Unión Patriótica de Cuba

Who Are The Criminals in Cuba?

Who Are The Criminals in Cuba? / Lilianne Ruíz
Lilianne Ruíz, Translator: Unstated

The faces of some who died in the 13 de Marzo Tugboat incident

A friend called to ask me an important question about criminality in
Cuba. Is Cuba a safe country with a crime rate lower than other
countries in Latin America? In my haste to answer I overlooked a point
which, in my judgement, is fundamental, so I want to explore it in my blog.

When I was a child, I believed in the police. The police were the
guardians of order. Must we thank the police because there are no drug
cartels in Cuba as there are in Colombia, or because citizens are not
kidnapped here as in other places? But the police do indeed carry out

In spite of the undeniable ethical pathology suffered by many Cubans,
who seem unaware of any constraints which would help them avoid
involvement in the corruption rampant today in Cuba, it is not the
average citizen who is this society's greatest criminal.

When the political police — in Cuba that would be all the police,
especially the Department of State Security — conduct arbitrary searches
in the homes of citizens seen exercising their right to live and express
themselves freely, they confiscate the belongings of these same
individuals, including their money. They have also been trained in the
use of all manner of physical repression, which on occasion has caused
injuries to people who are neither law breakers nor criminals.

In Santiago de Cuba, Andrés de Carrión, currently a member of UNPACU*
and the same brave man who shouted "Down with Communism" in the city
plaza during the Pope's visit, has begun a hunger strike after the
police raided his home and, with the impunity the state grants to its
henchmen, removed all Andrés' belongings. Under no circumstances would
such a robbery happen to a citizen of a country that was anything but a

You must forgive me for not having more current information. I was
having difficulties with my internet connection, so I called some
friends at UNPACU to find out more about Andrés de Carrión's situation,
but discovered that all the phones had been disconnected. It is obvious
the order came from State Security, or rather from the "Castros'
Security Service," because Cuba is a state unlike the majority of
democratic countries. Cuba is a dictatorship.

But this how it began. The revolution – I do not put the word in
quotation marks because there is no revolution that is just or
non-violent – has not changed its face. It has expropriated the property
of many families and today that property, beginning with land, belongs
to the state rather than to the people.

To execute a person without proving him guilty of a crime, or to
arbitrarily deny him his freedom, as in the case of Hubert Matos, are
criminal acts. In Cuba people have learned to do things any which way,
to feign, to participate in things in which they do not believe so that
at least the illusion of security is preserved.

But many mothers, who have sung the official anthems, have also seen
their children pulled into the darkness of political prison. Their
trials have always lacked basic guarantees. They have been exhibitions,
spectacles to manipulate the public, which the dictatorial leadership
began to call "the people." Somewhere I read testimony by Fidel Castro
in which he stated that, while Cubans were celebrating in the early
hours of January 1, 1959, he was thinking that his revolution would not
be understood by everyone. In the recesses of his mind the best Cubans
were being drowned. Those who managed to get up on their feet did so
like rats.

Here is a pertinent quote I took the trouble to look up in which Fidel
Castro speaks as a prosecution witness at the trial of Comandante Hubert
Matos Benítez: "I was smiling to myself, but I was smiling with
cynicism. I was smiling because I was aware of the phenomenon that would
later be produced, because I could not wrap my head around it, because I
had been saying for several years that a revolution cannot be good for

The most scandalous thing is that Hubert was accused of denouncing the
Cuban revolution's shift to communism. I come back to another quote from
Fidel Castro speaking at the trial of Comandante Matos:

"And this is the serious crime, the most serious they have
committed, because we will see here if they have reason to accuse the
revolution of being communist. And if they are accusing the revolution
of being communist, as they are doing as the basis of this trial in
order to disparage the revolution, to divide it, to confound it and to
bring upon it ever greater threats and dangers, then this is the
greatest harm that these comrades, who have turned away from any sense
duty, are causing to their nation. (Applause)"

Months after the trial and the sentencing (a prison term of twenty
years) the shadowy revolution publicly assumed a socialist character on
the corner of 21st and 23rd. Comandante Hubert Matos Benítez appears to
have represented the sentiments of the better part of the population of
Camagüey to such a degree that afterwards his accuser wasted no time in
admitting to having committed perhaps one of the greatest blunders in
the history of Cuba:

"What do they want the prime minister of the revolutionary
government to do? Wait for this maneuver to go forward? For the the
commissioners, the prosecutors and everyone in the province to resign
the next day? For all the other officials resign? What is the problem if
there is a maneuver here? Because it wil lead to bloodshed here, of
course, here no one is going to give way, no one here is going to
believe that when a problem arises he is going to give up, even with ten
men we are going to face the situation, no matter what, It's an obvious
thing, I just want to bring it to the mind of the Court, the minds of
those who are listening, whether in these circumstances the Prime
Minister could stay quietly at home in his house."

*Translator's note: UNPACU – Spanich acronym for Union Patriotica de Cuba

July 3 2012


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