Violence and Public Discourse

Poster for the sixth anniversary of the magazine Coexistence

A woman hits a child, who appears to be her son, on one corner. The passersby who see it don’t get involved. A hundred yards further on, two men get in a fight because one stepped on the other’s shoe. I arrive home thinking about this aggressiveness, just under the skin, that I feel in the street. To relax my tension I read the latest issue of the magazine Coexistence, which just celebrated six years since its founding. I find in its pages an article by Miriam Celaya, who coincidentally addresses this “dangerous spiral” of blows, screams and irritation that surrounds us.

Under the title “Notes on the anthropological origins of violence in Cuba,” the scathing analyst delves into the historical and cultural antecedents of the phenomenon. Our own national trajectory, steeped in “blood and fire,” does not help much when it comes time to promote attitudes like pacifism, harmony and reconciliation. From the horrors of slavery during the colonial period, through the wars of independence with their machete charges and their high-handed caudillos, up to the violent events that also characterized the republic. A long list of fury, blows, weapons and insults shaped our character and are masterfully enumerated by the journalist in her text.

The process that started in 1959 deserves special mention, as it made class hatred and the elimination of those who are different fundamental pillars of the political discourse. Thus, even today, the greater part of the anniversaries commemorated by the government refer to battles, wars, deaths or “flagrant defeats inflicted” on the opponent. The cult of anger is such that the official language itself no longer realizes the rage it promotes and transmits.

But take care! Hatred cannot be “remotely controlled” once fomented. When rancor is kindled against another country, it ends up also validating the grudge against the neighbor whose wall adjoins ours. Those of us who grew up in a society where the act of repudiation has been justified as the “legitimate defense of a revolutionary people,” may think that blows and screams are the way to relate to what we don’t understand. In this environment of violence, for us harmony becomes synonymous with capitulation and peaceful coexistence is a trap that we want to make “the enemy” to fall into.

19 April 2014

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30 thoughts on “Violence and Public Discourse

  1. Pingback: Spare the Rod, 10 Tips From a Peaceful Parent · Global Voices

  2. HI OMAR FUNDORA–If you attack a cop like Trayvon Martin attacked George Zimmerman–he will shoot you a lot faster. And a lot more times. While you are still standing up. Before he is on the ground! It’s called self defense.
    ***
    You can’t cure stupid. But–sometimes it screws up–and removes itself from the gene pool! Like Trayvon Martin did.
    ***
    HOLA OMAR FUNDORA–si attacas una policia como hizo Trayvon Martin a George Zimmerman–el te tirara mucho mas recio. Y muchos mas veces. Cuando ya estas parado. Antes que el es arriba de la tierra! Se llama defensa personal.
    ***
    No puede curar tonto. Pero–a veces–comite un error–y se quita del charco genetico! Como hizo Trayvon Martin.
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

  3. Journalist held for past ten days in Cuba, charged with ‘terrorism’
    Published on April 18, 2014

    PARIS, France — Press freedom organisation Reporters Without Borders has condemned the detention in Cuba of independent journalist Juliet Michelena Díaz since 7 April, three days after she wrote a by-lined report for the Miami-based independent news platform Cubanet about a case of ordinary police violence she had witnessed in Havana.

    Michelena, who was arrested in a heavy-handed police operation, is a member of the Cuban Network of Community Journalists (RCCC), an organization that defends freedom of information. The police often break up its meetings and arrest participants, but the arrests are usually of short duration.

    The charges against Michelena have changed since her arrest. Initially accused of “threatening a neighbour,” she is now charged with “terrorism.” Despite the absence of any evidence, the nature of the charge prevents a quick release, which is otherwise often the case with arbitrary arrests in Cuba.

    “We urge the authorities to free Michelena without delay and drop all charges against her,” said Lucie Morillon, head of research at Reporters Without Borders. “The decision to bring a more serious charge indicates a desire to silence her and put a stop to all her critical reporting. Police violence is nonetheless far from being a subject that Cubans can easily forget.”

    Independent journalists are subject to constant judicial harassment in Cuba. Arbitrary arrests are used to undermine their ability to work and to restrict the flow of information.

    Michelena was already arrested on 26 March, when she was released after a few hours. Police officers attacked the independent journalist Dania Virgen García on 12 April, as she was dropping her nephew off at school. Two state TV journalists who began to film the attack were also immediately arrested. The three women were released that evening.

    Reporters Without Borders wrote to French foreign minister Laurent Fabius ahead of his visit to Havana on 10 April asking him to raise the issue of arrests of journalists. RWB believes that an improvement in economic relations between Cuba and European Union countries should not be at the expense of Cuba’s journalists.

    Three other journalists and bloggers are currently detained in Cuba. They are Yoenni de Jesus Guerra García, who was arrested last October and was given a seven-year jail term in March; Angel Santiesteban-Prats, who has been held for more than a year; and José Antonio Torres, a reporter for the official newspaper Granma who was given a 14-year sentence in July 2012.

    Cuba is ranked 170th out of 180 countries in the 2014 Reporters Without Borders press freedom index – the lowest position of any country in the Americas.

  4. Humbertocapiro: A word to the wise and his noise…..
    Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance.

  5. HEY Omar Fundora! IF YOU PUT A LINK TO YOUR DIGITAL DIARRHEA IT WONT SMELL SO BAD!

    BBC NEWS (PHOTOS & VIDEO): Venezuela unrest: Fresh violence erupts in Caracas – 20 April 2014

    Tear gas and water cannon were used to disperse the protesters

    Fresh violence has erupted in the Venezuelan capital, Caracas, between police and opponents of President Nicolas Maduro.

    Masked protesters burned effigies of the president after a rally called “Resurrection of Democracy”.

    Police responded to petrol bombs in the Chacao district with tear gas and water cannon.

    More than 40 people have died in violent protests since February and hundreds of people have been arrested.

    The demonstrations started with students demanding action to tackle Venezuela’s high crime rate, its growing inflation and shortages of certain food staples.

    They have since grown into a wider opposition movement and many of the protesters say they will not stop until the government of President Maduro resigns.

    There have also been demonstrations in support of the government, with tens of thousands of people clad in red, the colour associated with the Bolivarian revolution, taking to the streets.
    ‘Free and independent’

    On Sunday, the rally started with a “Via Crucis” march, mirroring Jesus’s walk to crucifixion.

    “We’re staying in the street until we get our country back,” student leader Djamil Jassir, 22, told Reuters news agency.

