Act of Repudiation
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    State Security Tactics in Cuba

    State Security Tactics in Cuba / Iván García

    Ivan Garcia, 11 May 2016 — Daniel Llorente Miranda, 52, is a spontaneous
    dissident. He doesn’t belong to any opposition party, nor is he an
    un-gagged journalist. He is on his own.

    Last 22 March, with the stars and stripes on his shoulders, Llorente
    found himself in the area of the United State Embassy, waiting to greet
    President Barack Obama, after he met with a group of opponents,
    activists and alternative journalists.

    Mixed race, a little overweight and short, Daniel defends authentic
    democracy, believes in freedom of expression and is openly anti-Castro.
    He shares his narrative peacefully.

    On Monday, 2 May, among the many people gathered at the Avenida del
    Puerto to greet the Adonia cruise ship, again flying the stars and
    stripes, Daniel Llorente was interviewed by the foreign corespondents
    when, apparently spontaneously, a thin man with a gray cap, interfered
    in his exchange with the press, first contradicting him, second act,
    triggers a blast of support for the regime and he ends up insulting it.

    Nearby, five or six brawny guys looking like military in plainclothes
    join the dispute with the typical verbal verbal lynching: Mercenary!
    Traitor! Turncoat! ’breaking’ Llorente’s interview with the foreign press.

    Then, an undercover agent summoned a police car and the spontaneous
    dissident was arrested. Before they put him in the car he got a few slaps.

    You don’t have to be very insightful to understand that everything was
    staged. When the altercation got hot, the act of repudiation was joined
    by people who, supposedly, are not used to different opinions because of
    their doctrinaire education.

    The line of plainclothes agents was in the immediate vicinity of where
    the independent and foreign press were working. When hearing critical
    opinions of the government by those being interviewed, we hear shouts of
    Viva Cuba. But nothing is by chance.

    According to a resident of San Isidro, a neighborhood a stone’s throw
    from the cruise ship terminal., “The lady that was asked to throw water
    on the guy (Daniel Llorente) sells clothes in the black market. She was
    formally warned by the police several times and they tried to make her
    work with them to denounce those selling drugs and prostituting in the
    area. The black guy with the tattoo is also shameless and corrupt, he
    was in the war in Angola and belongs the soldier’s association, like the
    old many who started the discussion, a hard-line member of the CDR
    (Committee for the Defense of the Revolution).”

    It’s not new that the marginals and delinquents collaborate with State
    Security. Nor are acts of repudiation something new. Many analysts
    believe they started in 1980 with the emigration of twenty-five thousand
    Cubans through the Mariel Boatlift.

    But the date goes back further. As far back as the spring of 1959, when
    Fidel Castro supporters, with permission from the authorities, burned
    newspapers and magazines that reproached the government.

    These mobs arrived to injure the journalists critical of Castro. And
    they were part of the stating of the “people outraged by the unpatriotic
    role of the press.”

    They mobilized sectors of the people to confront those who disagreed and
    to support Castro’s measures. They did the same to homosexuals, lovers
    of rock music, and the owners of french fry stands.

    The year 1980 marked a turning point in the acts of repudiation. And
    those who were not outcasts nor bourgeoisie. Nor “mercenaries” nor
    “counterrevolutionaries.” They were par of this silent mass who
    apparently applauded a cause, but at the first opportunity fled their

    These verbal lynchings came to be very violent. Dozens were reported
    injured by beatings and stones thrown by enraged people.

    Currently, this reprehensible method is used principally against the
    dissidence. The site of the Ladies in White in Lawton, or Antonio
    Rodiles’ house in Miramar, have been surrounded by children and school
    kids from nearby schools who attend without even knowing the background
    of the event. They staged a wild party with music to disrupt the
    activities planned by the opposition.

    On 20 March, just when Barack Obama’s Air Force One took off for Havana
    from Andrews Military Base in the United States, the cowboys of the
    political police formed their human shield with about three hundred
    people, to repudiate the Ladies and White and dissident activists.

    This has occurred every Sunday for more than a year. After the opponents
    leave Santa Rita church, the insults, beatings and arrests start. The
    police authorities can arrest the dissidents alleging any reason,
    without having to resort to violence or the show.

    But it makes up a part of the decalog of the autocracy” counterposing
    the political differences with a swarm always superior in numbers, of
    revolutionaries ’disgusted’ with those who oppose the Castro.

    The public money, with no consultation with the ordinary people, is
    spent preparing the act of repudiation. Urban buses are diverted and
    commerce in the area is paralyzed. Hundreds of students are workers from
    the area are mobilized, mixed with the paramilitaries of the so-called
    Rapid Response Brigades.

    The expert officials from the Department of State Security manage all
    the threads. They are worn out strategies. Every dissident or
    independent journalist has suffered the same thing. Their function
    continues to be intimidating the opposition and engaging their supporters.

    The purpose, very simple: the street and public spaces belong
    exclusively to Fidel Castro’s supporters. It may not be fascism. But
    it’s close.

    Source: State Security Tactics in Cuba / Iván García – Translating Cuba

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