By Pedro Pablo Morejon
HAVANA TIMES – I turn on the TV every evening to see the weather forecast. I’m not exactly obsessed with the weather, but it’s become a bit of a habit. I might be getting old and not realizing it.
Anyway, it’s hard not to listen to one or two news reports when trying to see it. This time, they were talking about trials against protestors in Camaguey during the mass July 11th protests, last year.
The narrative in this biased journalism is that the July 11th mass protests were riots and that those arrested took part in violent acts that infringed upon peace and people’s safety. That’s to say, they are criminals who attacked the general population.
They show images of a large group of people, mostly young people, throwing stones at the Communist Party headquarters in this province, followed by images of people with wounds apparently inflicted by the protestors.
This is then followed by statements of two defendants, admitting their mistake. They say they don’t know why they did it, that it was “getting caught up in the moment.” The other one admits that what they did was very wrong and tells viewers that when you have a concern, it’s better to present it to the authorities.
Watching this, I imagine how much pressure, fear and abuse these prisoners have been subjected to for them to come forward like this, knelt before the executioner that oppresses them, just like those mothers who came on weeks before and questioned the actions of their imprisoned children.
As if this isn’t enough, they show us some lawyers saying that they were allowed to sit down and talk to the defendants, look over the investigation file, provide proof in favor of the defendants, all within a framework of respect for due process of the prisoners charged. Yep, there are always people willing to defame themselves. Just to survive.
None of these images have been shown on TV screens outside our borders, and they instead show thousands of Cubans protesting peacefully, and images of protestors being brutally arrested and beaten by special police forces and paramilitary groups when they demanded their rights.
More of the same old distorted information to manipulate the Cuban masses.
I mustered up my patience and tried to stop my mind from overheating with rage, I need to eat, and I want good health and to digest my food properly, more than anything else.
This morning, I got on a truck that was passing by and a patrol car stopped us before I got to work. One of the police officers with a stern look bursted onto the vehicle and ordered all of the standing passengers to get off. Another two stood with us outside. I heard voices coming from inside the truck, it seems the police were asking questions about the contents of a suitcase and a woman’s voice giving an incomprehensible answer.
All of us under the sun looked annoyed. I cursed with all of the words that are on the tip of many Cubans’ tongues, today. I say them in my head, the abbreviation being DPEPDPE, which I can’t transcribe here without violating the rules.
Some 15 or 20 minutes passed by, and we were finally able to carry on our journey. Inside, a woman angrily said, “All police officers are assholes, I have a cousin who’s a policeman and he can’t enter my house unless he’s dressed as a civilian.”
Another man, an elderly man, says: “With people needing so much and all they do is stick their nose in people’s business, who are only trying to struggle to live another day.”
It seems the fury from the night before was still there, huddled in a corner of my mind, so I couldn’t help myself and I shouted out, direct to the point: “Instead of chasing after the Cuban people, they should be asking Diaz-Canel what he’s doing with a watch that costs thousands of dollars on his wrist, the only criminals here are the ones that govern the country.”
But I’m normally a person that walks away from a situation, I try not to get mixed up in problems, but like the chorus of a Porno para Ricardo song goes:
“I don’t like politics but… Politics like me, compañero.”