    Another protester, Naybeth Ramirez, said: “There are many who have already died and it’s for them that we’re here. They’re not going to have an Easter again, nor carnival.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ARTICLE, VIDEO AND PHOTOS!

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-27099900

  6. Nick,

    Brothers to the Rescue were shot down over international waters.

    No evidence of them ever being in Cuba.

    No evidence of terrorism or violent intent.

    Evidence of them looking for boat people close to Florida.

    Castro would surely have shot them down over Cuba if he could, wouldn’t he?

    But he didn’t, because they were never there.

    Whatever Castro does, no matter how big his lies, his dupes believe him.

    Talk about ignoring facts.

    I love your fake pacifist, gun control, anti-death penalty slogans, and then your praise of blowing up defenseless civilians in international airspace.

  7. HEY Omar Fundora! WHEN I GET DIARRHEA I USE KAOPECTATE! MAYBE THERE IS A DIGITAL VERSION FOR YOUR CONDITION!

    IT PAINS ME TO NO END TO HEAR ABOUT THE COLLAPSE OF THESE BUILDINGS, WHICH ARE USUALLY THE HISTORIC ONES. EVEN WORSE, THE HUMAN TOLL AND INJURY CAUSED BY THE NEGLECT AND THE ABUSE OF THE CASTROFASCISTS AGAINST THE CUBAN PEOPLE AND THEIR BASIC NEEDS, LIKE SHELTER!

    YAHOO NEWS: Cuba home woes endure despite real-estate reform – by Andrea Rodriguez

    HAVANA (AP) — The residents of 308 Oquendo Street were jolted awake in the middle of the night by violent shaking and a noise that they likened to a freight train, or an exploding bomb.

    Part of their building’s seventh floor had collapsed into the interior patio, heavily damaging apartments on the floors below. No one died, but the 120 families living in the building were left homeless.

    Despite reforms in recent years to address the island’s housing problem, such building collapses remain common in Cuba, where decades of neglect and a dearth of new home construction have left untold thousands of islanders living in crowded structures at risk of suddenly falling down.

    When President Raul Castro legalized a real estate market for the first time in five decades, it was supposed to stimulate both new construction and maintenance of existing homes. But 2½ years later, there has been only a minimal impact on easing one of Cuba’s biggest challenges: a chronic lack of suitable housing.

    “We are very worried. The housing situation is critical in Cuba,” said Anaidis Ramirez, among those displaced by the Feb. 28 building collapse in the densely populated Central Havana neighborhood.

    Ramirez and dozens of other neighbors camped out for weeks on sidewalks and in a nearby parking garage to press authorities to find them decent homes. Some went to stay with relatives, while others found housing in cramped government shelters where families can be trapped for years until a permanent home opens up.

    Cuba, a country of about 11 million people, lacks around 500,000 housing units to adequately meet the needs of the island’s citizens, according to the most recent government numbers from 2010. The housing deficit widens each year as more buildings fall further into disrepair, punished year-round by the tropical sun, sea and wind.

    Sergio Diaz-Briquets, a U.S.-based demographer who has written about the island’s housing deficit, estimated the figure is now somewhere between 600,000 and 1 million.

    And, he said, adding in the existing units that are structurally unsound or otherwise unfit for occupancy, the true deficit “could be even greater.”

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!
    http://news.yahoo.com/cuba-home-woes-endure-despite-real-estate-reform-040202561.html

  8. Hank,
    You obviously do not wish to respond to my point that sovereign countries such as USA, UK, Cuba etc have the right to intercept known terrorists flying repeatedly over their airspace and over their territories including over well populated areas.
    If you do not wish to respond to this basic point, that’s your prerogative.
    If you wish to distort the context of the shoot down by referring to me as ‘homicidal’ or whatever other insult of your choosing, then this does not alter the facts of the incident and the many incursions by Basulto and his cronies that preceded the incident.

    I regret the loss of life, but do stress again that even if you are not in favour of the system of governance in a country, this does not mean that this country does not have the right to defend its airspace against known terrorist operatives.

    You may be of the opinion that Basulto is some kind of Mr Nice Guy.
    Again, I would say that this is your prerogative.

    There are those that have a very different view of this individual:

    http://archive.today/DNEsV

  9. OFFICIAL VIOLENCE, COLLECTIVE VIOLENCE OR SUPPRESSION OF FREE SPEECH INTENSITY AND MAGNITUDE IN CUBA IS DIRECTLY CORRELATED TO THE UNITED STATES POLICY OF REGIME CHANGE. THIS IS COMPOUNDED BY THE LACK OF WEALTH AND PURCHASING POWER BY THE CUBAN STATE TO RESOLVE THE SHORTAGE ISSUES IN THE COUNTRY. THE SOVEREIGNTY OF THE CUBAN PEOPLE REST IN THE BALANCE OF THE ABILITY OF THE STATE TO PROTECT ITS NATIONAL SECURITY FROM FOREIGN AGRESSION BY THE U.S., WHO USES CUBAN EXPATRIATES PLUS WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF OTHER COUNTRIES ACTING AS PROXIES, TO ACHIEVE AN ILLEGAL REMOVAL OF GOVERNMENT IN CUBA; WHILE AT THE SAME TIME, THE CUBAN GOVERNMENT HAS TO CONTINUE TO ACHIEVE ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY WITH INADEQUATE RESOURCES AT ITS DISPOSAL….a very, very tuff job!! …..THERE IS NO WAY FOR THE CURRENT GOVERNMENT IN CUBA TO EXPERIMENT WITH MULTI-PARTY DEMOCRACY AS LONG AS THE EMPIRE TO THE NORTH HAS IN THE LAWS OF THE NATION REGIME CHANGE AS A MUST IN ITS SOVEREIGN NEIGHBOR BEFORE IT WILL RESPECT CUBAN SOVEREIGNTY …. THE DISSIDENT CROWD IN CUBA AND CUBAN AMERICANS NEED TO BE ON THE SAME PAGE ON THIS IMPORTANT POINT. THE UNITED STATES STILL IS PLAYING BY THE RULES OF THE MONROE DOCTRINE AND THE PLATT AMENDMENT IN CUBA. THEY FEEL THE U.S. HAS THE RIGHT TO INTERFERE AND INTERVENE IN CUBA IF THEIR PERCEIVED INTEREST IS AT RISK. I CAN’T IMAGINE ANY CUBAN (RIGHT WINGER OR LEFT WINGER) WHO WOULD ASK HELP FROM THE UNITED STATES AS LONG AS THIS LAW EXIST. THE UNITED STATES WANTS CARD BLANCHE TO INTERVENE IN CUBA ECONOMICALLY OR POLITICALLY. POLITICALLY, BECAUSE ANY FORM OF REGIME CHANGE IN CUBA WILL OWE ITS EXISTANCE ON U.S. MONEY AND INFLUENCE…AND THE PAST WILL RETURN….CUBA WILL BE BACK TO BEING A PARASITE SOCIETY TO U.S. MONEY AND INFLUENCE. THE 21ST CENTURY CUBA SHOULD BE A DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC WHERE BOTH SOCIALISM AND LIBERALISM CAN COEXIST…

