Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Maleconazo 2013

August 5, 1994 in Havana, Cuba during "El Maleconazo" uprising
Nineteen years ago yesterday the word "liberty" was chanted through the streets of Havana, Cuba by thousands of Cubans spontaneously gathered in protest against the dictatorship and desiring freedom.
Part of the reason that they were out there was the "13 de Marzo"tugboat massacre that had taken place less than three weeks earlier just six miles from the Malecon in Havana. Family members and survivors bravely spoke out and the news of what happened had gotten out.

Thousands of Cubans beginning in the early hours of August 5, 1994 took to the streets shouting for freedom and continued throughout the day.

Plain clothes state security aiming gun during "El Maleconazo" uprising

The response by the regime was violent repression and police shooting at unarmed civilians and beating them down with night sticks. After things were under control the dictator Fidel Castro appeared on the scene and opened the borders. Before that announcement fleeing refugees had confronted snipers and grenades.

The end result was another mass exodus of Cubans. Nineteen years later the regime, as it did in 1994, opened the gates to relieve dissatisfied Cubans and like then there is another exodus of 46,662 Cubans who migrated permanently in 2012. The report also shows that over the past five years immigrants leaving averaged over 39,000 per year. At the same time repression is on the rise and scores of Cubans have been arrested.

August 5, 1994 in Havana, Cuba during "El Maleconazo" uprising

The Cuban punk rock band Porno para Ricardo on tour through Europe recalls those days of protest and frustration in 1994 in their song "El Maleconazo". They have an official video that begins with the lead singer calling for more Maleconazos. The conditions in Cuba two decades later are ripe for another social explosion.

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