HAVANA TIMES — The video is dated July 8, 2014. It reached me through a friend of mine who’s always brining me videos that reveal how badly we’re doing in terms of human rights (while the country continues to shout from the rooftops that no citizen is mistreated).
This is not the only video of this nature to go through my computer, but it caught my eye because it involves a young woman who is detained (for reasons that aren’t clear) by two police officers, a man and a woman.
One only sees the images captured by one of the cameras set up near the Cupet gas station at the intersection of 23 and Malecon. The video has no sound.
From what I could gather, the girl is detained and, taking her sweet time, the female officer proceeds to fill out a fine. The detainee complains, apparently asking why she’s being fined, and gets upset over the time the process is taking.
The girl does not look like a prostitute and the incident takes place at 11 in the morning, a rather unusual time for such practices.
The video lasts 7 minutes. Around halfway through, the girl decides to sit down to wait for them to finish filling out the form and be done with her. That’s when the female officer approaches her, grabs her roughly and, getting worked up, decides to cuff her (I don’t know whether it’s procedure to cuff a woman). The girl resists and, immediately, the officer strikes her. The girl responds by lunging at her and hitting her hard. The male officer joins the fight, separating the two and, at one point, pushing the girl against a wall with all his strength. At this point, other people nearby become involved to stop the abuse.
I wonder how many times girls like this one have gone through similar situations and how many of us have ultimately been the victims of such abuses of power.
Whenever such acts of police brutality take place in other corners of the world, Cuban television wastes no time to show us the images.
They don’t seem to know, or pretend not to know, that police brutality exists in Cuba as well.
I don’t know whether these police officers who feel entitled to beat citizens will be reprimanded. What’s certain is that we cannot remain silent about situations like these for, even though the video has no audio, the images speak very clearly and, as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.