July 11 was an extraordinary day in Cuba. Thousands of people poured into the streets, to protest the dictatorship that rules them. Mass protests are very rare in Cuba. Any kind of protest is dangerous.
In August 1994, there was a significant protest, known as the “Maleconazo uprising.” (The name comes from the Malecón, the seaside thoroughfare in Havana.) In the end, some 35,000 Cubans left on rafts or anything else that might float. They were known as the balseros, or “boat people” (a name we applied to Vietnamese refugees, too).
But Cuba had never seen protests on the scale of those …
This article appears as “Cuba Quakes” in the August 16, 2021, print edition of National Review.
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