Patria Y Vida


Original Size: 30in x 20in

1 in stock


On July 11, 2021 thousands of Cubans in many locations across the island took to the streets in the largest protests since communism took over the island.

They carried signs and shouted slogans such as liberty, down with the dictatorship, we are not afraid but the most popular was Patria Y Vida.

Patria Y Vida ( homeland and life ) is a spoof on Fidel Castro’s slogan of Patria O Muerte ( homeland or death ) which was also seen by many as a threat meaning defend the revolution or we may kill you, it was another way to strike fear and keep people in line.

As people marched down the streets with their fists in the air and shouting they were joined by more and more people and soon reporters and photographers took notice and began to film and report on the events.

The regime responded by shutting off the internet and electricity. The dictator went on television and said that he was calling on all communists to hit the streets and bust some heads ( on the mostly peaceful crowds ). Reporters, photographers, and youtubers were among those beaten and arrested.

Five buses of young men from the military school were seen dismounting the buses carrying sticks and clubs these were in plainclothes and were fanning out to attack the crowds. Police and the dictator’s shock troops, the boinas negras ( black berets ) were soon out in numbers and beating and sometimes killing people at will.

Boinas negras were seen on youtube beating a teenager to death as he lay on the sidewalk trying to shield the blows. An associated press reporter was beaten and arrested. A youtube video of a father who was merely walking with his daughter and claimed he was beaten for no reason.

A subsequent regime press conference claimed that most of the protesters were actually “pro-regime” and that the whole thing had been orchestrated by the CIA.

Hundreds or perhaps thousands of people were arrested and quickly convicted in show trials. People were held incommunicado and forced to say that they support the regime to knock years off their sentences.  Some people’s whereabouts are unknown.

This painting represents the events of that day and the sentiments felt.

Additional information

Weight 18 lbs
Dimensions 30 × 2 × 20 in


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