Burglars in uniforms

The tropical totalitarianism has one speciality that has recently gained strength and clearly will recur. I am referring to criminals who enter houses under no disguise and similarly to floods sweep away basically anything, including personal notes, books and testaments.

Photo: PIN
Photo: PIN

A similar intrusion took place last week in the house of Celina Osoria Claro, a representative in Guantanamo of the Ladies in White (Damas en Blanco), her husband Bartolo Cantillo Romero, an activist of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), and their two minor daughters.

The violent intrusion committed at four o’clock in the morning by a group of policemen based upon an accusation filed by an opponent Yoannis Beltrán Gamboa resulted in a broken TV, appropriation of a DVD, computer, household furnishings, last will of a deceased grandparent leaving a farm to one of the daughters, various CDs, three flash discs, three mobile telephones, a bust of the national hero José Martí, as well as other items used in their anti-establishment activities. The assault involved physical violence and a detention until the late night hours under the classification of Crimes Against the State’s Security.

This new act of impunity culminated in a fine of 500 peso (approx. 25 dollars) and a warning that none of the confiscated materials shall be refunded.

It is very likely that other persons linked to the prodemocratic movement will face such raids, physical violence or confiscation of anything that the police records assess as a subversive material.

Nevertheless, there is a passing world interest – if any – for the stories of scarce media impact due to their everyday nature, absence of casualties, the fact that these are isolated cases which find no support among the majority of population for their fear to face the repressive machinery. The tendency to minimize the importance of these incidents has clearly something to do with the current geopolitical scene and the wish in order to avhieve long-term changes.

The oppressors within this system can continue acting arbitrarily, yet making sure they avoid any excesses. A mere superficial analysis of the situation is sufficient to realize this fact. Such complex situation calls for the support of the recognition of civil rights as well as complaints that would point to the shady deals made under the protection of Cuban authorities.

Autor

Olivera Castillo is a former political prisoner. He published number of books. He lives in the old part of Havana.

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