Anti-Díaz-Canel Graffiti Appears in Alquízar

Tuesday, May 14, 2024 by Zoe Salinas

Anti-Díaz-Canel Graffiti Appears in Alquízar
Imágenes del cartel contestatario pintado en Alquízar - Imagen de © Facebook / Antonio Lozano

The Domingo Lence Promenade in Alquízar, located in the province of Artemisa, woke up this Monday to graffiti denouncing Cuban leader Miguel Díaz-Canel. The graffiti was swiftly removed by local authorities.

Photos shared by social media users confirmed the veracity of this protest action, showcasing the graffiti with slogans such as “Down with Canel!” and “Freedom,” painted in blue. One of the images highlighted the effort of an elderly man partially erasing the graffiti by scraping the wall with what appeared to be an iron file.

The pedestals of the bust and plaque dedicated to a commander from the War of Independence were used by the graffiti artist. The promenade underwent rehabilitation in 2022 after years of deterioration and issues with the underlying hydraulic network, which caused wastewater spillages and infection hotspots in the area, as acknowledged by the municipal government’s website.

“This is how the Promenade in Alquízar, Artemisa province wakes up. After long blackouts, the people express their discontent with Díaz-Canel’s dictatorship,” noted another user who shared additional images of the graffiti.

In early April, another anti-Díaz-Canel message appeared on the wall of a house in Santiago de Cuba, just three weeks after massive protests in the city. Independent journalist Yosmany Mayeta Labrada reported that the event occurred near the central Plaza de Marte, an iconic public space in the eastern city. He shared a brief video showing a portion of the graffiti being covered with dark paint.

In mid-March, a large anti-Díaz-Canel graffiti appeared in Matanzas after an intense day of protests on Sunday, March 17. A photo sent to CiberCuba by an anonymous collaborator displayed the extensive graffiti on the wall of the popular Playa del Tenis viaduct in Matanzas. Activists had painted “Díaz-Canel singao” on the wall. It appears that other slogans were erased or repainted by the police and other regime enforcers. The following day, authorities held a “revolutionary support act” at the site to demonstrate “their fervent support for the Revolution and Socialism.”

The incident occurred in the early hours of a Monday, just hours after a massive protest in the town of Cárdenas, Matanzas, where locals took to the streets banging pots and pans, joining protests that erupted in several Cuban cities that Sunday.

Graffiti against Díaz-Canel, who is also the First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), frequently appears in Cuba during periods of significant public discontent, typically linked to blackouts, widespread shortages, and unjust repression.

Coincidentally, these three pieces of graffiti mentioned in this article all appeared on Monday mornings following weekends of blackouts that pushed millions of Cubans to their limit.

Anti-Díaz-Canel Graffiti in Cuba: Key Questions Answered

Given the rising frequency of anti-Díaz-Canel graffiti in Cuba, here are some essential questions and answers that provide further context and understanding of these acts of protest.

Why are anti-Díaz-Canel graffiti appearing in Cuba?

These graffiti acts are a form of protest against the regime of Miguel Díaz-Canel, often triggered by widespread discontent due to issues like blackouts, shortages, and repression.

How do the authorities respond to anti-government graffiti?

Authorities typically act quickly to remove the graffiti and often stage public displays of support for the government, portraying an image of unity and loyalty to the regime.

What other forms of protest are common in Cuba?

Besides graffiti, protests in Cuba often include public demonstrations, such as banging pots and pans, and mass gatherings in public spaces to voice discontent.

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