Legitimate protest does not include attacks
The first thing the Revolution did was to teach the people to read, so we could think. And thinking means reflecting on the world around us, as well as contributing to improving it through creative suggestions and constructive criticism, in order to correct mistakes. Long before social networks, Cubans were a very opinionated people. We have our own points of view about everything: sports, movies, medicine, politics…..
“Hot corners” are where baseball is discussed, plays and decisions challenged, which says as much about the exercise of expressing an opinion as attending a neighborhood government accountability assembly.
In these block meetings of residents in every Cuban community emit their evaluation of the human and the divine: from the hole in the middle of the street to the bread baked yesterday that did not weigh was what it was supposed to. These assemblies, mechanisms of democratic expression unparalleled in the world, have trained Cubans in the art of defending their judgments with arguments, valid or not, but expressed with civility and decency.
It is also the norm in matters of such broad interest as the debates on Constitutional questions, policy guidelines and other issues of significant social importance, in which the people have been summoned to establish consensus in a collective manner. Such was the debate on the draft Constitution, held from August 13 to November 15, 2018.
Aware that their assessment mattered and counted, our people understood that they were participating in establishing the legal, economic, political and social order that would govern society through a Magna Carta that would later be approved by 86.85% of the votes, with over 90% of eligible voters participating, that is, the majority of the population.
Defending an opinion is not alien to Cuban social praxis; but that was not what the July 11 disturbances were about.
Legitimate protest will never entail committing crimes, theft, violence, attacks, vandalism. There is no civility possible when one takes such action to create chaos, ignoring all social responsibility.
Those who smashed store windows and stole products, not even food, are vandals, in reality criminals. Those who assume such deplorable attitudes, those who think they are tough and attack the police, do not deserve respect.
Shaken by these events, to which we are not accustomed, we, good Cubans, who are the absolute majority, have already stated that, despite preferring to come to an understanding, will not allow anyone to violate our sacred public tranquility, a conquest and legacy of the Revolution.
There will be no room for such aggression, no chance that a handful of mercenaries can impose an agenda of lies and violence.