Common Criminals

To the memory of Wilman Villar Mendoza

A couple of years ago, my friend Eugenio Leal decided ask for the report of his criminal record, necessary paperwork when applying for certain jobs. With confidence, he applied for the form where it would say he had never been convicted of any crime but found, in its place, a disagreeable surprise: it appeared that he was the perpetrator of a “robbery with force” in the town where he’d been born, although in fact he had never even run a red light. Eugenio protested, because he knew this wasn’t a bureaucratic error nor a mere accident. His activities as a dissident had already made him the victim of repudiation rallies, arrests and threats, and now a blot on his criminal record had been added. He had gone from being a member of the opposition to someone with a past as a “common criminal,” something very useful to the political police to discredit him.

If we allow ourselves to be guided by government propaganda, there is not a single decent person on this island, concerned about the nation’s destiny and who hasn’t committed crimes, who is also against the system. Everyone who offers a critique is immediately branded as a terrorist or traitor, criminal or amoral. Accusations difficult to “disprove” in a country where, every day, the majority of citizens have to commit several illegalities to survive. We are 11 million common criminals, whose misdeeds range from buying milk on the black market to having a satellite dish. Fugitives from a criminal code that strangles us, fugitives from “everything is forbidden,” escapees from a prison that starts with the Constitution of the Republic itself. We are a population almost imprisoned, in the expectation that the magnifying glass of power hovers over us, raking through our lives and discovering the latest offense.

Now, with the death of Wilman Villar Mendoza, once again the old system of State insult repeats itself. A note in the newspaper Granma described him as a common criminal, and perhaps soon there will be a TV program — Stalinist style — introducing the alleged victims of his abuses. The objective is to minimize the political impact of the death of this 31-year-old citizen, convicted in November of contempt, assault and resistance. The official propaganda will attempt to downplay the importance of his hunger strike and shower his name with all sorts of derogatory adjectives. We will also see the testimony — violating the Hippocratic oath — of the doctors who attended him and probably even his mother will come out against her deceased son. All this, because the Cuban government can’t permit even a glimmer of doubt in the minds of ordinary TV viewers. It would be very dangerous if people started to believe that a regime opponent would sacrifice his life for a cause, to be a good patriot and even a decent man.

262 thoughts on “Common Criminals

  1. DAMIR, WHEN I’LL FIND YOUR REAL NAME AND ADDRESS I WILL HAVE IT MAILED TO HAGUE. YOU WILL FOLLOW YOUR MASTER IN COMMAND milosevic TO PRISON

  2. So you’re not anonymous Damir?? Post your real name, address and phone number and a photo. Let’s see who is anonymous.

  3. Damir’s wisdom:

    “For these two alone the usa should be nuked pulverised.”

    Gotta love those socialist hypocrites that pretend to care so much about humankind.

  4. Damir said: “Because you are a simpleton coward who is only brave behind the wall of the internet.”
    “If I were afraid of faeces like yourself, I’d arm myself with toilet paper for protection.
    Next coward, step forward and pleasure yourself in public.
    Show us what sort of losers are concentrating around the team “yoani”.”

    CUA CUA CUA CUA CUA! THATS CUBAN STYLE LAUGHING! Damir! DO YOU REALIZE THAT YOU HAVE NEITHER A REAL NAME NOR A PICTURE??? YOUR POT IS SURE CALLING EVERYONE’S KETTLE BLACK! CUA CUA CUA CUA!

  5. Post 251, you have no idea what you are talking about.

    Read some Marx before you post more ignorance like that.

    Socialism is NOT against the industry and economy. Socialism is against EXPLOITATION of people.

    If an EXPLOITATION exists, the society is nOT socialist one.

    And COMMUNISM never existed anywhere to date you genious.

    If you cared to learn, you would have known that communism is the next step AFTER SOCIALISM.

    You cannot have COMMUNISM before SOCIALISM.

    COMMUNSIM is no longer a political state of affairs. It is simply a point on which the critical mass of people has acquired enough knowledge and economic power to make a peaceful transition from a money oriented economy into a moneyless one. And politically to remove the parties and empower every individual to be an active contribuent to the common management of resources.

