During the last decade, Cuba’s new military oligarchy carried out a quiet coup d’etat against the legal foundations of the communist regime, promoting a gradual transition that has transformed the totalitarian communist state ─endorsed by the Constitution─ into a totalitarian mafia state. The unmistakable abandonment of the communist pledge to cover the basic needs of the citizens ─including medical care, in the peak of the pandemic─ became even more evident with a disastrous monetary reshuffle called Tarea Ordenamiento, which concurred with a surge of the dictatorship’s repression.

The “soft coup” has already happened. It was carried out by an oligarchic military elite

A new mafia elite has sequestered the dictatorial powers granted to the Communist Party by Article 5 of the Constitution. It has dislodged the leadership institutions of the party and even of the State – Political Bureau, Council of State – from wielding any power, de facto replacing them with a military troika under their control (GAESA / MININT / FAR).

If Article 4 of the Constitution were applied ─which gives citizens a mandate to resist, even by taking up arms, any attempt to change the “socialist” system–, then the citizenry, and even the National Assembly would be required to arrest the officials and commanders of this troika for high treason.

Then, the unexpected happened: the Cuban people became fed up, and after staging more than two thousand public protests in the first half of 2021, on July 11 (11-J) they came out on the streets, in a massive, nationwide revolt. Now the power elite intends to crush a peaceful march for change called for November 15. After more than six decades of proclaiming itself a victim of external aggression, the Cuban State faces the people of Cuba as its worst enemy.

A dirty war against the Cuban people

Taking advantage of the time frame that a transparent and public call to this new civic protest offers, the mafia elite is now planning the details of its new offensive against the people. Miguel Díaz-Canel, a mediocre and illegitimate president of a Council of State which, like himself, does not wield any power, has proclaimed that the citizens are “confused” but the government has “enough” (sic) revolutionaries to take them on. Thus, fascist-like paramilitary groups are shamelessly shown on social networks, carrying sticks, iron bars and even rifles, consistently enough with Díaz Canel’s call on 11-J to pit some Cubans against others.

Their strategy is not political, but military. The goal is twofold: to crush the coordinators of the protests and terrorize the population, forcing a return to the idleness prior to 11-J. The military components are clear: announcing countrywide games of war that would combine paramilitary anti-riot groups coordinated by State Security with the police and the armed forces.

Active measures and psychological warfare

This counterinsurgency plan has also a component of psychological warfare. It is based on the “active measures” on which the Soviet Union’s KGB used to spend more than 80% of its budget. The purpose is to sow wrong premises in the opponents’ field, leading them to act in a way that would ensure their self-defeat.

In this direction, the State spreads rumors through agents and informants. Via its monopoly on the communication apparatus, it substitutes information for disinformation. The propaganda apparatus and the Ministry of the Interior (MININT) elaborate opinion patterns to be disseminated, while they try to assassinate the reputation of dissidents by digging out or manufacturing elements to discredit them.

Also brought into play are instruments of political and cultural warfare from the arsenals stockpiled by Havana, Moscow, Beijing and Tehran to be used in hybrid conflicts. Their various media (TR, RIA, Sputnik, Xinhua, IRNA, HISPANTV, AJN) work together to conceal from the world the magnitude, nature and significance of the Cubans’ general insubordination.

Today, no message from the State is innocent. A former official who some time ago carried out economic reforms is brought back in social media, to create the expectation that perhaps those responsible for the current disaster will be replaced. Measures and laws that had been shelved for years are suddenly approved. announcements of supposed recently discovered gold deposits are added up, that is, soon we will become infinitely wealthy and everything will be solved.

All that effort of psychological warfare can be summed up as sowing two patterns of opinion: a) do not protest on November 15, because we will be waiting for you to grind your bones and then sentence you to decades in prison, and b) it is not worth taking that risk because things are on the way to being solved.

Still, the effect of these measures runs contrary to the intended purpose: citizens are learning that only when they protest in the streets the rulers do take note of their demands and do something about them.

Despite this display of arrogance and resources, forecasts do not seem to favor the government, as noted in its October monthly report by the Cuban Conflict Observatory:

“The military oligarchy did not understand that the Civic March called for November 15 is not a rendezvous for a ‘final battle’ against  ‘the enemy’, but rather the invitation that ─complying with the due process─ Archipelago extended to them, so that they strip off as a totalitarian dictatorship in the eyes of the people and world public opinion (…) The Cuban government arrives on November 15 more discredited, weak and isolated than it already was on July 11. Whatever happens that day, they’ve already lost (…) Never shorter of symbolic capital (credibility, prestige and influence), the power they have left comes down to their monopoly over the violence apparatus, which is of little value now. As Talleyrand warned Napoleon: ‘You can do whatever you want with the bayonets, except sitting down on them.’