Castro’s Kicks and the Applause of the Sheep / Luis Felipe Rojas

A Lady in White being carried away in Havana by women officials from the Ministry of the Interior. (Source: Cubanet)

Luis Felipe Rojas, 3 May 2016 — They’ve barely finished giving a slap before they give another. The insult-spitting machine of the Castro regime is fired up week after week.

Arbitrary arrests, repudiation rallies, and beatings calibrated from the offices of the Ministry of the Interior (MININT) in every province. This arsenal of harassment counts on the bleats of the screaming sheep who don’t dare to look at how much grass they have left in the olive-green kingdom before leaving Cuba.

On the morning of Monday, May 2, it went like this: the Cuban Daniel Llorente challenged the partisan crowd and called them hypocrites to their faces. The day before the young black man had screamed anti-imperialist slogans and this morning he received with cheers the first cruise ship to come from Miami in 56 years of the walled-off island. After a discussion in which a fidelista — a party faithful — made gestures referring to the color of his skin, the police came and carried him off.

Nobody flinched.

Every year Cuban jurists discuss the squares on every little worksheet in the sea of bureaucracy, every comma in the most futile paragraphs, and end up ratifying Fidel Castro as the best exponent of Cuban law. In the face of the mojitos and ham croquettes they are incapable of discussion about the most striking legal aberration among those that cramp their legal degrees: the Law of Pre-Criminal Dangerousness, a tool used to send thousands of young Cubans to prison for looking cross-eyed at a police officer.

The Castro press is a black hole into which the history of the country has fallen. Infamy knocks on its doors and it prefers to write about the butterfly migration in the Valley of Viñales. The scribblers of the government libelers have never taken to task an official of the Interior Order of a prison and they don’t want to investigate a beating delivered by the MINIT’s feared Special Troops.

When plainclothes agents shove the young Llorente into a patrol car so as not to spoil the party of the Adonia cruise ship’s arrival in Cuba this Monday, it was the voice a young woman that was heard above the national shame shouting, “Throw him overboard.” And Havana erupted in applause.

The country is sliding backwards, for almost sixty years, but the boys want reggaeton and a fistful of money to pay for wifi, and nobody is going to distract them.