Parades and rights

Arrests in Havana on Human Rights Day (14ymedio)

Arrests in Havana on Human Rights Day (14ymedio)

Yoani Sanchez, Havana, 10 December 2014 — The carnival was planned for days, months. The background music would slogans and false joy. The venue, the same Havana corner where the Ladies in White were called to remember the International Day of Human Rights. Meanwhile, the “corps de ballet” would consist of workers and students – taken from their workplaces and teachers – to occupy the site chosen by the activists. There would be no lack of food kiosks and some provincial towns added huge trucks dispensing beer because, in our case, instead of bread and circuses, the formula is alcohol and repression.

Then it was time for the parade. Around the Coppelia ice cream stand, in Havana, an unusual crowd of people dressed in civilian clothes caught the attention of some naïve bystanders who didn’t know if it was a line to buy an extinct product, or passionate movie buffs waiting for the Yara cinema to open. Moving their heads from side to said, like someone waiting for prey, they were wearing the clothes we all recognize as the attire of State Security when they want to go undercover, and displayed that physical state of over corpulence compared to the average Cuban. They weren’t dancing, like at carnivals, they just moved towards the women who came dressed in white and tried to shield with their bodies the act of forcing them into a police car. A macabre “corps de ballet” thus represented their choreography of reprimand.

And then the trumpet sounded, excuse me… the car horn. A small lady had managed to get to the left atrium of the heart of El Vedado. Dozens of faces turned and they spoke into the little cables hanging from their earphones. An agent, who for years infiltrated the ranks of independent journalists, unmasked without pain or glory, directed the orchestra. The loudspeakers blared previously recorded phrases, so there were no surprises nor spontaneity. The woman disappeared in seconds. The kids drank their soft drinks and Havana experienced one of the coldest days of the year. The spectacle continued for hours.

How many times as a child was I part of a carnival of repression without knowing it? What naive parties did I participate in that, in reality, were a cover for the horrors? Have those dances and street festivals also been a police operation? After this, it will be hard for me to ever enjoy a parade again.

110 thoughts on “Parades and rights

  1. China allowed prosperity for its people, but in the decades since Deng started that, the political system has stayed the same. At least now Cuba is one step closer to an economy that works for all Cubans. In China, Cuba and everywhere else, it will take generations to really change the system…

  2. Yes of course, it will have to be the people who bring about the necessary changes. Just changing the govt, a new ideoloy, programs and speeches won’t do it. In 1917 the Russians got rid of the Czar, but then they got Stalin…

  3. OMario:

    Thanks you for posting that video of a mass demonstration of 30 or 40 Castro supporters in Cuba.

    Is that all that Castro can drum up these days?

    3 dozen people?

    I can find more Castro supporters in the candy aisle of the local Walmart.

    3 dozen people in Havana think the returning murderers are heroes?

    What about the other 2 million? They disobeyed orders to show up?

    I’m very disappointed in you.

    At least you should post a fake video of thousands of people.

    Has Fidel left the building?

  4. NOT “5″ BUT 12 CUBAN SPIES: The “Five Cuban Heroes” proclaimed by the Cuban regime were actually part of a network of 12 spies that infiltrated the U.S. In addition to the five spies who maintained their innocence but were convicted in a jury trial (with no Cuban-American jurors), five pleaded guilty to charges of spying in exchange for reduced sentences, one was deported, and one fled to Cuba to escape arrest. The trials cost U.S. taxpayers one million dollars to provide the defendants with a free legal representation. An appeals court is reviewing the five spies’ conviction.

    THE CUBAN 5 “WASP NETWORK” A SUMMARY OF HISTORY AND TRIAL!

    In 1995, after obtaining FISA (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act) Court approval, the FBI obtained warrants to surreptitiously search apartments and monitor telephone communications by a group of Cubans who were Cuban intelligence operatives. The group, through its principal agents or illegal officers, communicated directly with the Cuban Government about its activities and received specific missions and taskings from the Cuban Government. The instructions were subsequently relayed to the other members of the spy ring as appropriate.

    During the searches, the FBI uncovered and read the contents of the communications from and to the Cuban Government. This information was concealed in hidden files on computer floppy diskettes kept in the residences of three of the principal agents.

