By Pedro Pablo Morejon
HAVANA TIMES – A government media outlet recently published an article with a photo of some twenty old people. All of them must be well over 80 years old. Some are wearing military uniforms, most of them are proudly displaying the dozens of medals they’ve earned, on their scrawny chests.
“Soldiers from the glorious 108 battalion in Holguin, standing by their Revolution. We don’t have the weapons we used in the Escambray mountains, or the machetes used in the three wars. As we’re already over 70 years old, we’ll have sticks to flatten violent young people consumed by hate.”
You’d think it was a joke, but it was serious. The government surprises us every day. It’s the apotheosis of evil, insolence and ridicule.
It just so happens that a group of eighty-year-olds consumed by hate, who were surely repressors or informers (or even killers maybe) in their younger years, are still willing to die to defend a totalitarian system that they have not only been assassins for, but also victims. They are still willing despite their years and the maturity that should have come with these years.
Or is this nothing more than a theater of double standards which the country has been subjected to for decades?
Also, these old people aren’t the worst thing here. The worst thing is that some officers among the ranks of the so-called National Revolutionary Police – who suffer the same anguish as the Cuban people with limited freedoms, lives of hardship and neglect in the face of a future that is becoming more and more uncertain – have demonstrated a clear willingness to beat and harass fellow countrymen, whose only crime is taking to the streets to exercise their rights of speech and protest.
They watched the crowd who were demanding change, with apparent impartiality, but as soon as Diaz-Canel gave the combat order, they were ready to repress, imprison (many dressed as civilians), and once they were out of the frame of an accusing cellphone, beat and mistreat citizens with all of their rage, just as you would expect from obedient thugs.
Later, a group of pseudo-journalists played their role of covering up, manipulating and justifying State repression. While pretty much nobody believes the story that the July 11th protests were organized by US Imperialism, there are always the simple-minded sheep who swallow their lies.
This is getting worse and worse, because even though they censored protests by brandishing the COVID-19 excuse, which according to official statistics (which aren’t always trustworthy) exceed 8000-9000 new cases every day, with almost 100 deaths, the dictatorship counteracted the mass protests with its “revolutionary marches”, which most people take part in out of obligation.
Even somebody who has won a certain respect among the general population, such as Dr. Duran, the National Director of Epidemiology, supported these ridiculous and fascist marches (which is inexcusable given his job) that expose the double standards that exist in the State’s handling of the Pandemic.
The little respect and empathy this man inspired in me disappeared, just like that. Just like the blue uniforms don’t inspire any respect anymore, much less empathy, if there’s any decency left to him.
In the meantime, amid a pandemic that has put Cuba currently in the lead with the highest infection rate per 100,000 inhabitants in the Americas, hundreds of young Cubans awaiting prison sentences for exercising their human rights, and a chronic shortage of medicines and food that has people living in a constant hell, the government blames the embargo and continues with its offensive of lies.