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Cuban Artists Reflect on Historic July 11 Protests: "It's Not Over"

Thursday, July 11, 2024 by Bella Nunez

Cuban Artists Reflect on Historic July 11 Protests: "It's Not Over"
Repression of the July 11, 2021 protesters - Image by © Facebook/Marcos Évora

Several Cuban artists abroad have come together to commemorate the historic protests of July 11, 2021, by posting messages of support and demanding justice for political prisoners still held by the regime. The Pichy Boys reminded their Instagram followers that three years ago, "Cubans overcame their fear, and for a few hours, we all witnessed what a united people can achieve in the streets." They also mentioned that it was one of the days they felt "most proud to be Cuban" and added, "I dream of the day my brothers lose their fear again. The next time Cuba takes to the streets, it will be definitive."

They warned that the issues that sparked the massive protests on July 11 persist, such as the lack of freedom, hunger, poverty, blackouts, and other hardships the people endure. "Neither the beatings nor the repression can kill the freedom that lives in the people's soul," comedian Andy Vázquez, known as Facundo Vivir del Cuento, wrote on Facebook. "Tick tock, tick tock, it's just a matter of time!" He also expressed a sentiment shared by many Cuban immigrants, saying it is a source of pride to see their children and grandchildren grow up knowing that "Cuba was free on July 11."

Singer Leoni Torres highlighted the significance of that day in history on Instagram: "July 11, a day I will never forget." On the same social media platform, other artists have also voiced their thoughts. Randy Malcom, in his Instagram stories, stated: "Never forget." Meanwhile, Yotuel posted an image of Luis Manuel Otero and Maykel Osorbo with a powerful message: "Freedom for Cuba from communism. July 11 is not over," emphasizing the ongoing desire of the people to break free from the dictatorship.

Singer Baby Lores shared the music video for the song "Libertad y amén," which he collaborated on with Descemer Bueno, El Insurrecto, Amaury Guitérrez, Eddy K, Yanet 'Trueno' Aguilera, and El Uniko. The song pays tribute to "the Cuba of Celia" and calls on the Cuban people "to stand up and fight as a brotherhood" against the injustice they've suffered for more than six decades.

The video features poignant images of repression and the suffering of the Cuban people, including scenes of rafters fleeing Cuba, protests from the early years of Fidel Castro's regime to the more recent San Isidro Movement and the Obispo demonstration, whose participants remain imprisoned. It also shows dilapidated buildings, long lines, divided families, the victims of the 13th of March tugboat massacre, images of the Mariel exodus, the indoctrination of children, and recent scenes of police violence against artists and activists.

This July 11 marks three years since the historic protests for Cuba's freedom. In the early days of summer 2021, Cubans took to the streets in many parts of the country, fed up with a life of sacrifice, scarcity, and endurance. Of the 1,500 people detained for peacefully defending their dream of freedom, 600 protesters remain imprisoned.

Among those still in prison are leaders of the San Isidro Movement, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and Maykel Osorbo, as well as Unpacu's José Daniel Ferrer. The organization Prisoners Defenders (PD) released an unprecedented video this Wednesday that not only proves the innocence and arbitrary detention of Cuban-German political prisoner Luis Frómeta Compte, accused of sedition following the July 12 protests in La Güinera, Havana, but also exonerates the protesters by confirming their innocence.

The footage, published on YouTube, clearly shows Frómeta peacefully and courteously dialoguing with the police while they threw stones and fired at the frightened peaceful protesters.

Key Questions About the July 11 Protests in Cuba

Given the significance of the July 11 protests and the ongoing issues in Cuba, here are some key questions and answers that provide more insight into the situation.

What sparked the July 11 protests in Cuba?

The July 11 protests were sparked by widespread discontent with the lack of freedom, hunger, poverty, blackouts, and other hardships faced by the Cuban people.

How many protesters are still imprisoned from the July 11 protests?

Out of the 1,500 people detained during the July 11 protests, 600 protesters remain imprisoned.

Who are some of the notable figures still imprisoned from the protests?

Notable figures still imprisoned include leaders of the San Isidro Movement, Luis Manuel Otero Alcántara and Maykel Osorbo, as well as Unpacu's José Daniel Ferrer.

What is the significance of the video released by Prisoners Defenders?

The video released by Prisoners Defenders proves the innocence and arbitrary detention of Cuban-German political prisoner Luis Frómeta Compte and exonerates the protesters by confirming their peaceful actions.

© CubaHeadlines 2024

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