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Cuba: A Longing for Something Beyond the Material

Commentary It’s one of the most arresting of the videos leaked out of Cuba on July 11, the day that tens of thousands of people all over the island took to the streets and spread the word on social media in a massive anti-government protest—the first since Fidel Castro seized power and set up a communist dictatorship in Cuba more than 60 years ago. The video, which can be seen on Instagram, comes from Bejucal, a town of 25,000 nine miles southwest of Havana. The protesters, mostly young people, chant “libertad!” (“liberty!”) over and over in rhythm and raise their fists. Leading them is a young Catholic priest in a black cassock. He holds aloft a statue of Our Lady of Charity, an image of the Madonna wearing a gilded cloak and holding the child Jesus, who is the official patron saint of Cuba. The protest as seen in the …

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