  10. LEFTISTS AND RIGHTISTS CAN COEXIST IN FRANCE …WHY NOT IN CUBA AND VENEZUELA….DEMOCRACY AT WORK IN FRANCE

    The Fifth Republic (1995–2011)

    During his first two years in office, President Jacques Chirac’s prime minister was Alain Juppé, who served contemporaneously as leader of Chirac’s neo-Gaullist Rally for the Republic (RPR). Chirac and Juppé benefited from a very large, if rather unruly, majority in the National Assembly (470 out of 577 seats).

    Mindful that the government might have to take politically costly decisions in advance of the legislative elections planned for spring 1998 in order to ensure that France met the Maastricht criteria for the single currency of the EU, Chirac decided in April 1997 to call early elections.

    The Left, led by Socialist Party leader Lionel Jospin, whom Chirac had defeated in the 1995 presidential race, unexpectedly won a solid National Assembly majority (319 seats, with 289 required for an absolute majority). President Chirac named Jospin prime minister on June 2, and Jospin went on to form a Plural Left government composed primarily of Socialist ministers, along with some ministers from allied parties of the left, such as the Communist Party and the Greens.

    Jospin stated his support for continued European integration and his intention to keep France on the path towards Economic and Monetary Union, albeit with greater attention to social concerns.

    Chirac and Jospin worked together, for the most part, in the foreign affairs field with representatives of the presidency and the government pursuing a single, agreed French policy. Their “cohabitation” arrangement was the longest-lasting in the history of the Fifth Republic.

    The right in power 2002–2012[edit]

    However, it ended subsequent to the legislative elections that followed Chirac’s decisive defeat of Jospin (who failed even to make it through to the runoff) in the 2002 presidential election.

    This led to President Chirac’s appointment of Jean-Pierre Raffarin (UMP) as the new prime minister.

    On May 29, 2005, French voters in the referendum on the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe turned down the proposed charter by a wide margin.

    This was generally regarded as a rebuke to Chirac and his government as well as the PS leadership, the majority save for the leftist faction and Laurent Fabius — had supported the proposed constitution. Two days later, Raffarin resigned and Chirac appointed Dominique de Villepin, formerly Foreign Minister as Prime Minister of France.

    An enduring force is Jean-Marie Le Pen’s National Front party, whose anti-immigration, isolationist policies have been described by critics as inspired by xenophobia. Le Pen’s survival into the runoff of 2002 had many observers worried this time, but in the 2007 first round Le Pen finished a distant fourth.

    The February 23, 2005 French law on colonialism was met by a public uproar on the left-wing. Voted by the UMP majority, it was charged with advocating historical revisionism, and after long debates and international opposition (from Abdelaziz Bouteflika or Aimé Césaire, founder of the Négritude movement), was repealed by Jacques Chirac himself.

    In Autumn 2005, civil unrest erupted in a number of lower classes suburbs due to the violence of the police. As a result, the government invoked a state of emergency which lasted until January 2006.

    In 2006, Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin enacted amendments that established a First Employment Contract, known as the CPE, a special kind of employment contract under which workers under the age of 26 could be hired and fired liberally.

    Proponents of the measure argued that French workforce laws, which put the burden of proof on the employer for dismissing employees, dissuaded employers from hiring new employees; according to them, this is one reason while the unemployment rate of those under 26 is 23% and that of youngsters from some lower classes neighbourhoods as high as 40%, and not the refusal of exploitation to enrich the wealthy class.

    However, the plan backfired, with criticism both on the way the law was passed (using an exceptional legislative procedure) and on the law itself, which was criticized both for weakening workers’ rights in general, and for singling out the young disfavourably instead of attempting to cure more general issues. Following the 2006 protests against the CPE, the government had to withdraw the legislation.

    Following from these events, Villepin lost all hopes of winning the presidency, and his government no longer tried to enact reforms.

    The issue of liberalism or socialism

    One of the great questions of current French politics is that of libéralisme — that is, economic liberalism, individualism society and the market system, as opposed to government intervention in the economy. Broadly speaking, supporters of libéralisme want to let the forces of the free market operate with less regulation. For example, they want little regulation of the workforce and repeal of French laws setting a 35-hour work week rather than leaving this to contract negotiations. Critics of libéralisme argue that governmental intervention is necessary for the welfare of workers; they point out that great gains in workers’ rights were historically achieved by government intervention and social mobilization, as during the Popular Front. Similarly, proponents of libéralisme favour free markets and the free movement of goods, which critics contend benefit the wealthy class at the expense of the ordinary worker.

    According to historian René Rémond’s famous classification of the right-wings in France, this libérale tradition belongs to the Orleanist inheritance, while Gaullists inherited from Bonapartism and a tradition of state intervention issued from the National Council of Resistance (CNR)’s welfare state program after the war. However, neo-Gaullists have since rallied economic liberalism, with the result that modern French conservatives — such as the UMP, or before that the RPR, the UDF or the Independent Republicans — all supported economic liberalism. The so-called right-wing of the Socialist Party: François Hollande, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Ségolène Royal have done likewise.

    Some rightists, such as Nicolas Sarkozy, favour radical change in the relationship between the government and the free-market. They argue that for the last 30 years, under both left-wing and right-wing governments, the French have been misled into believing that things could go on without real reforms. One may say that they favour a Thatcherite approach. Others on the right (including Dominique de Villepin) as well as some on the left argue in favour of gradual reforms. In comparison, the 2005 refusal of the French electorate to vote for the proposed European Constitution was interpreted by some — in particular the French Communist Party and far-left parties such as LO or the LCR — as a popular refusal of libéralisme, which the European Union is perceived to embody. Some such as Laurent Fabius have argued that the Socialist Party should thus have a more “left-wing” line.

