The return of the spokesman of the Cuban regime Humberto López to the Star Newscast of Cuban Television last Friday, August 12 has left more questions than answers. This, taking into account that the information provided there is full of dark areas.
The purpose of the journalist’s television commentary that with more constancy it has served State Security to attack and discredit independent civil society groups that the regime made its priority objective as of 2020 (namely the San Isidro Movement, 27N and the Archipelago platform), was denouncing an attack with a Molotov cocktail against a store in Havana.
According to the also member of the Central Committee of the Communist Party since April 2021, Two individuals launched a homemade incendiary device against a store of the Caribe chain in the Lawton neighborhoodin the Havana municipality of Diez de Octubre.
But the real objective of the television commentary was not to report on the facts, if you take into account that López highlighted two issues in his story. One: the millimetric description of each one of the steps of the alleged aggressors between the place of the attack and their arrest, “in less than an hour”, as he underlined. Two: the alleged organization of the attack from abroad and by “youtubers” whose identity he did not specify.
According to López, one of the commissioners of the launch of the incendiary device lives in the US and has traveled to the island 20 times between 2015 and the present. This was enough for him to ensure that these kinds of actions are organized and paid for by figures who, from social networks, call on Cubans to demonstrate against the regime.
The images that López showed did not show any damage to the attacked store, but rather the effects of a similar attack on the Archive of the People’s Court of the municipality of Centro Habanawhich was denounced by the authorities last weekend and had been reported by independent media at the beginning of the month.
Among so much evidence, the spokesman even avoided revealing the identity of the detainees or showing the license plate of the car they used. Nor did he explain why the alleged criminals only had one bottle ready to carry out their act, which is why they had to stop a few blocks later to prepare new Molotov cocktails, he said.
The journalist who manages the most information on the regime’s State Security did put as much emphasis as possible on ensuring that the surveillance and repression apparatus for which he works “knows everything.”
“We, I’m going to be honest, we have much more information,” López said near the end of his speech. “Information connecting individuals in Cuba with terrorists abroad.”
And he specified: “I’m going to give you an example: I met someone. That someone has been in contact for months, months with one of those youtubers that we saw there. We have the messages, we have the calls, we have the actions that they indicated from abroad, We have the receipts for the payment of the cards, of what he received for each of the actions”.
“Furthermore, I was with him one of the times he was contacted. With his consent, we filmed him while he was following the instructions. Before sending the photos to one of those we saw, he and I together made up a story about the place where We were. We lied to him all the time (…) and finally the page of one of them from abroad published the action and transferred the money to the card of the one who was with me, “he concluded proudly.
At this point, López’s story opens up a huge question: what if everything he told us was, as he and his alleged friend did, a staged play? What if the attack on the store came from the same bag as the throwing of stones at hospitals that the regime denounced during 11J to criminalize peaceful protest, and of which we never saw any evidence? What if we were facing another action concocted by State Security itself as the most routine false flag operation to divert attention from a larger problem?
That problem, which Humberto López did not mention, is the increase in Cuba of violent actions against State facilities. In just ten days, official entities have recognized the fire and sabotage against two ranches, one in Holguín and the other in Pinar del Río, and against the aforementioned archive.
And one last question: What if the cinematographic story of Humberto López is nothing more than a smoke screen to define the narrative that best suits the regime? In other words: the fires and premeditated attacks, the posters against the regime that appear daily in public areas, the cacerolazos every night in dozens of cities are not the result of Cubans getting fed up with the authorities, but simple and pure manipulation exercised by “unscrupulous elements” residing abroad.
The Cuban regime has always sought to deny any possibility of sovereignty of action to the people. When they take to the streets it is because they are moved by desperation (provoked, of course, by “foreign domination plans”); pure and simple ambition (“they are paid agents at the service of a power”); or deception.
The text published by another spokesman and official of the Cuban regime, Iroel Sánchez, on the Arabic channel Al Mayadeen on Tuesday points to this. Referring to the events reported by López on television, he says: “The truth is that, as always, the support for such terrorist actions inside Cuba is so great that people have to be paid and sent from abroad to carry them out, and No matter how much money and enthusiasm are spent, always originating from the coffers of Uncle Sam, Havana and the Island in general continue to exhibit a tranquility and security that are the envy of Miami itself and of most Latin American cities.”
Unfortunately for Sánchez and López, every night the streets of Cuba show the opposite and no official media outlet speaks about it. Because to recognize that people have drawn strength from their despair to rebel, or worse, that the repression exerted by the regime against its people has become a boomerang, would be to admit its failure to confuse, intimidate and silence.