Friday, May 20, 2011

Repression: Quarry of Dissent / Miriam Celaya

Repression: Quarry of Dissent / Miriam Celaya
Miriam Celaya, Translator: Norma Whiting

After the close of the Sixth Congress of the Communist Party, which
officially established its approval of the stagnation of the system, and
circumvented the changes of large social sectors, including official
sectors, the only point on the official agenda that seems to be right on
the mark is the repression of the alternative groups that have been
growing at a significant pace in recent years.

During the month of April and until today, we have witnessed a marked
upsurge in acts of harassment, arrests, intimidation, house searches,
seizures and threats against members of the dissidence, both opposition
party members and representatives of the independent civil society, in
an escalating repression that has even caused the death of a citizen,
Juan Wilfredo Soto a victim of a brutal beating by the local police last
May 8th (Mother's Day) in the city of Santa Clara.

A strategy of reducing protesters while at the same time reinforcing
fear in the population is the strategy chosen by the "reformist"
General, who aims to establish his cosmetic measures in order to retain
the most absolute control over the social actions and thoughts in a
country where the tensions and the absence of rights, long violated by
the dictatorship, continue to accumulate the ingredients awaiting the
suitable breeding ground for an eventual process of protests.

The General wants to introduce an artificial peace, though for his
zealous subordinates – not exactly characterized by having a high IQ —
this might literally be the sepulchral peace. That is why, with cynicism
that impunity allows, the official media were, with unusual speed, quick
to "clarify" with its "moral fortitude" its own truth: the "murder
victim" (whose exact meaning, according to Aristos dictionary, is
"killed violently") was no less than "a delinquent" who "fulfilled his
two-year prison sentence". In short, from the perspective of the regime,
Juan Wilfredo deserved to die, although it would be inconsistent to
assume that the lynching by kicking an opponent was exactly the
General's intention when he called from his mock revolutionary congress
for revolutionaries to defend the streets.

Simultaneously, the authorities are also developing a quiet but steady
purge job within official places, using extreme measures in the presence
of any suspicion, primarily in relation to Internet usage. In this
regard, the Telecommunications Company (ETECSA), now completely
controlled by the Ministry of the Armed Forces, has gone so far as to
fire young computer techs from their jobs because of the absurdly
punishable circumstances of having occasionally connected to Facebook,
or "of having used the Internet excessively", or under the pretext that
those responsible for computer security "have lost track" of sites they
connected to, which shows that the social networks and the access to
information currently constitute true threats to the regime.

Careful monitoring of its employees, forced to convincingly justify
every minute of virtual navigation, collaterally contribute to the
establishment of a state of permanent fear in those individuals known to
be monitored. Paradoxically, such a system only manages to breed a sense
of rejection of the government, because young people subject to such
controls can thus more clearly perceive the castration of their freedoms.

In short, if the physical and psychological repression is the strategic
card chosen by the regime, little would be left for it to do. It is the
most effective method it could have found to help, sooner rather than
later, to fill the dissent ranks.

Translated by Norma Whiting

May 13, 2011

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