    Libertarianism as such is rare in France; it is considered a form of ultra-liberalism or neo-liberalism and upheld only by very few right-wingers, such as Alain Madelin.

  11. MARXISTS ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION IN VENEZUELA
    Interview with Steve Ellner: Can A Country Have A Revolutionary State and A Capitalist Economy?

    BASICALLY MR. ELLNER STATE THE OBVIOUS…NO MATTER HOW MUCH THE CHAVISTAS WANT TO IMPLEMENT THE SOCIALIST MODEL IN VENEZUELA, THEY CANNOT DO IT IN A VACCUUM AND MUST ALLOW FOR CAPITALISM BECAUSE OF WORLD CAPITALISM.

    E.M. – What conclusions do you reach regarding the characteristics of the Venezuelan road to socialism?

    S.E. – The propitious factors in Venezuela run contrary to the thesis of the “constituted power” versus the “constituent power” in which the road to socialism is characterized by a head-on struggle between the state bureaucrats and the top leaders of the Partido Socialista Unido de Venezuela (PSUV) (that is, the ““constituted power”), on the one hand, and the social movements with radical slogans (“constituent power”), on the other. On the contrary, the favorable factors point to a process in which socialism is achieved through initiatives “from above” on the part of the governing leaders committed to socialism, and “from below” on the part of the social movements and other rank-and-file organizations, as Poulantzas envisioned. In the process, mechanisms of participation in decision making are established at all levels, and this implies a transformation of the state, whose characteristics are impossible to predict. Nevertheless, this thesis does not deny the existence of tensions, conflicts and contradictions between those operating “from above” and “from below” within the revolutionary camp.

    E.M. – What are the favorable factors in Venezuela that you are referring to?

    S.E. – In the first place, the national executive in 2002-2003 took control of the state oil company PDVSA as well as the armed forces – the two most important institutions in Venezuela. It also gained control of the Central Bank which had previously been to a great degree “autonomous,” which in practice means at the service of foreign interests. The abundant resources derived from oil production in a period of high prices on the international market represent an additional advantage of great importance. Another factor is the weakness of the private Venezuelan sector, the result of the penetration of the nation’s economy on the part of multinational companies toward the end of the 1980s and the 1990s. In addition, the weakening of U.S. influence in all areas other than the military front is another factor. Finally, the Chavistas have gained elections with high percentage points, such as the contests of 2006 when Chávez received 63 percent of the votes, the highest of all presidential elections since 1958.

    E.M. – In this interview you have largely refrained from presenting your own viewpoint. Do you have any final observations with regard to theories of the state and their application to Venezuela?

    S.E. – I have two major observations. The most important is the following. The theoretical discussion on the state in the democratic transition to socialism cannot be confined to the intellectual arena because it explains the challenges and complexities that confront the government and the Chavista movement. The recognition of this reality serves to counter the disillusionment and erosion of energy that are major dangers. As much as the leaders of the process in Venezuela are honestly committed to socialism there is a reality that cannot be denied: the economic structure in Venezuela continues to be capitalist and this is the most basic of all, more basic than what happens in the realm of politics and perhaps even in the cultural arena. Marxism teaches that the “superstructure” – in this case the state – can never be completely divorced from the structure, that is, the capitalist system. I believe that the case of the 20 billion dollars of Cadivi puts in evidence this reality. The Venezuelan state does not exist in a vacuum, but rather it is linked in important ways to the capitalist structure. By this I am not justifying for one moment the corruption that everyone knows exists, although it is extremely difficult to measure. While the Chavista movement struggles against corruption and other abuses on the part of businesspeople, some of whom are linked to Chavismo, we have to recognize that these phenomena are inevitable when the process is democratic and relatively peaceful.

    E.M. – This is your principal observation. You mentioned that you have another one.

    S.E. – Discussion on the role of the state that is not based on real facts ends up being merely speculative. This was the critique that the English Marxist Ralph Miliband formulated against Poulantzas that the latter (in a demonstration of intellectual honesty) recognized to be valid. The validity of the arguments of Poulantzas, Althusser and others are going to be demonstrated through practice. Specifically in the case of Venezuela, there are no dogmas that can serve as a blueprint for the future. The process is novel with many unique aspects. For this reason, tolerance toward different positions within the revolutionary camp is logical. No one can say for sure what is coming next. I am even opposed to the use of the term “petty bourgeois” to discredit positions on the left, because the petty bourgeoisie, that is the middle class, has an important role to play in the process of change and their interests and proposals cannot be ignored or scorned.

  12. MARXISTS ANALYSIS OF THE SITUATION IN VENEZUELA
    Interview with Steve Ellner: Can A Country Have A Revolutionary State and A Capitalist Economy?

    of two Marxist theories on the state, developed by Louis Althusser and Nicos Poulantzas, and the manner in which both influence leftist strategy. Can you summarize the two.
    S.E. Sure. Structural Marxism associated with Althusser points out that the state under the control of leaders of the bourgeoisie maintains a relative autonomy in its relations with the capitalists in order to guarantee the greatest possible degree of stability and defend the long-term interests of the capitalist system. Nevertheless, at no time does the bourgeois state promote or accept structural changes that endanger the capitalist system. This concept is fundamentally different from “dogmatic Marxism” that sees the state as a simple “instrument” of the capitalists that is always at their service. In the United States, for instance, the “dogmatists” refuse to support any politician of the Democratic Party, even though some of them have backed popular reforms such as the application of the system of social security in the area of health. In contrast, the structural Marxism of Althusser that recognizes the state’s capacity to implement progressive economic reforms is compatible with a strategy in the U.S. of selective support for some Democrats. An example of a progressive Democrat is the recently elected mayor of New York Bill de Blasio, who has assumed positions in favor of the non-privileged sectors of the population.

    E.M. – And with regard to Poulantzas’ state theory?

    S.E. – At first Poulantzas defended the structuralist theory associated with Althusser. But in his last book before his untimely death in 1979, titled State, Power, Socialism, Poulantzas viewed the state as even less tied to the capitalist structure than did Althusser. Poulantzas argued that the state is inherently unstable in that it absorbs social conflicts and reflects the change in the correlation of political forces. Thus, for example, the flourishing of the struggles of the popular classes as a result of the organization and mobilization of the underprivileged, the growth of organized labor, and the advances of leftist political parties invariably have an impact on the state. The theory of Poulantzas lends itself to strategic alliances between the left and parties near the center of power. This option for the left of alliance formation goes beyond occasional electoral support for some “establishment” politicians in favor of specific demands, as is envisioned in the theory of Althusser.

