Thursday, August 5, 2010

Does history repeat itself? The August 5 Cuban uprising 16 years later

"16 years ago today the events known as the Maleconazo occurred. A turning point in the national history." - Yoani Sanchez, August 5 2010

August 5, 1994 in Cuba was another day in a summer of blackouts, economic hardship, and despair. Less than a month earlier on July 13 the dictatorship had carried out a massacre in which 37 Cubans were murdered that outraged those who learned about it. However this day would be remembered differently because it was the day that thousands of Cubans took to the streets and were met by the dictatorship's shock troops.

Yoani Sanchez twitted about it today where she described how: "The majority of hits during the Maleconazo fell on my neighbors in Central Habana, defenseless people on one side and shock troops on the other."

State Security with gun in hand preparing to fire into the crowd

16 years ago it was a mass uprising that led to minor economic reforms that lasted until the worse of the crisis was over now the cycle repeats itself, but this time in reaction to popular discontent combined with the death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo and the steady and persistent protests of the Ladies in White.

Sanchez continued twitting on how "the Maleconazo forced the government to make economic openings, but political reforms never arrived. Cafeterias were founded but not newspapers." Nevertheless later on many of the cafeterias were shutdown.

Will history repeat itself or will the opposition be ready to press for political reforms alongside economic reforms and finally bring change to Cuba?

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