Monday, July 12, 2021

Freedom for Frank Garcia Hernandez and other detainees!

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Update: 


It has been confirmed that Frank Garcia Hernandez 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:


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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.

 

 

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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.)




5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This arrest should be deeply troubling to socialists who defend the gains of the Cuban revolution against the relentless pressure to destroy it by US imperialism. Garcia Hernandez is no enemy of the revolution, he is rather an opponent of its bureaucratic deformation. To silence such voices is to take a dangerous step on a road that leads to capitalist restoration. US leftists bear a special responsibility to speak out and demand the immediate release of Garcia Hernandez and other detainees!
Frank Brenner

Anonymous said...

It is both a courageous act and important that Marxists, Cuban as well as others, confront the bureaucracy from the standpoint of the interests of proletarian revolution. The imprisonment of García Hernández and others that defend the working class against the bureaucracy signals a serious retrogression in Cuba that can easily be seized upon be imperialism. I support the freedom of comrade García Hernández.

AE

Anonymous said...

Statement of classconscious.org : Solidarity with Cuban Marxist historian Frank Garcia Hernadez

classconscious.org joins the calls of other Marxists and leftists from around the world for the release Marxist historian Frank Garcia Hernadez at a protest in Havana by Cuban authorities. Hernadez was arrested along with a number of other socialist comrades. Hernadez, made links with many international Marxists when he organised the first International Academic Conference on Trotsky in Havana.

It should be stated upfront that our solidarity for Hernadez has nothing in common with despicable and predictable phoney outrage from the far right Cuban exile community in the US and the Biden Administration at the crackdown on the protests in Cuba. To hear the blood drenched US President Biden mouth concern over the use of force on protestors should only arouse contempt. The protests were an expression of social pressures in Cuba, exacerbated by the covid crisis, that of course US Imperialism bares overwhelming responsibility for with its six decade long blockade.

“However, as Trotskyists we defend the right of Cuban workers to organize politically to defend the gains of the revolution from imperialism and against moves by the ruling bureaucratic caste to restore capitalist property rights. Whilst the current protests are politically heterogenous in character we defend the pro-socialist elements such as Frank Garcia Hernandez. The arrest of Hernandez and other pro-revolutionary socialists amongst the protestors no doubt reflects the awareness of the Cuban authorities that criticism from the left poses a greater political threat to their rule than the orchestrated campaign of the counter-revolutionary rabble seeking to exploit legitimate grievances.”


Free Frank Garcia Hernadez and other socialist prisoners in Cuba!
Defend the gains of the Cuban Revolution!
Down with US Imperialism and the blockade against the Cuban people!

Bob Montgomery said...

Right Alex- the historic slogan of the Cuban revolution is “Patria Libre o Muerte! Venceremos!”
Bob Montgomery

Anonymous said...

I condemn the arrest of Frank Garcia Hernandez and his comrades, who have taken a courageous stand for genuine socialism against the police repression of the Cuban bureaucracy.
- Peter Ross