Zoosadism in Cuba and No Law to Punish it

Irina Echarry

Ruben Marrero Pernas has been arrested but since there is no Animal Protection Law in Cuba, what will be charged with? Photos from the CEDA (Cubans in defense of animals) facebook page.

HAVANA TIMES – As you’ve probably heard, a zoosadism case has gone viral on social media. I found out from a post published in the Cuba against Animal Abuse group, which was created to report degrading acts that humans carry out on animals. I recommend you sign up to this group to keep up-to-date with what is going on in our country in this respect.   

It turns out that Ruben Marrero Pernas, a former employee at the Cuban Neuroscience Center, was torturing, raping and killing dogs. And not only that, he was also filming or taking photos of his sadistic acts and then sharing them on an underground network of zoophiles called “Beast Forum”. He took on a number of aliases: Woof, Warg, Schwarz, Wolfss, Ulfr and Schwarzweiler.

According to the post, “given the magnitude of Marrero’s exposure and ostentation, some members on the zoo sadism network began to leak information onto other sites.” Many people were struck by the unpleasant content of his publications and took it upon themselves to track him down.

A group of 50 activists from all over the world worked for a month until they were able to identify and compile evidence against him. The post explains that “the available material was passed on to the competent authorities in Cuba over a month ago BUT this individual continues to walk free on Havana’s streets.” Publishing this news would help everyone to recognize him and prevent any more animal suffering.

This 29-year-old man had adopted a puppy from the CEDA group not too long ago, which he then tortured and killed. PAC also revealed in its post that this individual had attended dog training and behavioral workshops that the group offered. He is a dangerous guy who comes across calm, kind and then is capable of doing barbaric things to the beings he wants to save.

A year or so ago, some young men burned a puppy alive in Manzanillo and they recorded themselves laughing, enjoying the moment when the small animal was engulfed in flames. Animal protection organizations immediately took to the streets and collected signatures so that they wouldn’t go unpunished. Letters were sent to various state bodies and institutions, etc. The pyromaniacs were even arrested, but they didn’t receive the punishment they deserved. What else could you expect if there isn’t a law that condemns animal cruelty here in Cuba?

It has been a while since then and this new case only confirms that we need to continue demanding this animal protection act.

Ruben Marrero Pernas has been arrested now, and his dogs (a male German shepherd and a female rottweiler (which he used to rape) have been “seized”. CEDA will be responsible for overseeing and making sure they receive veterinary care and will look after them until they are fit to be given up for adoption, although they will be monitored for a long time. According to comments published on pages that have spoken about this subject, they took these dogs to Zoonosis (that picks up stray dogs) first. I imagine that they must have had to move pretty quickly as they would have been condemned to die after being administered strychnine if nobody rescued them after 72 hours.

All of this makes me think about several things. One, just how important the internet is. Even with the precarious internet connections we have here in Cuba, it is still a source of information and a mechanism for social mobilization. It’s understood that the government is afraid of it.

Regardless of the flaws we humans give it, the internet is another way we can alert others about abuse, kidnapping, injustice, abuse, and raise awareness about these complaints, upholding collaborative efforts between Cubans both on and off the island. Ultimately, it prepares us for when we can organize ourselves and come together in “real life”.

The other thing that grabs my attention is the value of focussing on a common objective. Animal protection organizations deserve all of our respect. They are able to organize themselves and call on activists, rescue teams and protectors to come together. To make a concrete statement about the subject and mutually support each other, without even meaning to sometimes. There isn’t only one organization, there are many and there are also independent animal protectors who aren’t affiliated to any organization as such, but work on their own.

There isn’t a single line of thought, on the contrary; the important thing here is that they come together for the same cause: to protect animals. So, when we see a result like this, it isn’t a magical act, it is the result of hard work and combining forces, energy, dedication and love for a single objective. It’s amazing how people react and act. It gives us hope in the human race, there’s no doubt about that.

