By Osmel Ramirez Alvarez
HAVANA TIMES — I don’t know the exact figures because they haven’t been made public, but here in Mayari, Holguin, several robberies must take place everyday. Usually, just material goods are lost and the crime almost always goes unpunished.
It’s only when it’s something big that’s been taken, or when the State is the one being affected, that a great interest is taken by the authorities to resolve these cases.
I’ve already commented on the terrible things that happen here in the Cuban East with the theft of livestock and the mafias that are on the uprise in a previous article of mine. I talked about the ransom that people were asking to release these animals and how dangerous this trend was becoming. Just a few days ago, a clear example of what is on the horizon and worries people took place.
Robbers attempted to steal some animals at night, and their owners woke up. They tried to defend their property and the robbers killed the man of the house with a knife. They injured his brother who is said to have lost an arm. The police still haven’t found those responsible who are now on the run. Fortunately, they were identified and one of them is even on conditional probation. The neighborhood where this event took place has become famous for the mafias who work in the “business” of illegal beef.
The seed of violence and organized crime has already been planted in Cuba. Not only here in the country’s interior where robberies and trafficking take place; it’s much worse in the capital and in the main cities. In these urban neighborhoods, an emerging drug trade is growing, which is no longer small and sporadic like it used to be a few years ago.
It will only take “the boat to rock” for organized crime and violence to become viral and ruin this country even more; for them to lose their fear that they have of the Government’s repressive power (because even though they don’t do anything, if they wanted to they could, and when they do, nothing will stop them).
It will only take a shift towards a rule of law that protects them from the iron fist; that capitalism allows them to extend their dirty business and launder their money; that will increase the population’s earnings, so that they can sell drugs en masse that alienate people and corrupt them; and if democracy comes, it will corrupt it and pay off politicians, policemen, district attorneys and judges, thereby converting Cuba into a paradise for criminals.
They are here, in position like professional runners, a knee on the ground, waiting for the sound of the gunshot so they can run their race. It’s a huge task that the decent men and women of Cuba have: to protect this precious time of change, when it comes. We shouldn’t be afraid of change because dormant dangers are lurking. These dangers and many others are lying in wait for the opportunity to exploit the evil within our society, when best wishes give room for misgovernment while we rearrange our country.
Caution forces us to know well what they are; to observe other societies and to take in their experiences of change, both positive and negative. The mission our generation has in front of us is gigantic and we will be witness to a very special and transcendental historic moment. It’s our duty to do this well and not let opportunists rob us of what will be our new found freedom and justice.