A COMPLEX WEEK FOR CUBAZUELA

 This week promises to
be very interesting on developments in Cubazuela.  Next Saturday, February 23rd, international
humanitarian aid for the Venezuelan people is scheduled to enter the country
through various means and locations. In Cuba, the following day, a fraudulent
referendum on a "new constitution" will be held, aiming to inherit
the successors of Raul Castro a “legal” framework designed to justify the
perpetuation of his totalitarian regime.

 But as Raúl Castro
and the Cuban power elite get to that point, the collapse of Cubazuela comes
closer, so they become more nervous. Yet nervousness is a bad adviser. It
induces humans to make mistakes.

 Despite the efforts
to conceal it, they are aware in Havana that Maduro doesn't have much more time
left in power. They know that after the collapse of Cubazuela -their crown-jewel
colonial enclave in South America- the crimes and acts of corruption of which
the Cuban occupation forces are fully co-responsible will come out in the open.

 That is why, and not
only to keep the oil supply and the drug trade running, they advise Maduro to
launch a bloodbath, intent on aborting the arrival of international aid and
suffocate the current uprising. Bad advice. Such a misstep can guarantee Maduro
and his claque a retirement at Guantanamo Bay –in the words of US National
Security Advisor John Bolton-. That is, if he does not end in an unmarked grave
somewhere in Venezuela. The indictments are ready, and so are the alternatives.

 Times have
changed.  And indeed, this also applies
to Cuba, On the island, technological advances have disrupted the State's
monopoly on media (dis) information. There are millions of cell phones now, and
a fledgling  independent press,  ordinary Cubans can easily find out
"what the State don't want them to learn" and public protests have
been growing  bigger, louder and more
open.

 The episode of the
citizens of Regla yelling "shameless" and "liar" in the
face of the Cuban president , and the fact that the dictatorship has had to
display a delirious propaganda campaign to support the “Yes” vote at the
constitutional referendum serves as a thermometer showing the high temperature
the Cuban social-political boiler has reached.  

 Raúl Castro is too
old and he was never too bright. He believes that repressing a few dozen
activists will instill fear in millions of Cubans who reject his constitutional
project. He just can't metabolize the new reality and continues to act with his
typical Jurassic style.

 The internal impact
of the repressive show mounted with 200 security minions against UNPACU
headquarters and 13 other activists’ homes, has not changed the citizens’
growing willingness to vote NO next February 24.  If he hoped to frighten the population,
perhaps he achieved exactly the opposite. Plus the international reaction to
that stupid action obviously "surprised" the General.

 The world learned
about it not from Prensa Latina or Granma, but from the independent press and
Senator Marco Rubio, who quickly and sharply announced that "more
sanctions against the Castro regime are coming".  Luis Almagro, Secretary General of the OAS;
the US ambassador to the OAS Carlos Trujillo, and the US embassy in Havana,
described the show of force as a "cowardly" attack on the defenseless
and non-violent activists.

 At the same time,
Secretary General Almagro told the Spanish newspaper ABC that "Cuba is
responsible for repression and torture in Venezuela, and the Cubans in charge
are financed by Venezuela’s money laundering". The president of Colombia,
Iván Duque, revealed that "part of the decisions for the ELN terrorist
attack in Bogota, which took the lives of 22 young cadets, were taken in
Havana", and he again demanded the Castro regime to surrender those
murderers.  They live in Cuba, protected
by the Castro and Díaz-Canel regime.

At the OAS, a panel of legal experts concluded that the new
Cuban Constitution is an "ideological document, not based on the rule of
law". In other words: that it is not a Constitution, but a dogmatic,
undemocratic program.

 Still, with Maduro at
Miraflores Palace, the pressure that is beginning to be exerted onto Havana’s
totalitarian regime is the heaviest they have experienced in decades.
Considering their primitive logic, that might lead them to make major tactical
and strategic mistakes.

 We’ll see how many,
and which ones they make in the week ahead.

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The Foundation for Human Rights in Cuba (FHRC) is a 501c3 nongovernmental organization established to empower Cuban Civil Society in its struggle to build a free and democratic Cuba