How Would the Cuban Government React to Mass Protests?

Dariela Aquique

¿Cuál sería la reacción del gobierno cubano antes una manifestación como esta en Colombia? Foto: cubadebate.cu
¿Cuál sería la reacción del gobierno cubano ante una manifestación como ésta en Colombia? Foto: cubadebate.cu

HAVANA TIMES — All Cuban news reports about demonstrations, strikes, rallies and other types of civil protests in different countries always make a point of emphasizing the police or military repression that these movements invariably encounter.

It is true that these types of protests are commonly repressed – the institutions in power will always seek to contain the masses in one form or another.

The fact of the matter is that those in power don’t like protests, criticisms or any kind of declaration they haven’t called for or sponsored (and this holds for the entire world, even for countries which call themselves democratic).

In Cuba, save for occasional and isolated protests organized by the Ladies in White or this or that minor commotion kicked up by the opposition (demonstrations that, incidentally, are always repressed by supposed “civilians”), such events are next to inexistent.

We hear no news about some form of organized social initiative in protest or against something (outside of State-sanctioned circles, that is).

I’ve always asked myself: how would Cuban authorities react to a massive event of this nature?

I wonder if it would involve the use of riot squads, tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and other instruments which our media invoke to strongly criticize the governments that repress their civilian populations during such demonstrations.

Will such methods be used against Cuban citizens one day? Who’d have thought it, as people say. I believe that, if they felt threatened in a major way, they would strike back at civilians in the same way other governments do.

Early this morning, a friend told me that, in a number of schools and mainly the University of Oriente, a group of individuals distributed a number of CDs and DVDs with subversive content.

All employees at these institutions were immediately alerted in order to prevent these materials from being viewed on the computers and to tackle any other subversive activity within the schools.

Again, I wonder:

What measures could they take against a student or worker who has received these materials?

Will they go to every student and employee to take the disks away from them?

Will those who watch these materials in a computer at school be expelled? If they were to protest, would they be met with repression? What kind?

Dariela Aquique

Dariela Aquique: I remember my years as a high school student, especially that teacher who would interrupt the reading of works and who with surprising histrionics spoke of the real possibilities of knowing more about the truth of a country through its writers than through historical chronicles. From there came my passion for writing and literature. I had excellent teachers (sure, those were not the days of the Fast-track Teachers) and extemporization and the non-mastery of subjects was not tolerated. With humble pretenses, I want to contribute to revealing the truth about my country, where reality always overcomes fiction, but where a novel style shrouds its existence.


13 thoughts on “How Would the Cuban Government React to Mass Protests?

  • October 9, 2013 at 9:03 am
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    Cubaqus, I’ve got to meet w/ an asylum applicant from Colombia tomorrow. You know, Colombia SA, America’s loyal “democratic” ally ? He’s here because the paramilitaries chopped his friend into pieces. Literally, pieces. With a chain saw. Then they came after him when he didn’t want to be an informer. Want to come along and tell him how lucky his is not to come from a “totalitarian dictatorship” ?

  • October 9, 2013 at 8:57 am
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    Oh, a 1983 action ? Sounds good, unless you’re a lawyer and know the justice system from the inside, or a family member of a victim of police brutality. BTW, the Seattle anti-globalization protesters were targeting multi-nationals like Citi and McDonald’s , not Mom’s Dinner. Have you no end to your inventory of excuses to condemn Cuba for the same actions when done by your government?

  • October 9, 2013 at 8:05 am
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    How about the Tugboat Massacre? The Cuban coastguard did not fire live rounds, but they did ram the small boat, flood it with fire hoses and made sure 39 Cuban men, women & children drowned.

    True, you will see more arms at a Tea Party rally, but the rallies are the epitome of law abiding citizenship. There has not been one crime committed at a Tea Party rally, unlike the #Occupy protests were assaults, murders, rapes, and destruction of private & public property were common. Also unlike the #Occupy scum who wallowed in their own filth, the Tea Party bring their own porta-potties and clean up their trash when they are done.

  • October 9, 2013 at 1:16 am
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    During the Maleconazo the kitchen of the Deauville hotel was indeed plundered. The anger of the hungry people exploded against the apartheid system that Castro’s tourist industry was. No tourists were harmed.
    You are the “Cuba hater” here as you support the repression of the Cuban people by the repressive regime. On the site linked and lots of others there are lots of images of the Meleconazo and the ensuing repression by Rapid Action Brigades and police.
    The picture you refer to here actually shows the police firing at protesters, a fact the regime has always denied.
    You are just another shameless Castro apologist,

  • October 7, 2013 at 1:49 pm
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    Apples and oranges. Protesters in the US who destroy public and private property largely do so to gain media attention to their cause. There is usually scant or no connection between the actual owners of the destroyed property and the cause being protested. In the case of the Maleconazo, the Cuban protesters saw a direct connection between the regime and state property. Police brutality is wrong no matter where it takes place. When cops overstep their authority in the US, the victims have tort recourse. When the Castros order their hired thugs to beat the Ladies in White, there is nothing the Cuban public can do.

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