Donald Trump is leaving. But some Cubans, who arouse only shame in others, are claiming him as their president. “Trump 2020,” they shout. As president, he’s done almost everything to choke the people of Cuba, and now he has the cynicism to say that this is to help them. When he blocked, delayed, or increased the cost of the arrival of petroleum shipments, when he blocked commerce or transfers of funds to the country, he said sarcastically that they don’t know how to manage their economy. Cuba, nevertheless, managed the pandemic and the international economic crisis in an exemplary fashion, and – in an outpouring of humanism – sent 53 medical brigades to poor countries and rich countries alike; Cuba created its medications and vaccines, absorbed the extensive damages of the intense tropical rainstorms … and left no one behind without help.
These Trump-fanciers born in Cuba are “deserters that ask for arms in the armies of North America, who drown their Indigenous peoples (and Black people) in blood and who go from bad to worse!” in the words of José Martí. After more than 150 years of struggles, does anyone doubt that US imperialism wants something other than the freedom or the well-being of Cuba?
There exists a controversial historical figure, La Malinche, a Nahuatl slave woman who was the lover and translator for Cortez, and with her advice contributed to the conquest of Mexico. According to the dictionary of the Royal Spanish Academy, Malinche or malinchista today refers to any “person, institution or movement that commits treason” regardless of whether man or woman. The so-called San Isidro Movement is an episode from the reality show that Trump has made of his presidency. Those gathered there are called colleagues in a tweet by the officer in charge of the Embassy of the United States in Cuba.
I am not avoiding the facts. A uniformed police officer took a citation to Cuban citizen Denis Solis. Solis insulted him, using words I cannot repeat here, and threatened him. The police did not handcuff him nor hit him, nor place his knee on Solis’s neck. There is a video, taken by the supposed victim, which proves this. Denis was detained for contempt. He had already previously received several administrative fines for disturbing the peace and two official warnings for harassing tourists. The crime of contempt is provided by law in Article 144.1 of the Penal Code. Denis accepted the charges and did not appeal. But before this, he yelled that Trump is his president and he became a “dissident.” The San Isisdro strikers demand his release. They then declared a hunger and thirst strike, but on the seventh day Alcantara, the leader of the provocation, who has dishonored the national flag in other episodes of this strange theatrical play, appeared in a video taken by his colleagues (to use the same term as the imperialist diplomat) impetuously blocking the functioning of the health authorities, rather than prostrate in his bed, as medical logic would indicate should be the case after a lack of food.
There will always be gullible people and those sincerely concerned for the health of the “strikers.” And also those who suggest that it does not suit us to let them die, as if the Revolution does not fight daily and hourly for the lives of all our citizens, whether or not they are with the Revolution, in the face of the attempts of the empire to defeat them with hunger and disease. If Denis is a prisoner, and not hospitalized or dead, it is because in Cuba there are no disappeared people, and the police, who keep order as they should, do not kill or torture.
Protest is so unthreatening – for Cubans, as I have said – that there are many people who are “neither for one side nor the other. “I’m not in agreement with those of San Isidro, but I’m not for what the government is doing either,” they say. If we are serious about this analysis, we should leave Denis (the pretext) aside for a moment and look for the real reasons. Here I shall pass over any suppositions about money – although Denis confessed to receiving money from a person associated with attacks carried out in Cuba – but I prefer to discuss ideas. And I do not know the motives of the writer-journalist who had to pass through the United States in order to go from Mexico to Cuba. But our actions give clues about who we really are; this is not about a decree or a decision that they claim to be mistaken, and, in their declarations, all are mixed up together and if the government decides something else tomorrow they will just add this to their sack of complaints. This is not about freedom of speech, much less freedom of artistic expression, but rather of the creation of a political opposition clearly already sponsored by imperialism, about the restoration of a bourgeois democracy and the death of any trace of people’s democracy. Although perhaps many of those making these demands do not know it, the true purpose of all this is the restoration of a neocolonial Cuba. So that no doubt remains, high officials of the Trump government have immediately rushed to defend their supporting actors. They know they are on the way out and they have to inflict as many knife wounds as they go.
This is why it is so outrageous to read some articles by mercenaries who compare the heroic combatants of the clandestine struggle during the Batista dictatorship with these deserters who are asking for rifles in the invading army, to paraphrase Martí. Yes, some voices of certain trans-national media outlets are joining in this, attentive to the last Trumpish death-rattle. They say that we are living in the post-truth era, “a situation in which objective facts have less influence than emotions or beliefs when it comes to defining public opinion” according to one dictionary But the Cuban Revolution is not accustomed to lie or to disguise the truth. To never lie is what we were taught by Fidel, who lives on in every revolutionary Cuban.
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