It’s a shame that some people tarnish this by inciting violence, wanting death or misinterpreting words, of course, you’ll say that everyone is free to say whatever they want…

And lastly, this case has allowed us to verify the gap that exists between official media and everyday life. The Cuban Neuroscience Center immediately announced on its Facebook page that Ruben Marrero Pernas “is no longer an employee at the Scientific Center, he was removed from there once his illicit and disgusting acts were made known and confirmed.” And it explained that “This appalling behavior is incompatible with this center. The competent bodies have been informed so that further actions can be taken.”

However, up until now, no official media platform has published the news. It seems absolutely ridiculous that a country that says it wants to be just, supportive etc., but keeps its citizens removed from cases like this one.

Personally-speaking, this whole thing has really disturbed me. I want this individual to pay for what he did, and I think: What charges did they arrest him with? What punishment is waiting for him? Is he crazy or does he just have no shame? Many people would like answers to these questions.

If there isn’t a law in Cuba that condemns abusers, he won’t be tried as such. So, it all becomes very confusing: Will they condemn him for creating and sharing pornography? How much time will he have to serve for this? Is it enough? And what about the living beings he tortured and murdered?

If it doesn’t appear in the law, can harming animals become an aggravating circumstance? A friend told me that the other option would be the Dangerousness Law, in which a person is tried for a crime that they haven’t yet committed but is likely to commit. Many people who think differently to the Party’s politics have languished in prison because of this law and I don’t believe it’s fair. If Marrero Pernas is taken to court for dangerousness, would this law now be used properly? Would it be ethical for me to accept that the State is using a law that I believe should be repealed?

There are many concerns, maybe someone can come up with another solution that I haven’t already thought of. However, everything is pointing at the fact that the State must adopt a stronger stance that regulates these harmful acts against animals, so that whoever causes them harm, whoever they may be, can be legally charged and justice served. It’s up to us to continue to demand an animal protection act from the State.

Irina Echarry

Irina Echarry: I enjoy reading, going to the movies and spending time with my friends. Many of the people I love are dead, or are no longer in Cuba. I will do my best to transmit my thoughts, ideas or worries via these pages so you can get to know me. I will give an idea of my age, since it helps explain certain things. I’m over thirty-five, and I think that’s enough information. I don’t have any children yet, or nieces or nephews. There are days when I transform myself into a child with no age at all in order to see life from another angle. It helps me break the monotony and survive in this strange world.

9 thoughts on “Zoosadism in Cuba and No Law to Punish it

  • November 28, 2018 at 12:59 pm
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    It has to be understood that Raul Castro is only one generation away from Galicia (his father was an immigrant) in Spain, where cruelty to animals is a part of the culture. The bull-rings where cattle are tortured by the insertion of barbed spears into their neck muscles, prior to being taunted as an entertainment are busy, cock-fighting with attached metal spurs designed to tear and cut is commonplace. The Spanish people do not merely accept such practices, but encourage them, so why would Raul Castro be concerned about animal welfare? He obviously isn’t.
    The conditions under which domestic animals live in Cuba and the treatment of them are a national disgrace for a country which is currently endeavoring to persuade the world that it is a socialist democracy (but is actually a one-party communist dictatorship.
    The acceptance of sexual perversions and bestiality by the Castro regime discredits their claims to be a progressive government and their failure to act is not surprising but reflects their level of concern.

    Reply
    • November 28, 2018 at 8:55 pm
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      Disgusting. Repulsive, Disgraceful.These people deserve long prison sentences.
      I hate Cuba and these cubans are disgusting.They are worse than animals, animals would never torture and rape.Sick bastards!

      Reply
      • November 29, 2018 at 2:07 pm
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        Elizabeth, I understand your reaction, but please on behalf of the decent people, don’t condemn all Cubans. Remember, that many of them don’t have Spanish blood and many of them also are in despair about the lack of laws protecting animals.
        It is the Cuban Government’s lack of concern and lack of introducing effective law that has to be condemned – especially at a time when the communists are busy trying to persuade the rest of the world that they are actually a socialist democracy – implying being civilized to people and even animals! Remember that the dictator Raul Castro (He is till First Secretary of the Communist Party which has precedence over the State) executed human beings without trial, so why would he care about animals which Catholics believe have no soul.

        Reply
  • November 28, 2018 at 7:18 pm
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    Can’t even read the whole article so not sure if he has been taken out yet. If not, why not?

