Photo from Cubaencuentro: Police violence in Havana
This article was written by Luis Felipe Rojas and published on the digital newspaper, Cubaencuentro.
Little time has passed since the conclusion of the VI Cuban Communist Party Congress, and now very few have faith in those promises. In the spectrum known as Social Political, the government does nothing to truly set these reforms in motion.
The general-president, Raul Castro, has made reference to the prohibition of entering and exiting the country as “prohibitions and regulations issued during another moment of the revolutionary process”, to mask that judicial monstrosity that is the exit (or entrance) permit of the country. However, nothing is said about the prohibition of traveling freely within the national territory.
What does the local press say about the new flourishing police check points, which were eliminated from the site of human rights inspectors which visited the island during the end of the 80’s? Nothing. If anything, a random local newspaper will refer to them but as “revolutionary measures” taken to impede the growth of the black market.
On innumerable occasions Cuban dissidents have denounced the prohibitions of entering or exiting their own provinces. Jorge Luis Garcia Perez (Antunez) has a police vehicle permanently stationed at the corner of his block in the central municipality of Placetas, Villa Clara. In the police control check point of Rio Frio, at the entrance of Guantanamo, there is a list with names, photos, and political references of nearly a hundred political dissidents in order to keep them from coming in, or getting out, of the city. According to Rolando Rodriguez Lobaina, member of the illegal Eastern Democratic Alliance, the list is activated or dis-activated depending on specific orders from the political police on significant dates or days in which it is presumed that there will be popular protests.
The beatings carried out against various female dissidents (coming from Moa, Holguin, and Palma Soriano) in Santiago de Cuba during the past month, with the objective of keeping them from assisting mass being held in Catholic churches like the Sanctuary of El Cobre or the Cathedral of the province, proves that the government is the one that drowns its own citizens in a sea of illegality.
Which judicial tools does the National Revolutionary Police hide behind in order to surround the homes of dissidents, blocking off entrances, in order to prevent them from participating in commemorative acts convoked by themselves, but patriotic nonetheless?
One would have to search through Law 88 (or the Gag Law) to try to find out what it is about placing flowers under a statue of Jose Marti, or carrying out a public event in a park, or a meeting in one’s own living room, that constitutes an attempt against national security.
In regards to the promises of reforming the socialist legislation in terms of migratory issues, the general-president cheers on his supporters and gives them the right to defend the 50 year long project.
“This street belongs to Fidel”, or its derivatives like “the streets and universities are for revolutionaries” catalyze hate amongst Cubans. The consequences can be verified in acts as shameful as the mob repudiation attacks, the public beatings carried out by supporters, or the bombardment of eggs, excrement, and paint against the homes of dissidents.
At the beginning of this year, photos were published on the internet of the home of Sara Marta Fonseca, a non-violent dissident who lives in the Havana neighborhood of Rio Verde. Members of the Rapid Response Brigade smeared the facade of the house, the front porch, and the side hallway with tar. When all of this mockery was made public, and when accredited journalists residing in Havana as well as tourists occasionally passed by the house at night to take some photos as if they were trophies, officials from the sinister Department 21 (G2) offered Sara Marta the chance to set up a brigade which would paint the house for her, a proposition which, according to sources from the internal opposition, she declined.
The future effectiveness of Cuban legality will first have to universalize the right of all citizens and rip away all the hate injected into each citizen. Sooner or later, we will have to dismantle that machine which just hurls insults, kicks, and spit.