Thursday, June 20, 2024

Ral Castro leaves, but Cuba maintains the one-party path

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Cole Hanson
Cole Hanson
"Extreme twitteraholic. Passionate travel nerd. Hardcore zombie trailblazer. Web fanatic. Evil bacon geek."

(Havana) Cuba turned the page on the Castro brothers on Monday with the retirement of Raul, 89, which is a historic moment even if the famous revolutionary remains an advisor in major decisions of one party.

Letizia Pineda
France Media

Comrade Raul […]President Miguel Diaz-Canel, 60, who was elected in his place as First Secretary by Communist Party delegates, declared by her legitimacy and because Cuba needed it, she would be consulted on strategic decisions of great importance to the nation’s destiny. .

He stressed that “the general will remain present because he is a reference to any communist and any Cuban revolutionary,” and he will warn, “in case of error or failure, he will be ready to confront imperialism first. Line with his rifle.”

The handover took place 60 years after the day after Cuba’s victory in the US-led Bay of Pigs attack.

This comes at a critical time for the island, as it fell into its worst economic crisis in 30 years as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic and the tightening of the US embargo imposed since 1962.

For the vast majority of the 11.2 million Cubans, there was not a single Castro Fidel, then his brother Raul – at the helm.

“Since I was born, I’ve only known one limb,” says Miguel Ginza, a 58-year-old craftsman who traversed the lanes in the historic Havana neighborhood. “Nobody dies of hunger, that’s right.”

But today, “We are a little stuck, and it is a shame that Fidel dies because, yes, he solved all the problems.”

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‘Holy democracy’

While 300 party delegates (officially 700,000 members) gathered in Havana, in a neighborhood sealed off by the police, Cubans had their minds elsewhere: Most of them were tired of shortages and endless queues. Wait, on this island they are obligated to import 80% of what you consume.

Young people, many of whom go into exile every year due to a lack of opportunity, are increasingly expressing their frustration on social networks, buoyed by the arrival of the mobile internet at the end of 2018.

But for the government, after four years of sanctions imposed by the Trump administration, the ideological war remains the most important, especially in the face of the opposition, which is accused of funding the United States.

We must warn the mercenary about the breach, who makes his livelihood with the fate of others and demands the invasion of (Cuba). […]Miguel Diaz-Canel said: “The patience of these people has limits.”

In a pizzeria where he works with rapping in the background, Luis Enrique Oramas, 30, finds himself dreaming one day that the authorities “let people think what they want”.

“Most people want that, and it’s not what we have right now, a party where everyone thinks the same thing.”

Internet shutdown

And an old-age party, too. Certainly the historical generation – those who made the 1959 revolution – emerged from the Politburo, overthrowing power in Cuba.

But the new party composition shows an average age of 61.6 years and only three women out of 14. In the party, 42.6% of the fighters are over the age of 55.

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“Faced with the inaction of the Biden administration that left Trump’s policy as it is, and the challenge of a more connected and internationalized Cuba, Cuban elites are approaching the ranks by rejecting any internal debate,” laments Arturo Lopez-Levy, a Cuban scholar from Holly. University of Names of California.

During the conference, dozens of activists, independent journalists and artists denounced via Twitter the prevention of police from leaving their homes, a technique used by the authorities to prevent all gatherings. Others said they had had their phone and internet cut off.

“What do conference attendees fear?” Twitter: Erika Guevara-Rosas, Director of Amnesty International for the Americas.

“Let’s destroy the protest party. As they slap each other on the shoulders to preserve their authoritarian regime, they harass and imprison activists and journalists in their homes.”

In recent months, the Internet has been a driver of unprecedented social discontent in this country where demonstrations are extremely rare: Thanks to it, artists, dissidents, and animal rights activists have rallied on the streets.

In response, the party passed a decision to promote “revolutionary activity on social media” and fight “sabotage.”

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