Today is July 26, known in Cuba as “el 26 de Julio.” The date is sacred on the communist island: political parties, streets, schools and neighborhoods carry its name.
It’s the day the Cuban government celebrates the birth of the 1959 Cuban revolution, the anniversary of Fidel Castro’s 1953 failed attack on the Moncada Barracks, his first salvo against the government of President Fulgencio Batista.
The Cuban government usually marks the anniversary with street rallies, speeches and celebrations.
Will the regime do it this year? Doubt it.
The irony this year is that another revolution appears to be brewing on the island. Just two weeks ago, Cubans took to the streets calling for an end to government repression, and food and medical-supply shortages. The protests attracted international attention, Miami support and calls for U.S. intervention or, at least, internet access to Cubans.
It’s obvious Cubans are in no mood to hail their leaders, the government or the revolution. Any street gathering could turn into something totally different than anticipated.
Since the protesters took to the streets, the Castro-inspired regime has scared its citizens into staying indoors, curtailed their internet and cellphone service and threatened jail for speaking out against the government. Those life-affirming cries for change, Patria y Vida, have really gotten under President Miguel Díaz-Canel’s skin.
It’s a different story in Miami and Washington D.C.
On Monday, a group of Cubans gathered near the White House as part of the first wave of demonstrators who arrived in Washington on Sunday from Miami, Jersey and Texas.
They want to appeal to President Biden to do more to support the Cuban people.
Tonight in Miami, there will be a Freedom Vigil to continue showing support for those on the island fighting for a free Cuba at the Hialeah Park Racing & Casino.
And Trump attorney and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani was scheduled to appear at one of the rallies.
Let’s see how the rest of the day goes in Cuba.