    E.M. – In other words, according to the structural Marxists the state is not always at the service of the capitalists, at least when it comes to economic reforms.

    S.E. – That’s right. The capitalist state is in charge of guaranteeing the survival of capitalism and maintaining stability, and to achieve this on occasion it has to give in to the workers. Consequently it makes concessions to them contrary to the short-term interests of large economic groups. The state cannot ignore class conflict and therefore it tends to mediate between the interests of the capitalists and those of the workers and the popular classes in general. At times, the state in its determination to defend the long-term interests of the system, clashes with the capitalists who are more absorbed by their immediate interests. Furthermore, the state has to be above the short-term interests of the capitalists because at times different fractions of the capitalist class enter into conflict. For this reason a simple link cannot exist between the state and the bourgeoisie. But at the same time, the state defends at all costs the hegemony of the capitalist system both in the country and at the international level. And furthermore, the state cannot distance itself too much from the capitalists because, according to Poulantzas, it has to respond to the logic of the capitalist system that is based on capital accumulation. In short, the best form for the state to defend the capitalist system and maintain stability is to be a bit removed from the capitalist class as such, at the same time that the basic interests of the two always converge.

    E.M. – Give me an example of how this functions in practice.

    S.E. I’ll provide two. Barack Obama at times supports economic and social policies that are relatively beneficial to the popular classes in the United States and in the process is heavily criticized by the right financed by powerful economic groups. But at the same time, the president promotes a foreign policy that is almost as aggressive and bellicose as that of the Republicans. The Democratic Party can masquerade as champions of the working class – much like Acción Democrática did in Venezuela as the “Party of the People” – but when it comes to defending the imperialist system, the Democrats and Republicans area one of the same with just minimum differences. The war in Vietnam, for instance, was in large part the work of President Lyndon B. Johnson (a Democrat) and was continued by the Republican Richard Nixon, and something similar happened in the case of the wars in the Mid-East with George W. Bush and then Obama. Another example is U.S. policy toward Cuba. In its defense of imperialism, the government has maintained an embargo on Cuba for half a century. During much of that time, one of the lobbyists in favor of lifting the embargo has been no one other than David Rockefeller, who has his eyes set on the possibility of doing business on the island. In short, at times the state defends the interests of capitalism with greater determination than the capitalists!

  13. John Bibb: Guys like Zimmerman is the reason why we need better gun controls…this wanna be a policeman turd had no business having a gun…did you heard about the reasons for his divorce and why his girlfriend was afraid of him…stand your ground law is a bad law, specially in Florida and other Southern states. The Evangelical crowd are one dollar short on brains and a great number of Latin American immigrants have grown up with so much violence around them that they think shooting someone for non hard core crime is okay…..

  14. Humbertocapiro: I hope every guy in Cuba knows about Pamela….the best contraceptive in the World….( I will let you think about this one for a few minutes….)

  15. Hank: my posts are for the learned minds…so don’t bother reading them….it may cause you to have a brain cramp…:) :)….by the way….Happy Easter to everybody…

  16. Happy Easter to you too, Nick.

    You must agree that blowing unarmed Cessnas, and the civilians who were in those Cessnas, out of the sky such that they all were murdered is objectively wrong.

    Are you on the side of the murderers or do you side with those of us who seek justice?

  17. Omar,

    Brevity is the soul of wit.

    Your lengthy spam posts here are tiresome, to say the least.

  18. ***
    Class envy–class warfare–racial / ethnic divisions are Satan’s tools. Good Christians–and good people–should follow God’s rules instead. Respect and honest and equal treatment for all people works much better!
    ***
    Envidia de clase–guerra de clase–divisiones raciales / ethnicos–son las herramientas de Satanas. Buen Christianos–y buena gente–debian de segir las reglas de Dios en lugar de ello. Respeto y tratamiento honesto y egual por todo la gente trabaja mucho mejor!
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

  19. ***
    HI OMAR FUNDORA–Sorry to confuse you with the actual facts from the witch hunt trial. Trayvon Martin’s paranoid “White Polar Bear Hunting” attack on “White Hispanic” George Zimmerman didn’t work out like he planned. Stand Your Ground didn’t have anything to do with this self defense incident. GZ was on the grass / cement getting his head slammed into the cement. TM was on top of him doing MMA hits on him. GZ would be dead–or a vegetable in a wheel chair–if he hadn’t defended himself.
    ***
    Never take fists to a gunfight! I guess you missed TM’s long rap sheet. He was in possession of stolen jewelery. He had assaulted a bus driver a few days before Saint Treyvon went to Heaven.
    ***
    HOLA OMAR FUNDORA–es triste confundirte con los verdades actuales del trial buscabruja! El ataque “Cazador De Osos Polares Blancos” que hizo Travon Martin contra de “Hispanico Blanco” George Zimmerman no salio como planeado. Para En Su Tierra no tuvo nada con este incidente de defensa personal. GZ fue en el sacate / cemento recibiendo golpes a su cabeza contra del cemento. TM fue arriba de el pegandole con golpes MMA. GZ fuera muerto–o un vegetal en una silla de ruedas–si no se defendio.
    ***
    Nunca lleva punos al pleito de pistolas! Creo que no vistes los previos quejas policiacas contra de TM. Fue en possesion de joyas / possessiones robadas. Ha asaultado un manejador de camiones unas dias antes que Santo Travon fue al Cielo.
    ***
    John Bibb
    ***

  20. GUESS Omar Fundora IS NOT AT CHURCH TODAY! HE IS BATTING 10 FOR 10 COMMENTS THIS MORNING! UP TO ME TO BRING SOME VARIETY TO HIS DIARRHEA OF THE KEYBOARD AND MOUSE (not bunnies)!

    THE CASTROFASCISTS SHOULD PULL OUT A LITTLE BIT OF MONEY FROM THEIR SWISS BANK ACCOUNTS AND BUY SOME CONDOMS FOR THE CUBAN CITIZENS! JUST A LITTLE OF THEIR WEALTH WOULD BUY A LOT OF CONDOMS!

    MIAMI HERALD: Cuba moves to end condom shortage by selling ‘expired’ stock – by Juan Tamayo

    Hoping to resolve a shortage of condoms that has sparked complaints around Cuba, the island’s public health system has approved the sale of more than one million prophylactics with apparently expired dates.

