Monday, June 6, 2011

Recalling Tiananmen in Cuba

Tiananmen Square, June 4, 1989.

Praises of Chinese socialism have appeared with greater frequency in the Cuban press over the last few years.

The city buses that cruise the capital, the merchandise sold in hard-currency stores and the modern cars driven by military officers and state leaders are virtually all produced in China.

The media reports to us ordinary Cubans about the relations that are being established between the government of our country and that of the Asian giant.

These small details were enough to allow predictions on how the Cuban media would cover the actions that were commemorated around the world on June 4.

Twenty-two years have passed since the events of Tiananmen Square yet we can still note an embarrassing silence here on the island.

The Communist Party of Cuba (though I would prefer to be mistaken) seconded the position of the Chinese Communist Party (PCCh) in treating what happened in that plaza as an “inappropriate” issue.

Because of this, millions of Cubans went along with that assessment without knowing the true position of the government and party in China, which has become an economic partner with Cuba.

On June 4, 1989, that now world-famous square was the witness of a massacre where even today it’s impossible to conclude the true toll of the dead and wounded.

The Chinese government gave the order to dissolve a demonstration of an estimated hundred thousand protesters, the majority students and workers.

The method used for putting an end to the protest: armed soldiers and tanks.

At Tiananmen Square the demonstrators requested the removal of corrupt rulers, freedom of the press, freedom of expression and free association, the end of the layoffs in factories and inflation, among other demands.

The method used for protesting was the hunger strike.

The only response given was a hail of bullets.

China just signed a letter of intent to redo a Cuban oil refinery. Business is business even for"communists"

The demonstrators were branded as counter-revolutionaries, criminals or agent provocateurs of the Western capitalist governments.

On several occasions those who were protesting sang the words of The International, recognized as the hymn of communism.
From this fact one could conclude that they were not aiming to renounce socialism.

But that wasn’t enough, as orders were given to squeeze the triggers.

Remembering the events in Tiananmen is a duty of all those on the left who are fighting against bureaucratic and totalitarian regimes around the world – those structures of individuals who attempt to smother people’s participation and leadership by perpetuating themselves in power at whatever the cost.

Daisy Valera  

Source: Havana Times

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