HAVANA TIMES – Mr. Police officer, are you my friend? That was the question on a Cuban TV ad when I was a little girl, and there were quite a few of us who wanted to wear the blue uniform proudly, which asserted an impeccable attitude.
A lot has changed over time and now I am a woman who is ashamed of the military corps that oversees authoritarian control in my country.
“The police are a security force responsible for maintaining public order and citizens’ safety by using force and it is subject to government orders. Most police forces are quasi-military organizations, whose main obligation is to dissuade and investigate crimes against people who disturb public order” (Taken from Wikipedia).
It’s sad to see how the Cuban police is one cog in the government’s repressive apparatus. Ordinary citizens feel protected when they see an officer in uniform in some parts of the world. In Cuba, it’s like seeing a spawn of the devil, many people trying to flee, terrified, as they resort to using extreme force.
Like the events that unfolded just a few days ago, when many artists and other activists went to take part in a peaceful protest. The protest was met by a police cordon and brutality, responding with repression and persecution, with the mission of curtailing and preventing the civilian act by repressing, containing, arresting or punishing, enforcing their power with violence.
More than fifty people were persecuted and/or arrested starting in the early morning, and all they were doing was trying to defend their political rights as stipulated in the first part of the universal declaration of human rights.
The unjust death of a young unarmed man in Guanabacoa at the hands of the police, the release of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, the demand that official media exposes this truth, as well as other political and social appeals motivated the call for this protest.
The demonstration did not take place. However, a step forward was made with this display of police force across the island, proving that the government feels threatened by a people who are crying out, who are rising up under a flag that waves like the feverish a rebirth of freedom.
Now, answering that question that appeared in the ad, I can say: Mr. repressor-violent-totalitarian-controlling-abusive Police officer: “NO, YOU ARE NOT MY FRIEND.”