    Pharmacy sales personnel must explain to the buyers that the condoms are good and simply have the wrong expiration dates, said a report Saturday in Vanguardia, the newspaper of the Communist Party in the central province of Villa Clara.

    A Vanguardia report April 3 on the shortage said that the government agency in charge of certifying medical items in 2012 had noticed erroneous expiration dates on the “Moments” prophylactics imported from China.

    The agency ordered the preservatives be repackaged with the correct dates, the newspaper added. But the state-run enterprise repackaging the more than a million condoms in stock does not have enough workers to process the 5,000 condoms per day required just in Villa Clara province.

    Vanguardia did not publish the “wrong” dates, but its report hinted that they showed the prophylactics had expired or would soon expire. The shelf life of condoms is very long, it said.

    “Although the lots are in optimal conditions, under the certificate of the Center for the State Control of Medicines and Medical Equipment the condoms could not be sold without the new expiration date, December of 2014,” Vanguardia reported Saturday.

    “Due to the irregularities in the re-packaging, which has provoked prolonged absences of the prophylactics throughout the country, the Public Health Ministry authorized the sale of the ‘Moments’ condoms in their current packages,” on April 4, the newspaper added.

    Several Cuban bloggers commented acridly on the shortage long after April 4, with some noting that it could lead to the spread of sexually transmitted diseases as well as unwanted pregnancies and abortions. The story was picked up in the newspapers El Nuevo Herald and The Guardian in London.

    The Cuban government, meanwhile, also published a list of companies around the world that are authorized to ship packages to the island, a business hit routinely with complaints of lost packages, high prices and outright fraud.

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE ARTICLE!

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2014/04/20/4070346/cuba-moves-to-end-condom-shortage.html#storylink=cpy

  21. The five systems of Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory- Multi-dimensional approach to deal with violence…Cuba use of official violence to fight dissent instead of addressing the Human Rights issues and scarcity in the country will only foment more violence. Raul is trying to address the scarcity issue with his Reforms of 2011, but, he also needs to stop using collective violence to deal with dissent. Cuba needs to be more open to constructive criticism. Governance in Cuba should integrate Bronfenbrenner’s ecological systems theory in the political, educational, economic and social arenas in the country….but, without medium of exchange to pay for reforms or foreign investments or loans….no country in the World can meet the expectations of the international community for a modern civil society…the safety valve of allowing Free Speech to vent discontent with existing conditions are essential to avoid greater amount of violence…

    Ecological systems theory refers to the institutions and groups that most immediately and directly impact the child’s development including: family, school, religious institutions, neighborhood, and peers.

    Mesosystem: Interconnections between the microsystems,Interactions between the family and teachers,Relationship between the child’s peers and the family

    Exosystem: Involves links between a social setting in which the individual does not have an active role and the individual’s immediate context. For example, a parent’s or child’s experience at home may be influenced by the other parent’s experiences at work. The parent might receive a promotion that requires more travel, which might increase conflict with the other parent and change patterns of interaction with the child.

    Macrosystem: Describes the culture in which individuals live. Cultural contexts include developing and industrialized countries, socioeconomic status, poverty, and ethnicity. A child, his or her parent, his or her school, and his or her parent’s workplace are all part of a large cultural context. Members of a cultural group share a common identity, heritage, and values. The macrosystem evolves over time, because each successive generation may change the macrosystem, leading to their development in a unique macrosystem.

    Chronosystem: The patterning of environmental events and transitions over the life course, as well as sociohistorical circumstances. For example, divorces are one transition. Researchers have found that the negative effects of divorce on children often peak in the first year after the divorce. By two years after the divorce, family interaction is less chaotic and more stable. An example of sociohistorical circumstances is the increase in opportunities for women to pursue a career during the last thirty years.

    The person’s own biology may be considered part of the microsystem; thus the theory has recently sometimes been called “Bio-Ecological Systems Theory.”

    Per this theoretical construction, each system contains roles, norms and rules which may shape psychological development. For example, an inner-city family faces many challenges which an affluent family in a gated community does not, and vice versa. The inner-city family is more likely to experience environmental hardships, like crime and squalor. On the other hand the sheltered family is more likely to lack the nurturing support of extended family.[3]

    Since its publication in 1979, Bronfenbrenner’s major statement of this theory, The Ecology of Human Development has had widespread influence on the way psychologists and others approach the study of human beings and their environments. As a result of his groundbreaking work in “human ecology”, these environments — from the family to economic and political structures — have come to be viewed as part of the life course from childhood through adulthood.

    Bronfenbrenner has identified Soviet developmental psychologist Lev Vygotsky and German-born psychologist Kurt Lewin as important influences on his theory.

    Bronfenbrenner’s work provides one of the foundational elements of the ecological counseling perspective, as espoused by Robert K. Conyne, Ellen Cook, and the University of Cincinnati Counseling Program.

    There are many different theories related to human development. The ecological theory emphasizes environmental factors as playing the major role to development.

  22. GEOGRAPHY OF VIOLENCE

    Violence, as defined in the dictionary of human geography, “appears whenever power is in jeopardy” and “in and of itself stands emptied of strength and purpose: it is part of a larger matrix of soci-political power struggles”. Violence can be broadly divided into three broad categories – direct violence, structural violence and cultural violence. Thus defined and delineated, it is of note, as Hyndman says, that “geography came late to theorizing violence”[99] in comparison to other social sciences. Social and human geography, rooted in the humanist, Marxist, and feminist subfields that emerged following the early positivist approaches and subsequent behavioral turn, have long been concerned with social and spatial justice. Along with critical geographers and political geographers, it is these groupings of geographers that most often interact with violence. Keeping this idea of social/spatial justice via geography in mind, it is worthwhile to look at geographical approaches to violence in the context of politics.

