Is Cuba on the verge of a democratic spring?

The song "Patria y Vida" has provoked a libertarian climate in the Pearl of the Caribbean that cries out for the end of the communist regime and for democratic elections.

Still from the video clip 'Patria y Vida' by 'Yotuel, Gente de Zona, Descemer Bueno, El Fonky and Maykel Osorbo

In short, there is an atmosphere of unprecedented change both inside and outside the island. Photo: TW-JMVivancoHRW

LatinAmerican Post | Daniel Vargas

Listen to this article

Leer en español: ¿Está Cuba a las puertas de una primavera democrática?

Cuba is experiencing a new revolution. The song Patria y Vida by the artists Yotuel, Gente de Zona, Descemer Bueno, El Fonky and Maykel Osorbo, has injected new hope into the veins of Cubans. From the Cuban capital, the delegate of the Democracy Movement José Díaz Silva reported on March 5 that “at the moment there is tremendous excitement not only in Havana but in all the provinces: in many houses that song is played for the hearts of all Cubans ”. Every day more graffiti of "Patria y Vida"  appears on the walls and there are even people who tattoo the new motto of freedom on their arms. In short, there is an atmosphere of unprecedented change both inside and outside the Island.

Social networks are also abuzz with messages of unity. Cuba has access to high-speed internet since 2018, the year in which the regime allowed the entry of 3G. Since then, more than enough time has passed for Cubans to denounce abuses by the authorities and to express, more freely and with less fear, what they think. The Internet has strengthened the unity among Cubans.

You may also be interested: What is the Cuban economic situation during the pandemic?

On the morning of Saturday 6, with Patria y Vida blaring and shouting "Down with the communist beast, down with the dictatorship," hundreds of Cubans living in Miami went out in a caravan to claim their desire for freedom and democratic elections in Cuba. . Ramón Saúl Sánchez, president of the Democracy Movement, said that “this is the beginning of the end, because the Cubans can no longer hold out, because the dictatorship cannot be reinvented and because the old hitmen are dying or are moving aside because they are very old; It is the beginning of the new era because the youth are standing up, the intellectuals are turning to the dictatorship and when that happens, there is no way they will be saved ”.

For now, actions in favor of democracy in Cuba have been directed through diplomatic channels in an international framework. On February 26, a large group of Cuban artists and intellectuals denounced before the European Parliament the violation of human rights that the Castro regime has systematically perpetrated since its origins.

Statements and testimonies, for the most part, loaded with the pain and trauma caused by the Castros and their government to millions of Cubans, were not enough for the European ambassador to Cuba, Alberto Navarro, that sent a letter to Joe Biden in which he asked the end of the embargo on the island by the United States. After that, the High Representative for Foreign Policy of the European Union, Josep Borrell, requested the presence of Navarro in Brussels, the seat of the European Parliament, so that he could give explanations about such a decision. Later, twenty left-wing MEPs voiced their support for the ambassador, arguing that he "did not skip" the European position by writing to Biden. Simultaneously, another letter, this time was written by a group of right-wing MEPs, asked Borrel to remove Navarro for being responsible for something that, according to them, "constitutes a serious fact in a totally unfortunate and erratic line of action on what it must be the defense of the interests and values of the European Union ".

"Patria o muerte por la vida"

"Yes, you have made a mistake again / you have stepped on the wrong foot / you have left bare / your head on the scaffold". This is how "Patria o muerte por la vida" begins, the song with which Castroism has responded to the "Patria y Vida" movement.


Annie Garcés, the artist who sings this verse, also sings this other one: "it's profitable to lie and confuse the people." On her Instagram profile, however, she sports photos of leisure trips through Europe and Asia, something that most Cubans cannot dream of. The song racked up more than 84,000 dislikes in just 5 days. In fact, when Googling the phrase "worst song of 2021", the search engine returns "Patria o muerte por la vida" as a result.

Other signs of change

Last year the young Dairon Duque de Estrada publicly shouted "down with Fidel, down with Raúl, down with the CDRs (Committees for the Defense of the Revolution) and down with the police." In addition, he was without a mask and when the authorities prepared to arrest him, he offered some kind of resistance, for which he was charged with the crimes of contempt, spread of epidemics and attack.

However, the judge's ruling, issued on February 8, became an unprecedented milestone in the history of the Cuban dictatorship. Duque de Estrada was sentenced to severe prison only for the last two crimes. In other words, for the first time, a person accused of contempt was not convicted, a crime for which the Cuban penal code provides penalties of 3 months to one year in prison.