Lessons from Santa Clara, Cuba

Asesinato en Villa Clara

By Pedro Pablo Morejón

HAVANA TIMES – The news has been spreading like wildfire since Saturday July 2nd. It was all very confusing in the beginning, a young man was killed in the Condado neighborhood in Santa Clara, others were injured…

Meanwhile, the regime’s supporters, who are called ciberclarias (cyber-catfish) on social media, came out to refute everything. They said that police officers did their job and didn’t kill anybody.

No official media outlet went to cover the event like they would in any country with freedom of the press. A while later, a statement from the Ministry of Interior (MININT) was read on the News on Cuban TV.

According to the statement, there was a violent argument between civilians and when locals complained, officers from the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) came and imposed order, very professionally. In such circumstances, a criminal, who was acting terribly, attacked and injured an officer with a machete, the latter then being forced to use legitimate defense, killing the subject.

The abovementioned statement reflects MININT’s methodology, which is consistent with justifying police violence with alleged acts of legitimate defense, while emphasizing the terrible social conduct of those killed.

This is the same modus operandi used in the case of every murder reported in recent years, on social media. We can’t forget the killings in 2020.

This has always happened. I remember in the 1990s, a police chief near the area where I live, shot somebody, seriously injuring them. He didn’t go to prison and continues to work as a police officer.

The reality is that the government media lie, the videos I was able to watch show a completely different reality. Neighbors were shouting and telling the officers off for having fired random shots, injuring an old man and another young person who were in their homes doing nothing, far from the dispute they were trying to stop.

In another video, the young man that allegedly attacked the police officer appears on the ground with his hands handcuffed behind his back. You can see he’s bleeding, and three officers are kicking him. There aren’t any ambulances, he’s a minor, he died at just 17 years old.

Lastly, his father came out in a Facebook Livestream to refute the official version and confirm that his son was in fact murdered in front of his very eyes, without him being able to do anything.

This incident has taught us very clear lessons.

That freedom of the press does not exist in Cuba. Yes, I know this is well-known. The reality is that in any democratic country -where there is a free press, beyond the official media-, there would have been plenty of reporters to cover the incident, investigate, discover who was to blame and report this.

The Cuban police are abusive. There is a long history of repression over these 63 years to back this up, but if there were any doubts, July 11th was palpable proof of this.

This police officer isn’t very professional, as you can see with him shooting randomly and hurting people outside of the argument.

The most important lesson? They have the impunity they need to repress and kill. The regime fears another social uprising. An uprising that I’m sure will be more forceful than the one on July 11, 2021, and that’s why it needs to send a double message:

That the Communist Party’s henchmen are authorized to kill, “the combat order has been given,” and that we all need to know that they aren’t going to “take it easy” if the Cuban people decide to take to the street.

Read more from the diary of Pedro Pablo Mendoza here.

Pedro Morejón

I am a man who fights for his goals, who assumes the consequences of his actions, who does not stop at obstacles. I could say that adversity has always been an inseparable companion, I have never had anything easy, but in some sense, it has benefited my character. I value what is in disuse, such as honesty, justice, honor. For a long time, I was tied to ideas and false paradigms that suffocated me, but little by little I managed to free myself and grow by myself. Today I am the one who dictates my morale, and I defend my freedom against wind and tide. I also build that freedom by writing, because being a writer defines me.

One thought on “Lessons from Santa Clara, Cuba

  • July 7, 2022 at 12:56 pm

    Yes; «the Communist Party’s henchmen are authorized to kill», and the cubans are obliged to protect themselves in order to overturn the dictatorship.

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