Miguel Ángel Betancourt Leguen

* 1992

  • “Today's youth in Cuba feel imprisoned. Today the youth that is the mainstay of tomorrow, youth has no goal. Dreams, I think that in this society dreams do not exist, goals, purposes. That is why there were on the 11th [July 11, 2021, also known as 11J] these demonstrations, the young people for the street. "For you, is there any illegitimacy of these people who left, do you think it was something that was wrong"? No, no, I think not on the 11th. This had to happen much, much, much, much sooner. You know, because we are in decline, the governments do not realize what is happening”.

  • “I have seen exactly that in Moncada and Pinto [cities in Guantánamo province]. There are times that I have gone to the market, it is over there, there is a market over there in La Punta. And traveling there I have seen it. Some trucks that unload all that feces from the province, I think, the entire province of Guantánamo, unload it directly into the river. ´Is there a difference in the sewage that comes out of a house that reaches a corner and a latrine that fills up in a concentrated time? Does all that go to the river? It goes to the river, and as I told you, in this whole area there have always been fishermen, this fish that comes out of the river, what level of contamination will it have? And I tell you that the fish reaches society, because the fishermen sell it. They cut fillets and sell packages of fish fillets, without knowing, unconsciously, without knowing what degree of contamination this fish that is sold there has. It's crazy, because unconsciously, they themselves don't know what they're doing."

  • “It has always been a violent neighborhood [the Caoba neighborhood in the city of Guantánamo]. Always, from that time, to the present. Always has been. I'll tell you one thing, a downtown neighborhood, a downtown neighborhood, where there are doctors, teachers, engineers, I think the violence is low level, because people are on another level. But a marginal neighborhood, where you have to treat, you have to survive, you understand, I think that the violence, the level, will always be super high. I tell you, at that time a few Americans were killed here.”

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    Cuba, 05.08.2021

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Other people have already taken care of destroying our Cuba. But as a young person, what one wants is to build.

Betancourt Leguen Miguel Ángel, 2021
Betancourt Leguen Miguel Ángel, 2021
photo: Post Bellum

Miguel Ángel Betancourt Leguen is an artistic and environmental activist from Cuba, belonging to the group of young generators of citizen awareness about the social, economic and political situation on the island. Within the cultural organization “La Médula de Cuba y su Fábrica de Arte” he serves as one of the spokespersons for the campaign “Save the Guaso River”, a very important river for the region and the people of Guantánamo, however, highly polluted by fecal waste and provincial garbage. Miguel Ángel uses his talent as activist to promote the river sanitation initiative, among other initiatives within the political-social context in Cuba. Miguel Ángel participates in opposition activities against the communist government, he knows the problem well, since throughout his life he has lived in the city of Guantánamo, within the marginal neighborhood called Caoba, affected by violence, corruption or arbitrary processes from of the Cuban regime.