The Total Suspicion Syndrome

Yenisel Rodriguez

In the first days of March the ammunition dump located at the military outpost in Santiago de las Vegas, Boyeros municipality, blew up. For more than 5 hours explosions from projectiles of different calibers rocked the surrounding area.

Nearby hospitals were flooded with people suffering from the effects of the terror produced by the incident: residents suffering from heart attacks, panic attacks, high blood pressure or in states of nervous shock filled the emergency rooms.

The authorities had to evacuate hundreds of people, leaving entire neighborhoods uninhabited for over 24 hours while the homes of the evacuees were guarded by a limited number of volunteers.

Despite the magnitude of the disaster, the media offered only minimal coverage of this terrible accident. The television newscasts merely assured that no one had died and that the incident had been accidental. In the newspapers, the story was similar.

As a consequence, the population didn’t devote a lot of attention to what had happened. It was like flicking off a fly that has crossed your path. No one could have imagined that what was quietly noted as an “accidental fire” had in reality been a catastrophic explosion that bombarded an entire Havana locality with projectiles in times of peace. Several minutes later, no one any longer remembered the incident in Santiago de las Vegas.

Nevertheless, it was a situation that called for concern. It demonstrated once again that arms deposits located in urban or semi-urban areas represent a great danger to the lives of the resident population.

However, the policy of disinformation practiced by the Cuban media kept public opinion from forming any real concept of what had happened. If it had been made more aware of what had happened, some type of social pressure could have been generated to convince the military authorities of the need to redesign their strategies for weapons storage.

The fact is that news of anything that occurs in Cuba beyond those predictable events that are controlled by the State and the Government is considered a danger to the regime’s survival.

And that which is considered dangerous to the regime’s health is an ever-expanding list, in direct proportion to the descent of totalitarianism that appears to be currently underway.

Natural events and accidents of every kind take their place within the repertory of nighttime demons that disturb the dreams of our leaders for an eternal harmonic totalitarianism.

The ammo deposit explosion in Santiago de las Vegas is merely the latest informational kidnapping in the hands of this outdated totalitarianism.

Meanwhile, these same news media dedicate hours on end each day to the political, economic, religious, cultural and even astrological disasters around the world: a double standard that we Cubans are all too familiar with.

But even so, this is my two cents in favor of the demand of the inhabitants of Santiago de las Vegas to be made visible in the face of the latest events.

Yenisel Rodriguez

Yenisel Rodriguez Perez: I have lived in Cuba my entire life, except for several months in 2013 when I was in Miami with my father. Despite the 90 miles that separate Havana and Miami, I find profound reasons in both for political and community activism. My encounter with socio-cultural anthropology eight years ago prepared me for a commitment of love for cultural diversity.


One thought on “The Total Suspicion Syndrome

  • April 13, 2011 at 3:02 pm
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    Excellent article Yenisel. I can imagine the stress and anxiety an incident like that can cause. Here in the States we went thru something similar after the 9-11 attacks. Thanks – Bill

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