    At Cuban Government direction, the Cuban spy ring collected and reported information on domestic, political, and humanitarian activity of anti-Castro organizations in the Miami-Dade county area; the operation of US military installations; and other US Government functions, including law enforcement activity. The spy ring also carried out tasks in the United States as directed by the Cuban Government, which included attempted penetration of US military installations, duplicitous participation in and manipulation of anti-Castro organizations, and attempted manipulation of US political institutions and government entities through disinformation and pretended cooperation. The spy ring received financial support from the Cuban Government to carry out its tasks

    CLICK LINK FOR ENTIRE DOCUMENT!
    http://www.docstoc.com/docs/document-preview.aspx?doc_id=94546591

  5. IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEAL FOR THE ELEVENTH CIRCUIT FILED
    U.S. COURT OF APPEALS ELEVENTH CIRCUIT JUNE 4, 2008 No. 01-17176
    THOMAS K. KAHN CLERK – D. C. Docket No. 98-00721-CR-JAL
    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, vs Plaintiff-Appellee,
    RUBEN CAMPA,
    a.k.a. John Doe 3,
    a.k.a. Vicky,
    a.k.a. Camilo,
    a.k.a. Oscar,
    RENE GONZALEZ,
    a.k.a. Iselin,
    a.k.a. Castor,
    GERARDO HERNANDEZ,
    a.k.a. Giro,
    a.k.a. Manuel Viramontez,
    a.k.a. John Doe 1,
    a.k.a. Manuel Viramontes,
    LUIS MEDINA,
    a.k.a. Oso,
    a.k.a. Johnny,
    a.k.a. Allan,
    a.k.a. John Doe 2,
    ANTONIO GUERRERO,
    a.k.a. Rolando Gonzalez-Diaz,

    Five agents of the Cuban Directorate of Intelligence who were members of La Red Avispa (in English, “The Wasp Network”) challenge their convictions and sentences for their espionage against the military of the United States and Cuban exiles in southern Florida. A special mission of the Cuban network, Operacion Escorpion, lead to the murder of four men when Cuban military jets shot down two private aircraft over international waters in 1996. Each Cuban agent was convicted of espionage charges, and one agent was convicted of conspiracy to murder, following a trial in Miami that lasted more than six months. Our Court, en banc, affirmed the denial of the Cuban agents’ motions for a change of venue and a new trial and remanded this appeal to this panel for consideration of the remaining issues. United States v. Campa, 459 F.3d 1121, 1154–55 (11th Cir. 2006) (en banc).
    http://njlaw.rutgers.edu/collections/resource.org/fed_reporter/NEWcircs/cir11/200117176.opn3_cir11.html

  6. Sure, as soon as someone shows Fidel and Raul the way to the garbage dump of history, where they belong. Their dictatorship has been a miserable failure.

  7. I have participated in 5 marches,
    Was arrested once.
    Signed a dozen of petitions.
    Talked in two radio shows.
    Paid a fine for a window banner I wasn’t authorised to hang out.
    Sold over 20 T-shirts.
    Used 2 bumper-stickers “Free the 5” (the first disappeared overnight)
    Written hundreds of blog comments.

    And you know what? It worked.

    Gerardo, Ramon, and Antonio are back in Cuba.

    Now, could someone please show this Marco Rubio the way to the garbage dump of history?

  8. Thank you, Mario, for posting the “Cubans welcome their heroes home” video. It’s shows how “propagandized” a large portion of the Cuban population is. A ridiculous spectacle.

  9. HEROES OR PROPAGANDA TOOLS! LETS NOT FORGET WHO THEY WERE AND HOW MANY THERE WERE IN THE WASP NETWORK! AND THE OPERA IS NOT OVER TILL THE FAT LADY SINGS DEAR Mario! EXTORTION MAY WORK THIS TIME BUT THE 21st CENTURY MIGHT BE TOO MUCH FOR THE CASTRO OLIGARCHY MAFIA AND THEIR TIRESOME MEDIA SHOW!

    N.Y. TIMES: Americans and Cubans Still Mired in Distrust – By DAMIEN CAVE

    Mr. Richardson, who has negotiated prisoner releases from Cuba to North Korea, had State Department approval to present at least two things, said four people with knowledge of the negotiations. One was a process for removing Cuba from the list of states sponsoring terrorism. The Obama administration was also willing to waive probation for one of the “Cuban Five,” as a group of Cuban agents accused of espionage in the United States are known on the island, so he could go home after he leaves prison next month.
    But it was not enough. Mr. Richardson was not even allowed to see Mr. Gross, and when he left Havana on Wednesday, he was angry and disappointed, concluding that elements of the Cuban government “do not seem to really want warmer relations.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/16/world/americas/america-cuba-relations-still-mired-in-distrust.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

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