    Derek Gregory and Alan Pred assembled the influential edited collection “Violent Geographies: Fear, Terror, and Political Violence”, which demonstrates how place, space and landscape are foremost factors in the real and imagined practices of organized violence both historically and in the present. Political violence, evidently, often gives a part for the state to play. When “modern states not only claim a monopoly of the legitimate means of violence; they also routinely use the threat of violence to enforce the rule of law” the law not only becomes a form of violence but is violence. Philosopher Giorgio Agamben’s state of exception and homo sacer are useful to consider within a geography of violence. The state, in the grip of a perceived, potential crisis (whether legitimate or not) takes preventative legal measures, such as a suspension of rights (it is in this climate, as Agamben demonstrates, that the formation of the Social Democratic and Nazi government’s lager or concentration camp can occur). When this ‘in limbo’ reality, however, is designed to be in place “until further notice…the state of exception thus ceases to be referred to as an external and provisional state of factual danger and comes to be confused with juridical rule itself”. For Agamben, the physical space of the camp “is a piece of land placed outside the normal juridical order, but it is nevertheless not simply an external space”.At the scale of the body, in the state of exception, a person is so removed from their rights by “juridical procedures and deployments of power” that “no act committed against them could appear any longer as a crime[ – man is only homo sacer. Guantanamo Bay could also be said to represent the physicality of the state of exception in space, and can just as easily draw man as homo sacer. Cuban dissidents are placed in Violent Geographies of Fear, Terror and Political Violence by the State….

    Human geography, though coming late to the theorizing table, has tackled violence through many lenses – anarchist geography, feminist geography, Marxist geography, political geography, and critical geography – and this broad stroke list is by no means exhaustive. But, “as violence spreads and assumes unheard-of forms, it becomes difficult to name in contemporary language”. In facing such a truth, it is prudent to reconsider violence as ‘horrorism’, as Cavarero proposes – “Horrorism – as though ideally all the…victims, instead of their killers, ought to determine the name”. With geography often adding the forgotten spatial aspect to theories of social science, rather than creating them solely within the discipline, it seems that the self-reflexive contemporary geography of today may have an extremely important place in this current (re)imaging of violence, exemplified by Cavarero

  23. BAD GUN LAWS IN THE U.S. KILL AND CONTRIBUTE TO VIOLENCE IN THE NATION

    Here is an example of the problem with creating laws from ideas that on the surface appeared to be good. The Stand your Ground law would probably be a good law in Canada because the issue of racial inequality is not as big an issue as in our country. But, with our history of racial discrimination, prejudism and inequality …allowing people to use deadly force facilitate agressive behavior because might is right and carrying a gun gives people might over others that may not be carrying the same deadly force with them specially if the other person is black or a Minority. The Stand your Ground law eliminates an important psychological barrier to deter agression fueled by prejudism and racism…blacks and other minorities have a greater chance of having a run with the law then whites because of their economic plight in our society. Blacks and Minorities are heavily represented in our country’s criminal population. This fact sets the wheels in motion for inter-racial hate and rationalization that you need to be on guard any time you see a black person or Minority in your neighborhood…After hearing the voice of Mr. Zimmerman on the 911 tapes posted on the internet…I can detect the hate for blacks in his voice…he ignored the request by the police to stay in his car and not chase the youth…no dought in my mind that he did this because he was carrying a 9 mm gun with him…had he not be armed, he probably would not have given chase…In a State like Florida, this is a bad law that need to be repealed…Florida is notorious for having many incidents of hate crimes in its history…there is no need for the State Judicial System to contribute to a deeply rooted problem…

  24. VIOLENCE IN THE US.

    People kill people, guns do not kill people. Socialogists and psychologist will tell you that violent acts are the result of aggressive behavior and depression . We live in one of the most vIolent society in the World. We need a cultural change of epic proportion to eradicate the problem. Our attitude and ideology has been molded by every generation since the Civil War been trained to kill and fight in Wars. Inequality, a well known culprit of acts of aggression against yourself, others and against regimes is an essential component of how our country works. Our neighborhoods in big cities are polarized by ethnic immigrants clinging to the Old country ways and willing to commit acts of violence to defend it. Healthcare is not available to everyone that needs it. This is one of the reasons we have so many walking time bombs among us. Dysfunctional homes and single parent homes makes the job of raising children that can enjoy a healthy environment to grow into solid adults difficult. Schools in poor neighborhoods resemble detention centers with security in every hallway and thugs standing by outside the school grounds to sale drugs to young people. Our Media constantly bring to our homes stories of suicide, people on people violent acts and terrorism at home and from around the World. Guns used in violent acts simply magnify the results of our violence and are not the reason for the acts of violence. We need a national cultural lavatomy to correct the problem

  25. VIOLENCE CONTROL IN THE UNITED STATES…THE WORST CRIME RECORD IN THE WORLD.

    Violence control is as old as man. Kennedy started programs for youth violence and Johnson launched “the War on Crime” during the 60’s which was a period of rising crimes until the 70’s…additional peaks in violence through the 90’s followed by a steady decline (for us-we still are a leading nation in this category). One in 300 of us is prone to commit a violent act …as far as “deficiencies” in contributing factors to acts of violence, inequality has increased dramatically and we have experienced cuts in social programs created to deal with the problem. We spend a great deal of resources in the control of violence by deterrence, incapacitation and rehabilitation instead of prevention. In other words we fight violence with more violence…is not working very well. I am curious to see what new plan the administration comes up with

  26. VIOLENCE IN THE HOLLYWOOD MOVIES IN THE UNITED STATES

    Background check, censorship, better mental healthcare and responsible media are all variables that can influence in a positive way violence in our country. Our cinematic culture for more than 100 years now has made possible for our collective imagination to be an external force that influences the relationship between imagination and action by making the boundaries between the self and action permeable. In other words, what I would call a tactic influence by our culture where responsible citizens develop technologies for profit who transform our civic life in a negative way. The cost/benefit of Media to the society need to pocess a numerical value that represents the degree of risk the product has in the contribution to violence. The creation of this numerical value will incentivize the Media industry to consider the amount of violence its product contain. The value of this number can be written into a regulation so that it can be taxed to do a better job keeping out too much violence from the collective imagination of the nation. We need a cultural lobotomy. We also need to make the business of going to war more expensive to avoid getting into one so readily. Every generation since our founding has had to participate in a war. Our people can’t remember a generation that did not experience the horrors of war. This shared experience can’ t be an advantage to violence control. Our leading violent act is carried out by young people between the ages of 18 and 23. They are committing suicide with a hand gun. We consume more illegal drugs then anyone else in the developed world. Our male soldiers rape our female soldiers in disturbing numbers and inequality is at a very high level adding to the strength of the external forces influencing the relationship between imagination and action

  27. Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2011
    United States Department of State • Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor
    CUBA