    That simpletons like yourselves have misunderstood and misinterpreted these theoretical postulates to pleasure yourselves by installing dictatorships and then blame “the system” to divert the attention from yourselves.

    But that does not diminishes the value of the postulates and the theory as a whole because today’s society is moving towards those aims no matter what you say.

    And it is you “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” that pushes these socialist fundamentals forward.

    But let us leave socialism and your absolute lack of knowledge about it.

    Let us simply look around and detect “some kind of pragmatic capitalism” building walls, destroying the nature and waging imperialist wars around the world.

    Not one single war today is waged by socialists.

    ALL wars today have been started by capitalists.

    And capitalists are trumpeting more wars to come: Siria, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba.

    Not one single country represents a danger to capitalist countries. Not even the usa. None of them have enough manpower or resources to take the war to the usa soil.

    Yet they are “threat” to the usa interests!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    What a load of crap. Which interests are those?

    Oil and global hegemony.

    For these two alone the usa should be nuked pulverised.

    Yet no one is going to do that. It would also pollute their own countries, and what is the point of blasting your perceived enemy if you too suffer the consequences?

    Delusional derelicts.

    Do you ever use your head for anything other than eating and toilet activities?

    Obvously not.

  6. I respond poorly to threats. I can see why you call yourself “anonimo”.

    Because you are a simpleton coward who is only brave behind the wall of the internet.

    Pleasuring yourself in the darkness of the sewage in which you live? How is that working for you in the midst of urine and shift surrounding you?

    “…you are on my list…” says anonimo coward.

    If I were affraid of faeces like yourself, I’d arm myself with toilet paper for protection.

    Next coward, step forward and pleasure yourself in public.

    Show us what sort of losers are concentrating around the team “yoani”.

  7. Cuba Libre, Post 247, China buys most of its iron ore from Australia and Brazil, BHP and Rio Tinto Australia and Vale in Brazil. Canada?? Just shows how much you know.

  8. HAD ENOUGH Cuba Libre (that’s a lie)????????? WANT ANOTHER ROUND????? JE JE JE!!

    Socio-Economic Conditions in Pre-Castro Cuba*

    Introduction : In the 1950’s Cuba was, socially and economically, a relatively advanced country, certainly by Latin American standards and, in some areas, by world standards.
    Cuba’s infant mortality rate was the best in Latin America — and the 13th lowest in the world.
    Cuba also had an excellent educational system and impressive literacy rates in the 1950’s.
    Pre-Castro Cuba ranked third in Latin America in per capita food consumption.
    Cuba ranked first in Latin America and fifth in the world in television sets per capita.
    Pre-Castro Cuba had 58 daily newspapers of differing political hues and ranked eighth in the world in number of radio stations.

    http://ctp.iccas.miami.edu/FACTS_Web/Cuba%20Facts%20Issue%2043%20December.htm

  9. Cuba Libre (that’s a lie!) said: “They do not know that the health system was inexistant before the revolution, and doctors and consultation was only available to the rich and famous in Cuba.”

    PLEASE REFER TO MY COMMENT #251 ON THIS MATTER AND ALSO THE INFORMATION BELOW! FUACATAAAAAAAAAA!!!!!!!!!!!!

    BOOK: Health, Politics, and Revolution in Cuba Since 1898- Katherine Hirschfeld

    Challenging many of the assumptions scholars have made about the Cuban Revolution’s impact on healthcare, this volume recounts one anthropologist’s quest to discover the truth behind the complicated relationship between Cuba’s revolution, politics, and healthcare system. Katherine Hirschfeld became interested in Cuba in the mid-1990s, after reading numerous laudatory books and articles describing the Castro regime’s achievements in health and medicine. Cuba’s population health indicators seemed to be far superior to those of neighboring countries, the national health costs low, and medical care free at point-of-service to the entire people. Historical records indicated that most of these positive health trends resulted from the changes instituted by Castro in 1959. Few of these authors, however, had actually spent time on the island. Thus, Hirschfeld found that academic writing on Cuba was often long on praise, but short on empirical research about what exactly had changed in Cuban medicine since 1959. After much bureaucratic wrangling, Hirschfeld managed to secure permission to conduct long-term ethnographic research in Cuba, where she lived with families from Havana and Santiago, conducted clinic observations, interviewed doctors and patients, and was treated in a Cuban hospital during an epidemic of dengue fever. The reality of the Cuban healthcare system turned out to be different than the scholarly ideal: it was bureaucratied, authoritarian, and repressive, and most people preferred to seek healthcare in the informal economy rather than endure the material shortages, red tape, and political surveillance of the public sector. Written in the form of a first-person narrative, Health, Politics, and Revolution in Cuba Since 1898 not only critically reevaluates Cuban healthcare after the 1959 revolution; it includes chapters detailing Cuban health trends from the Spanish-American War (1898) through the fall of Fulgencio Batista in 1959 and into the present.

