of other people. 

 

 

 

Somewhere in Cuba, July 17, 2021, Comunistas Editorial Board

 

Note and comments

 

NOTE: At the time this statement was published, Comunistas was aware of the call made by the government and the opposition to demonstrate in the streets. Apparently, both sides have called for a rally at the same point in Havana, known as La Piragua. Comunistas rejects both calls as irresponsible, taking into account the seriousness of the health situation of the coronavirus, with more than 6,000 cases per day. But with greater force we condemn any possible act of violence that may occur in the clash between the two groups. 

 

 

 

 


Monday, July 12, 2021

Freedom for Frank García Hernández and other detainees!

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Update: 


It has been confirmed that Frank García Hernández and Maikel Gonzalez Vivero have been released.  However they remain under a form of house arrest, restricted in their movements and still face charges.  The other two comrades who were arrested have not been released.  Here is a statement of solidarity from a supporter of the detained comrades:


***********************************************************************************

Greetings to all, friends of the IV International and also persons that signed in support of the liberation of Mikael González Vivero, Frank García Hernández, Leonardo Romero Negrín y Marco Antonio Pérez. 

 

I want to thank you personally for having responded to the call for solidarity that I made in moments in which they were arrested.  I never expected so much support.  I never expected so much love from so many different places.  It really moved me to see people from all over the world concerned by the situation of this young socialists that have been arrested in these demonstrations. 

 

For now, we are still giving the fight though some of them were released: Frank, our comrade Frank, and Mikael González Vivero.  However, Marco Antonio Pérez, a minor, and Leonardo Romero Negrín, 21 years-old, are still detained.  They are very close to me, personally, and they are also young socialists that should not be there (detained).  They were not violent during the demonstrations and they did not commit any crime yet they were detained in an arbitrary and violent manner by the repressive arm of the State. 

 

I greatly appreciate the support and I tell you that in Cuba my battle for them to be freed will not cease. Nor will my battle to defend freedom and socialism, true socialism, in my country, cease.


Cuba without annexation!

Cuba without embargo!

But Cuba, free, democratic and of the workers!

Socialism, yes! Repression, no!

 

A fraternal embrace.

 

 

***********************************************************************************


There has been a groundswell of support for the release of the comrades that were arrested.  A petition on change.org has gathered the signature of many prominent activists and public intellectuals including Noam Chomsky.  You can go to this link to sign the petition.

https://www.change.org/p/cuban-government-release-frank-garc%C3%ADa-hern%C3%A1ndez-and-his-comrades

Note: We just learned that Frank Garcia Hernandez, the courageous Cuban scholar and activist who organized the first International Conference on Trotsky in Havana in 2019, has been detained by the Cuban authorities.  We have no details as to the circumstances of Frank’s detention except that it is connected to a government crackdown on dissidents in Cuba spurred on by massive protests throughout the island that broke out yesterday.  The demonstrations, spread through social media, were protesting the shortages of food and electricity, the mishandling of the pandemic and in general the repressive actions of the Cuban bureaucracy. The economic crisis in Cuba has been greatly aggravated by the cruel blockade imposed on Cuba by U.S. imperialism. The economic sanctions against Cuba were amped up significantly by the Trump Administration and has been continued under the Biden Administration.  

 

Beyond this context we do not have any information about the specific details of the crackdown on dissidents.  What we do know is that among the detainees are  left wing dissidents, committed socialists who have defended the Cuban revolution against imperialism such as Frank Garcia Hernandez.

Since the news broke messages of solidarity have poured in from international comrades.

The Workers Revolutionary Party of Greece (EEK) have called for the freedom of Frank Garcia Hernandez and the other detainees.

Also joining the call for the liberation of Frank and the other detainees was the Workers Revolutionary Party of Turkey (DIP).

Other calls for solidarity have come from Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Brazil, Spain, Finland, and Belgium.  Many more messages of solidarity are expected as news of this repressive action by the Cuban government spreads.

We are asking all supporters of socialism and internationalism to join us in demanding the release of Frank Garcia Hernandez and the other detainees!

 

Below we are reprinting two articles – in English translation – that provide a few more details about the detention of Frank Garcia Hernandez and others.

 

From La Izquierda Diario México

http://www.laizquierdadiario.com.mx/Cuba-Libertad-a-Frank-Garcia-Hernandez-y-los-demas-detenidos

This Sunday, July 11, mobilizations were held in Havana and different towns in Cuba, in protest against the health crisis, the shortage and against different government measures, aggravated by the tightening of the criminal imperialist blockade of the United States.

Within the framework of the protests and the repression exercised by the police forces against those who mobilized, Frank García Hernandez was arrested, among other protesters. His friends and colleagues denounce this arbitrary detention and violent measures taken by the Cuban forces of repression, who used pepper spray against those who were involved in the actions. Frank is a Cuban Marxist, sociologist and historian, and a member of the Communists Blog collective. He was arrested along with Marco Antonio Perez Fernandez (a high school student, who had been arrested on April 30 for carrying a sign "Socialism yes, repression no"). Also arrested were Maikel Gonzalez Vivero (director of the LGTBQ community magazine Tremenda nota), as well as Mel Herrera, a trans activist for LGTBQ rights. All the detainees claim to be socialists, and in the case of Marco Antonio Perez and Mel Herrera, their whereabouts are unknown. The blog Comunistas, from Cuba, published a call for the freedom of detainees in Cuba. We join the voices that demand, in Cuba and other countries, the immediate release of Frank Garcia and his companions. We also say enough of repression and arbitrary arrests by the Cuban government, for the democratic right to protest and free union, social and political organization.

 

From Communistas Cuba


https://www.comunistascuba.org/2021/07/reclamo-por-la-libertad-de-los.html

 

In the demonstrations this afternoon in Havana, Frank García Hernández, among other members of the Cuban left, was arrested.

 

Note: not all members of the editorial collective of Comunistas Blog subscribe to this communication.

 

This afternoon the Cuban people took to the streets. A people that was not summoned by any organization other than the acute economic crisis facing Cuba and the government's inability to handle the situation. Cuba took to the streets with the “wrong” slogan "Homeland and life" [1] , but it took to the streets beyond a slogan, it came out to demand true socialism from the government. Those who were in the streets were not only artists and intellectuals, this time it was the town in its broadest heterogeneity.

 

This note from the Comunistas blog does not seek to analyze the situation in Cuba. It seeks to denounce the violent detention of the protesters, to denounce that this time the repressive forces of the State put themselves in the opposite place, that they repressed Cubans, that they used pepper spray and all available resources. This note is a claim for the freedom of all those detained and especially for the arbitrary detention of Frank García Hernández, a Cuban historian and Marxist. For the arrest of Leonardo Romero Negrín, a young socialist Physics student at the University of Havana. For the arrest of Maykel González Vivero, director of Tremenda Nota, a marginal magazine. For the arrest of Marcos Antonio Pérez Fernández, a minor, a high school student. For all those violently detained on this black afternoon that Cuba will not forget. Comunistas appeals to the solidarity of the international Marxist community and also to the conscience of the Cuban government. This time it is about a town that needs answers and dialogue.

 

It is about a civil society that does not want annexation, but rather to participate and decide the fate of its nation. Communist blog condemns the repression and says enough to the bureaucracy.

 



[1] The slogan is “wrong” because the traditional slogan of the Cuban Revolution is “Homeland or Death”. (A.S.)