CubaBrief: Columnist answers question “Is Havana weaponizing migration?” Sources on claim nonviolence beats violence. State Dept sanctions Castro regime officials.

When Cubans fled through Costa Rica to the United States in 2015.

On November 27, 2021 CubaBrief asked the question: “Is Havana weaponizing migration?” Fabiola Santiago in her column “Cuba pulls the exodus card to push Biden to the bargaining table. Don’t fall for it” in the Miami Herald today answers the question raised.

“By land and sea, the Cuban regime is unearthing its exodus playbook and opening venues for discontented Cubans to leave the pressure-cooker island, now under more brutal repression than usual following historic protests.”

She warns the Biden Administration not to fall for the trap that others have fallen into, but this requires facing the regime for what it is, and getting to the bottom of the “Havana Syndrome” and what happened to over 40 U.S. diplomats that suffered neurological injuries.

Cuban activists, left to right, Oswaldo Paya, Andres Regis Iglesias and Antonio Diaz in 2002 Associated Press

Yesterday, the Miami Herald published an OpEd authored by Regis Iglesias of the Christian Liberation Movement, and John Suarez of the Center for a Free Cuba that provided some highlights of the nonviolent resistance movement in Cuba, and made the case that nonviolence has a better track record then violence in transitioning to democracy from brutal dictatorships.

“Strategic studies have demonstrated that the more brutal the regime, the less effective and successful violent movements are. Counterintuitively, nonviolent movements have been more successful in overthrowing brutal dictators and transitioning to lasting democracies.”

The above claim requires a hyperlink to provide at least one of the studies, the most exhaustive one, that backs up this fantastic claim authored by Professors Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan in 2008 that was turned into a book in 2012 that is available on Amazon titled “Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict (Columbia Studies in Terrorism and Irregular Warfare).” An older and still important work is Gene Sharp’s “The Role of Power in Non-violent Struggle” that also makes the above case, and the entire book is available for free online.

Cuban dissidents made the decision 45 years ago to pursue a nonviolent strategy and through it they have been “better able to mobilize citizens to demand change and obtain global solidarity and sanctions” that is punishing individuals and entities in the Castro regime that have violated human rights. The goal of isolating the regime internationally has not yet been achieved but the Christian Liberation Movement is pushing for 11 measures to achieve that goal using nonviolent means, and the Center for a Free Cuba and the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation have called for Magnitsky legislation to be applied against Miguel Diaz-Canel for his criminal actions made visible during the 11J protests in Cuba.

The Biden State Department on November 30, 2021 announced new sanctions against nine Cuban officials involved in repression around the 15N protests in Cuba. Further evidence that nonviolent resistance achieves measurable results, but it also means that citizens have a lot to work to do, and civic leaders need to develop sound strategies to implement nonviolent change.

Miami Herald, December 1, 2021

Cuba pulls the exodus card to push Biden to the bargaining table. Don’t fall for it | Opinion

By Fabiola Santiago Updated December 01, 2021 6:31 AM

By land and sea, the Cuban regime is unearthing its exodus playbook and opening venues for discontented Cubans to leave the pressure-cooker island, now under more brutal repression than usual following historic protests. The latest ploy is an arrangement with the Cuba-friendly, strongman-led government of Nicaragua, which has lifted visa requirements for Cubans. The regime announced the relaxation on national media for viral effect — and the results are thousands of U.S.-bound Cubans trekking through Central America without legal passage on their way to the U.S. southern border.

[ Full article here ]

The Miami Herald, November 30, 2021

Nonviolent resistance has a history of success in combating repression in Cuba | Opinion

By Regis Iglesias Ramírez and John Suarez

November 30, 2021 6:35 PM

In 2010, members of the Ladies in White make an “L” (for “liberation”) with their fingers as they march in Havana to demand the release of political prisoners. ADALBERTO ROQUE AFP/Getty Images

Grassroots movements in Cuba have fought for liberty for decades, mobilizing Cubans to defend human rights and freedom. The July 11 nationwide protests marked a historic moment, but they did not arise from nowhere.

In November 2020, hundreds of artists mobilized outside of the Ministry of Culture in a 15-day effort to free political prisoner Denis Solís González. They demanded both his release and greater artistic freedoms.

[ Full article ]

U.S. State Department, November 30, 2021

Announcement of Visa Restrictions Against Cuban Officials

Press Statement

Antony J. Blinken, Secretary of State

November 30, 2021

In the wake of the Cuban regime’s actions targeting peaceful demonstrators on November 15, the Department of State has imposed visa restrictions on nine Cuban officials implicated in attempts to silence the voices of the Cuban people through repression and unjust detentions. The Department implemented these targeted actions pursuant to Presidential Proclamation 5377, which suspends nonimmigrant entry into the United States of officers and employees of the Cuban government.  These nine individuals include high-ranking members of the Ministries of the Interior and the Revolutionary Armed Forces.

In the days preceding November 15, the Cuban regime bullied activists with government-sponsored mobs, confined journalists and opposition members to their homes, revoked journalists’ credentials to suppress freedom of the press, and arbitrarily detained Cuban citizens who attempted to peacefully protest. The designated individuals today took action to deny Cubans their rights to free expression and peaceful assembly.  The rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly are universal.

These visa restrictions advance our goal of supporting the Cuban people and promoting accountability not only for regime leaders but also for officials who enable the regime’s assaults on democracy and human rights.  The United States continues to use all our diplomatic and economic tools to push for the release of political prisoners and to support the Cuban people’s call for greater freedoms and accountability.