    http://www.amazon.com/Health-Politics-Revolution-Cuba-Since/dp/0765803445

    According to Katharine Hirschfeld,( Assistant Professor- Department of Anthropology University of Oklahoma) criticizing the government is a crime in Cuba, and penalties are severe.[81] She noted that “Formally eliciting critical narratives about health care would be viewed as a criminal act both for me as a researcher, and for people who spoke openly with me”.[81] According to Hirschfeld the Cuban Ministry of Health (MINSAP) sets statistical targets that are viewed as production quotas. The most guarded is infant mortality rate. The doctor is pressured to abort the pregnancy whenever screening shows that quotas are in danger.[81] Once a doctor decides to guard his quotas, patients have no right to refuse abortion.[81]
    According to previous research about other socialist countries such as the Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, Marxist “revolutionary” efforts have included such practices as “deliberate manipulation of health statistics, aggressive political intrusion into health care, decision-making, criminalizing dissent, and other forms of authoritarian policing of the health sector designed to insure health changes reflect the (often utopian) predictions of Marxist theory”.[81] These practices are well documented for the former Soviet Union and China.[81] Their existence was virtually unknown in the West during the Soviet era and Western social scientists cited favorable the health statistics supplied by the regimes in the USSR and China.[81] Social scientists did not look critically at the ways they were created and maintained by state power.[81]

  10. Cuba Libre (that’s a lie!) said: “Today`s generation in Cuba have not known the pre-revolution Cuba. They are not aware that almost 70% of Cubans were illiterate before the revolution.”

    Cuba Libre (the lie)! PLEASE, CHOOSE CAREFULLY WHAT INFORMATION YOU PUT ON THIS BLOG OR ANY OTHER PLACE WHERE I CAN FIND YOU! I GOT A TON OF INFORMATION TO DEBUNK ALL YOUR DISTORTIONS AND OUTRIGHT LIES! CAPISCE???

    PBS AMERICAN EXPERIENCE: FIDEL CASTRO- Pre-Castro Cuba- Cuba’s capital, Havana, was a glittering and dynamic city. In the early part of the century the country’s economy, fueled by the sale of sugar to the United States, had grown dynamically. Cuba ranked fifth in the hemisphere in per capita income, third in life expectancy, second in per capita ownership of automobiles and telephones, first in the number of television sets per inhabitant. The literacy rate, 76%, was the fourth highest in Latin America. Cuba ranked 11th in the world in the number of doctors per capita. Many private clinics and hospitals provided services for the poor. Cuba’s income distribution compared favorably with that of other Latin American societies. A thriving middle class held the promise of prosperity and social mobility.

    COPY AND PAST LINK IF NOT ACTIVE FOR ENTIRE REPORT, VIDEOS ETC.

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/castro/peopleevents/e_precastro.html

  11. Anonimo, he’s just trolling. Everybody knows, even the trolls, that China has a full-blown capitalist economy overseen by a political dictatorship of thugs and fascists, without unions, elections, environmental protection, etc.

    He’s like all Marxists, when confronted with a question he can’t answer. Which is all the time.

    Like I said, the only place communism has ever worked is in a free, capitalist economy. This goes back to the earliest tribes of man, who were free to trade with their neighbors, to buy and sell all they wanted, to share all they wanted, without a communist party calling them degenerate capitalists and putting them in concentration camps.

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