Selling Violence vs. Selling Its Absence

Osmel Almaguer

HAVANA TIMES, April 1 — On the news, here in Cuba, it was reported that an American student used a machine gun to shoot five of his classmates – two of whom later died. Though the incident was unfortunate, so too is what lies behind the apparent “humanity” of its reporting.

Using tragedies for political ends is disgusting. Overall, violence is not something endemic in the United States, though it is a highly marketable product featured in documentaries, films and cartoons there.

However I’m Cuban, so I’m more interested in what’s happening here. Yet never, or almost never, do we see or hear about any violent events that take place here in Cuba.

I can talk about this from direct experience, since a few weeks ago a student at my school was stabbed in the head, though fortunately his injuries weren’t life threatening.

The student was trying to defend an underclassman from badgering and harassment by a bunch of bullies. The knife penetrated his skull half an inch, but miraculously it didn’t reach his brain.

The assailant was expelled from school, but only because this was his third felony assault against another pupil. The two previous incidents consisted of hitting one student in the head with a rock and stabbing another one in the stomach.

Despite all this, no one reported him either of those times. I don’t know if this was out of fear of possible retaliation or simply to avoid attracting the authorities and thereby affecting “business” (by this I’m referring to acts of corruption that I’ve referred to in other diary entries).

And this isn’t an isolated event. Near my house, one or two people die from stabbing every year. That’s still a fairly low rate, but it’s increasing, which is why I consider it essential for our media to give more in-depth coverage of these issues.

If violence sells abroad, here they’re trying to sell its non-existence.

It’s time these opportunists stop profiting at the expense of innocent lives…innocent people who, nevertheless, are fully aware of this problem when they see blood flowing in the street.

 

 

 


osmel

Osmel Almaguer:Until recently I would to identify myself as a poet, a cultural promoter and a university student. Now that my notions on poetry have changed slightly, that I got a new job, and that I have finished my studies, I’m forced to ask myself: Am I a different person? In our introductions, we usually mention our social status instead of looking within ourselves for those characteristics that define us as unique and special. The fact that I’m scared of spiders, that I’ve never learned to dance, that I get upset over the simplest things, that culminating moments excite me, that I’m a perfectionist, composed but impulsive, childish but antiquated: these are clues that lead to who I truly am.

4 thoughts on “Selling Violence vs. Selling Its Absence

  • I know. If you look at it, Cuba’s homicide rate is low compared to the rest of Latin America.

    It’s just that on the Spanish version of this site a “friend” justified the high number of people behind bars in the US by saying that the “homicide level in the US is much greater than Cuba’s”.

  • I think comparing Cuba with the US on almost anything is not that relevant since Cuba is a third world underdeveloped country and the US is a superpower. Using your link if you compare Cuba with a country such as Jamaica and compare the US with the UK, you will see that Cuba has a really low homicide ratio and the US has a really high level.

  • Where the children and even adults are concerned, it would not be inappropriate to instruct them in self defense. Trying to eliminate violence in American schools has done very little to curb it. You speak well when you take notice of the fact that in the absence of firearms in Cuba, a rock or a knife will substitute. Who can successfully hide violence in their midst ? As long as reasonable men exist, it is folly to follow a policy of denial.

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