    Reply
  • December 4, 2018 at 5:51 pm
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    Mr MacD’s comments just keep on getting more and more weird as time goes by.
    He now appears to be stating that all Spanish people are cruel to animals.
    Whilst it is true that some Spanish people engage in or spectate at blood sports, to suggest that all Spanish people do so is a very, very weird.

    Reply
    • December 5, 2018 at 1:42 am
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      So Nick, do you deny that the bullrings of Spain are void of spectators? “Bull Fighting” is merely a cover expression for the torture of animals which are doomed to a vicious sadistic and cruel death the moment they are delivered to the holding pen at the ring. The British along with other members of the Common Market could have refrained from permitting Spain to join until it abandoned its barbarity. But instead, they ran a prolonged campaign criticizing the native people of Canada for killing seals their main source of protein – a real touch of Anglo hypocrisy!
      You Nick may choose to deny that bull fighting is a part of Spanish culture, but doing so only illustrates ignorance. Similarly with cock-fighting which is still widely practiced in Cuba. That is why there is a very early and large morning chorus of crowing cockerels in Cuban communities.
      Your choosing to describe my view of the barbarity of that part of Spanish culture only serves to show your lack of concern.

      Reply
  • December 5, 2018 at 2:56 pm
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    It is indeed a fact that brutality toward animals plays a part in traditional Spanish culture as it most surely does in most cultures. What I find weird is your assertion that such barbarity is specifically inherent within ‘Spanish blood’.
    That’s very weird Mr MacD. Very weird indeed.
    I have had the great good fortune to have travelled widely and I regularly visit the wonderful nations/provinces which make up modern Spain (after years of prolonged outrage, bull fighting in Catalonia has been illegal for a good while now and other parts of the country will no doubt follow this lead in due course).
    I can attest that there are some excellent pure blood Spanish vegan restaurants across the country.
    Perhaps the Spanish chefs that work in such establishments are barbaric toward the tofu ????

    Reply
    • March 24, 2019 at 12:22 am
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      Also, the equivalence is absurd. I don’t agree with bull-fighting and I’m glad you guys are phasing it out (I’m aussie btw) but to even bring it up, considering what the article is about, is just preposterous. There is so much distance between that and what this disgusting lunatic was doing to those poor dogs.

      This kind of behaviour is indicative of a serial killer. It’s usually how they get their start. Once you’re comfortable with torturing and killing animals, humans are often the next step.
      I know it’s not how a justice system should work, but honestly, if a bunch of Cubans paid this guy a ‘visit’, I wouldn’t be too upset about it.

      Reply
  • May 8, 2019 at 12:06 am
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    WOW. THIS F*CKHEAD DESERVES TO BE TIED UP AND RIPPED APART BY A PACK OF ANGRY DOGS. And that will also happen, to him and ALL OF HIS KIND, and the F*CKHEADS NOT SETTING UP LAWS TO PUNISH THESE F*CKHEADS, if said laws won’t appear in Cuba or somewhere else. ONLY A F*CKHEADED FILTH, SATAN’S BASTARD, THINKS THAT IT IS SOMEHOW LESS OF A CRIME TO DO THIS TYPE OF THINGS TO AN ANIMAL than it is to do them to a human. IT IS ACTUALLY A LOT WORSE, as animals are weaker than us in many or all ways, and also INNOCENT. So, the only conclusion I can make, is that people who think that it is less of a crime to torture, rape and kill an animal than it is to do those things to a human, IS NOT A HUMAN BEING BUT A SATANIC FILTH, WHO DOES NOT DESERVE TO LIVE. THIS F*CKHEAD NEEDS TO BE EXECUTED.

    Also imagine that some alien species would land our planet. They would be about five to ten times bigger than us, and several times more intelligent than us. Then some of them would kidnap our kids and RAPE AND TORTURE THEM TO DEATH, sharing documents of it among them. HOW WOULD THAT MAKE YOU FEEL? Would you think that it is okay for them to think that doing that to humans is less of a crime than doing it to someone of their own species?

    Not sure if you will publish this comment, but if you do not, it only proves that you are not much better than this f*ckheaded filth who only deserves to die.

    Reply

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