JULY 11, 2022: “One year after 11-J”

Below is an article by the Cuban journalist,  Rosa Miriam Elizalde, published in CUBADEBATE and other media outlets.

“July 11 will mark one year since the riots in Cuba made headlines around the world. Anger then skyrocketed with the explosive mix of effects of the pandemic, Donald Trump's suffocating sanctions that Joe Biden kept intact in the midst of a global health emergency, the accumulated social problems, the economic crisis, the inclement temperatures in the insular summer ... The systemic and prolonged attack on the daily life of Cubans paid off and the 48 hours in which acts of vandalism were concatenated in several cities of the country generated rivers of ink and the forecast that the revolution would collapse, now yes earlier than later.

But the aftershocks of July 11 have not occurred, nor does the government of Miguel Díaz-Canel show signs of exhaustion, as the doomsayers from the north predicted. In fact, the opposite has happened. It is Washington that shows signs of weakness and isolation, judging by the Summit of the Americas, which ended in monumental failure after the Biden administration tried to exclude three countries, Cuba among them.

There are multiple factors that triggered the surprise protests a year ago on the island and many others that explain why they have not been repeated until today, despite the sanctions and the wear and tear of daily life, which continue with equal intensity, or perhaps they are more oppressive now. But the heroism of normality in Cuba does not generate headlines. The media has stopped looking at what is happening on the island and only the underworld of social platforms remains, constantly sending out apocalyptic signals through disinformation warfare.

If there is a dark area of ​​the events of July 11 and 12, 2021 in Cuba, it is that of the responsibility of the US platforms. The role they played in this story and the speed with which they managed to spread hatred and create microclimates that catalyzed the riots is relevant.

They went beyond the insidious attempt to divide people, which hardly anyone questions when it comes to social media anymore. The complicity of Facebook (now Meta), Google and Twitter has not only been expressed to date in terms of the permissibility of hate speech when it comes to the Havana government, but also in laxity in the face of the wave of anti-government propaganda produced by geolocated users. off the island.

Journalist Alan MacLeod of MintPress News, who infiltrated one of the groups that organized the protests a year ago, documented the involvement of foreign nationals in the supposed local online communities that fueled the protests. His investigation showed that American citizens intervened “in the internal affairs of Cuba, to a level that can hardly be conceived in the United States, and even the staunchest defenders of Russiagate refrain from claiming that the Russians directly planned the George Floyd protests or the insurrection of January 6, 2021 in Washington.

As the assault on Capitol Hill that is currently being examined in the United States Congress has shown, in certain cases of political crimes the transmission belt between hate speech and action is evident. As is also the ideological connection between the anti-Cuban extremism in Florida and the Trumpist far-right, very inclined towards the cave and the obscurantism, which still speaks of electoral fraud, insults Democratic politicians and amplifies any distorted account of reality. conform to your prejudices.

Disinformation operations in the United States are a ticking time bomb, an argument used by investors associated with the Democratic Party to suddenly acquire 18 Hispanic radio stations in Florida.

This is the culmination of a debate that began long before the 2020 elections, when a congresswoman requested an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation to determine the degrees of disinformation in the Spanish-language media in Miami, which extended to social platforms and messaging chats, particularly WhatsApp.  At the same time, The New Yorker described "how pro-Trump disinformation influenced the new generation of Cuban-American voters", with the creation of fanatical communities that reject any critical thinking and resort to incendiary rhetoric that does not recognize differences between the politics of Joseph Biden and that of Miguel Díaz-Canel.

One year after 3/11 we are at the same point, in terms of war propaganda. The conceptual framework is the permanent threat to Cuba, but the hatred is distributed equally on both sides of the Florida Straits.”

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