A Silent but Eloquent Video Showing Cuban Police Brutality

Nonardo Perea

A traffic cop in Havana. Photo: Juan Suarez
A traffic cop in Havana. Photo: Juan Suarez

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.

Nonardo Perea

Nonardo Perea: I see myself as an observant person and I like to write with sincerity what I think and live first hand. I’m shy and of few words; thus it’s difficult for me to engage in conversation. For that reason, my best tool for communicating is writing. I live in Marianao, Havana and am 40 years old.

5 thoughts on “A Silent but Eloquent Video Showing Cuban Police Brutality

  • November 16, 2015 at 1:03 pm
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    ?!Cuban police brutality?! You gotta be kidding! Judging from the manic gestures of the woman arrested, I suspect a serious substance abuse problem or, if not that, mental health issues. Once she starts wailing away at the female officer, several bystanders come to the aid of the police, in stark contrast to what would happen up here, especially in urban areas, where the police are feared–and shunned–and the only ones coming to the assistance of the police are usually other police (who, by the evidence of all the cell-phone videos, beat the daylights out of the offender)!

    Reply
  • November 18, 2015 at 5:12 am
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    I tend to agree with emagicmtman. I live in Denmark, a country that is not famous for police brutality or incidents of human rights violations, but nevertheless I’ve witnessed far worse. Unlike the author of the article I will not start guessing at the reason why the woman is detained in the first place, but I am surprised that she is allowed to enter the police car without handcuffs after she has thrown the female police officer to the ground. I cannot imagine this degree of leniency in any other country than Cuba.

    I would like to thank Warhol P for sharing this example of biased reporting along with the actual footage of the incident. A true eye opener!

    Reply
  • November 19, 2015 at 3:26 pm
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    As someone against all forms of violence, I deem this video as the worst attempt to demonize the Cuban Police force. Maybe the author of this rubbish has never heard of Ferguson, Staaten Island, Baltimore or Oakland.

    Reply
  • March 25, 2016 at 12:44 pm
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    I live in Chicago. I see no one getting shot and amazingly not handcuffed getting into the car????? But seriously, I opposed all brutality by law enforcement officials against citizens. How many people did the Cuban police shot down in the street last year?

    Reply

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