Cuba Fights Back Against Communist Regime For The First Time
Here's how to help the Cuban protestors
Here's how to help the Cuban protestors
Text: Michelle Diaz
On an island just 90 miles away from U.S. soil, thousands of Cubans hit the streets on Sunday to protest food and medicine shortages, in an explosion of outrage against Cuba’s communist regime that has been in power since 1959. The Cuban government (or should I say dictatorship) is refusing aid from other countries and keeps blaming the U.S. Embargo for not having enough medicine, personal, or equipment; which the Embargo doesn't include medicine.
This is the first time in six decades that the Cubans have protested against deteriorating living conditions and the lack of basic goods and services, including medical attention amid increasing numbers of coronavirus infections. This is a risky move for Cubans since they have no freedom of speech to protect them. The protest began in the western city of San Antonio de los Baños, later spreading to more than 40 cities and towns including the capital Havana. President Miguel Díaz-Canel responded by calling on supporters to take back the streets from the protesters and deploying security forces across the country.
In Havana on Sunday night, state forces were sent out in droves, including so-called “rapid-reaction brigades” and Communist Party militants armed with heavy sticks according to the Wall Street Journal. Activists said protesters were attacked, and at least 80 have been arrested.
Protestors took to Facebook to livestream the frustrations of the people on the streets, but that lasted only an hour before suddenly the videos disappeared. As the day continued, more videos started to emerge from Palma Soriano, in the country’s southeast. Hundreds of people also gathered in Havana, where a heavy police presence awaited their arrival.
Here are some ways that you can show your support for the Cuban people:
Support Charities & Volunteer
Support the Cuban people without leaving the comfort of your home. Americans can support these efforts by donating to organizations and nonprofits. Please be careful and mindful of where you donate because of the contentious history of U.S.-Cuba relations, it is important that donors and supporters research each organization’s work and verify that their money will help Cubans. Volunteering in Cuba for medicine, teaching english and helping with children are great ways to get involved to help the country prosper and the best way to get to know Cuba more than just as a vacation site.
- Volunteer World
- First-Hand Aid
- Global Volunteers
- Forward Edge International
- Spanish World Ministries
- Reel Life International
- Key to Knowledge
- Global Links
- Leadership Resources International
- Healing Nations
- Praise International
- PACK FOR A PURPOSE INC
- Green Cities Fund Inc
- Mission Discovery Inc
Donate Goods When Visiting
When visiting Cuba, tourists can do more than just put money into the Cuban economy. Most Cubans are unable to access goods such as clothes, medicines and necessary technologies that they need in their day to day lives. One of the best ways to help Cubans is to bring as many of these items as possible when visiting the island. Visitors can give these products out to the Cubans that they meet or donate them to specific charities such as the Cuban Red Cross, health clinics or orphanages.
Here is a guided list of what you can give away:
Join A Protest
Another key element to note is that the Cuban diaspora has taken root all over the U.S. Miami is famously known for its Cuban population. With thousands of people shutting down streets and calling for freedom on the island, similar cries were heard from demonstrators in New York, Philadelphia, Jacksonville, Orlando and in Washington D.C. The people of Cuba have a connection to a world outside of their island, and citizens in the U.S. are asking their lawmakers to take action. Applying that pressure on lawmakers is key to create change.
By using our freedom of speech, we can help the Cuban people gain theres back.
The Cuban people are seeking fundamental freedoms & better quality of life.— U.S. Rep. Stephanie Murphy (@RepStephMurphy) July 12, 2021
A House committee just approved $20 mil to support democracy, human rights, civil society, & the private sector in Cuba. Congress should boost this funding to show the Cuban people we’ve got their back. pic.twitter.com/a0eENadM3x
The House Appropriations Committee approved $20 million of the Economic Support Fund to support Cubans, Murphy said, and the money would go toward democracy-building and human right programs for Cuba -- and will not be used to assist the Cuban government.
Show Your Support on Social Media
The Cuban people resorted to tagging their posts with the hashtag #SOSCuba in a desperate call to garner urgent humanitarian intervention as well as international attention and solidarity.
The protest movement went viral after celebrities started tweeting and instagramming using the hashtag #SOSCuba and later everyone around the world joined in reposting the videos that the Cubans were sharing on their social media using the hashtag.
- On Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or any other social media you use, search the #SOSCuba hashtag and repost any voice recordings, videos, or photos captured by Cubans on the island
- Share as much as possible so that your followers can repost
- Listen to and share the radio television station Radio Marti, an American state-run radio and television international broadcaster based in Miami, Florida, which transmits news in Spanish to Cuba
- The goal is to repost anything you see that is coming out of Cuba before it gets deleted by the communist regime
- Keep the conversation alive by talking to friends and relatives, especially to the people that are not informed of the struggles of the Cuban people
The brave people of Cuba can’t fight the communist regime that has been drowning out their voices for decades alone. Díaz-Canel promised that he is “willing to resort to anything” to keep the “revolution” in power. It is time for the U.S. and all the other nations to come together and speak the truth of what has been happening on the beautiful island of Cuba. In the past, Cubans chose patience and have been waiting for years for a change to come. But the new generation is taking a stance against the government for the first time. For a country known for its terrorizing methods to keep its people from fighting back the system, this was an important moment in history for the Cuban people.