    Freedom of Speech: The government had little tolerance for public criticism of government officials or programs. Even prominent cultural figures faced reprisals for making statements construed to be critical of the government. Painter Pedro Pablo Oliva was expelled from the Provincial Assembly of his native Pinar del Rio and had his workshop temporarily closed after he gave an interview to a foreign publication in which he was critical of the government. Public debate of issues considered sensitive was limited. During the year state security continuously harassed the organizers of an independent forum for debates on cultural and social topics and forced them to stop discussing issues deemed controversial. The forum organizers reported visits by state security, video surveillance installed outside the venue, and detention of panelists on the day in which they were expected to appear.
    During the year religious groups reported greater latitude to voice their opinions during sermons and at religious gatherings than in the past, although most members of the clergy exercised self-censorship. Religious leaders in some cases criticized the government, its policies, and even the country’s leadership without reprisals. In September the Catholic Church opened a cultural center in Havana that hosted debates featuring participants voicing different opinions about the country’s future; well-known dissidents were allowed to participate.
    Freedom of Press: The government directly owned all print and broadcast media outlets and all sources of information, and it did not allow editorial independence. News and information programming was nearly uniform across all outlets. The government also controlled nearly all publications and press prints, requiring CP approval before materials could go to press.
    Online postings, including from bloggers and independent journalists, were not censored. Some journalists also published newsletters in hard copy. Like other government critics, bloggers and independent journalists faced sustained government harassment.
    The Catholic Church published two periodicals that sometimes included criticism of official social and economic policies. The Catholic Church received permission to broadcast Christmas and Easter messages on state-run stations. The government also allowed the broadcast of a message on September 8, the feast day of the Virgin of Charity, the country’s patron saint. The Council of Churches, the government-recognized Protestant umbrella organization, was authorized to host monthly two hour-long radio broadcasts.
    Violence and Harassment: The government does not recognize independent journalism and subjected some independent journalists to detentions, harassment, equipment seizures, and threats of imprisonment. At least 25 of the political prisoners that the government released in 2010 and the first three months of 2011 had worked as independent journalists prior to their imprisonment in 2003. During the year the government televised a series of propaganda “documentaries,” one of which was aimed at discrediting independent journalists and featured the outing of a well-known independent journalist who claimed that he had been working for state security for years.

  28. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment in Cuba

    The law prohibits abusive treatment of detainees and prisoners. However, there were verified reports that members of the security forces harassed and sometimes physically assaulted human rights and prodemocracy advocates, dissidents, other detainees, and prisoners, and they did so with impunity. Some detainees and prisoners endured physical abuse, sometimes by other inmates with the acquiescence of guards, or long periods in isolation cells.
    There were numerous reports of police assaults on detainees or of police standing by, and even orchestrating, government-organized mobs to assault peaceful demonstrators.
    Reports of beatings of prisoners were commonplace and included beatings by prison officials as well as among prisoners. There were some reports of prisoner-on-prisoner sexual assaults, generally due to lax security by prison guards, and at least one report of rape by prison guards.

  29. HUMAN RIGHTS REPORT ON CUBA (DATED REPORT)

    Cuba is a totalitarian state led by Raul Castro, who is the chief of state, president of the council of state and council of ministers, and commander in chief of the armed forces. At the Sixth Communist Party Congress held in April, delegates also elected Castro as party first secretary. The constitution recognizes the Communist Party (CP) as the only legal party and “the superior leading force of society and of the state.” The 2008 legislative elections were neither free nor fair. A CP candidacy commission preapproved all candidates, and all 614 members ran unopposed. Security forces reported to a national leadership that included members of the military.
    The principal human rights abuses were: abridgement of the right of citizens to change their government; government threats, intimidation, mobs, harassment, and detentions to prevent citizens from assembling peacefully; and a significant increase in the number of short-term detentions, which in December rose to the highest monthly number in 30 years.
    The following additional human rights abuses continued: beatings, harsh prison conditions, and selective prosecution and denial of fair trial. Authorities interfered with privacy and engaged in pervasive monitoring of private communications. The government also placed severe limitations on freedom of speech and press, restricted freedom of movement, and limited freedom of religion. The government refused to recognize independent human rights groups or permit them to function legally. In addition, the government continued to place severe restrictions on worker rights, including the right to form independent unions.
    Most human rights abuses were official acts committed at the direction of the government, and consequently the perpetrators enjoyed impunity for their actions.

  30. senseless violence is wrong. But what about the root cause?

    apart from war and aggression as defined under international law, nine forms of violence may be identified as among the most commonly observed world wide. The degree of their incidence differs in place and time. They are: domestic, criminal, official, ethnic, chiliastic, political (protest oriented), religious-sectarian, terrorist, and revolutionary violence. Often these forms overlap. For example, official violence can be as terroristic in nature as revolutionary and criminal violence. Officially sponsored death squads and foreign covert operations are examples. Similarly sectarian violence frequently takes terrorist forms. And revolutionary violence nearly always involves a combination of protest, terrorism, and warfare.

    different forms of violence are alive and kicking in every community. None of us is off the hook.

    It could be towards people of different ethnicities, religions or ideologies.

    If we want to end violent conflict, we must eradicate prejudice, understand life in one another’s shoes and see conflicts as opportunities – not threats. We must discover constructive solutions to our mutual problems, rather than letting our relationships – or even the government – shut down.

    This is the thinking behind Join the Search, the global movement to end violence. United Network of Young Peacebuilders, the Peace and Collaborative Development Network, and dozens more local youth organizations are already onboard. By International Day of Peace 2014, we’re aiming to get one million people to take the pledge to end violent conflict and join the movement.

    Violent conflict means physical and sexual violence, but it also includes verbal abuse, bullying and systematic discrimination. Violent conflict is a root cause of hunger, poverty, low education and poor healthcare, oppression. It disrupts trade for decades and destroys the environment.

    Domestic violence in Cuba against women in particular has to do with inadequate housing and patriarchal family structure.

    the convergence and accentuation of multiple forms of violence, has historically signaled the decline of the state, its legitimacy, ideological mooring, and institutional will and capacity to govern. Violence practicing groups emerge as the weakened state’s competitors. As such, in countries where the phenomenon persists the state gradually loses the attributes of authority, and anarchy ensues with power passing to a myriad of militias, warlords, and other more or less lawless and predatory groupings. Cuba today is not remotely there, but is moving toward a critical zone from where it will take the state and society generations to return to a semblance of normal existence. When the critical point of near collapse is reached, the viability of statehood depends more on external than internal factors. Acts of repudiation are official violent acts against discontent that should be stopped. The severity of poverty in Cuba caused by shortages accentuates violence in the country that needs to be corrected by addressing the shortage problems and not with official violence. This is the wrong antidote to the problem.

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