Victims of Crimes Prefer Not To Call the Police, Three Officers Lament on Cuban Television

Raúl Cano, head of the General Directorate of Criminal Investigation, Manuel Valdés, head of the “confrontation body” of the Department of Investigations and Hugo Morales, national head of Patrols. (Captura)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 27 June 2023 — The Police appeared this Monday on Cuban Television to lick their wounds from the wave of violence, robberies and murders suffered by the country and to denounce its coverage by the independent press. It is, insisted the agents in the Hacemos Cuba TV program, incidents of “isolated criminal behavior” that “the usual enemies” magnify to make the Ministry of the Interior look bad and argue that Cuba is a “failed State.”

The program, moderated by the presenter and spokesman of the regime, Humberto López, is the extension of a recent editorial on crime published in Granma, where it was admitted that the Police solve only 60% of the crimes on the Island that do not involve firearms.

Hugo Morales, national head of Patrols, and Raúl Cano, head of the General Directorate of Criminal Investigation, provided another fact: 2% of the total crimes in which a person has lost his life remain unresolved, despite the fact that they are given “superior attention.”

The unclosed files “remain on the table,” apologized Cano, who assured that the “continuity of investigation is permanent” in each of the cases – he did not specify how many – “until it is possible to give an answer to the relatives of the victims.” In addition, they added the data that Granma had provided days before: 10% of crimes involving a firearm also remain unsolved.

None of these numbers worries the officials too much, whose real concern, they said, is that Cuba’s reputation in terms of citizen security is maintained. According to the State media, the independent press intends to “sow panic” in the population and establish a “parallel world.” To exemplify the “manipulation” of reality, they cited three alleged crimes disseminated on social networks: the assault “at gunpoint” of a bus on route 436 in Havana, the theft of cell phones and clothes in the pediatric ward of Güines (Mayabeque) and the kidnapping of a child in Havana.

“None of these facts are true,” said Morales, who did not allude, however, to the dozens of crimes reported by the independent media with abundant documentation and testimonies.

The Police are “the first to arrive on the scene” where a crime is committed, the agent guaranteed, and after “verifying the real existence of the facts, they guide the victims on how to preserve the site.” Then, he says, the “rest of the systems” are contacted, such as forensics, Public Health and State Security.

Morales explained that the Ministry of the Interior is working on the “neutralization of the criminal potential” of the Island and that it intends to strengthen surveillance on the roads. In addition, it will not fail to promote “alliance” with the informers assigned by the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution to ensure “the control of people who are prone to commit criminal acts.”

For his part, Cano regretted the reluctance of the population to contact the Police. “If someone is robbed and doesn’t report it because he thinks that there will be no response, he is depriving law enforcement agencies of knowing the perpetrators of those crimes better.”

He stated that if what prevents the making of complaints is fear, the Police have “ways” to maintain the protection of “collaborators” who help dismantle “criminal chains.” “It is an ethical principle to preserve the identity of people and protect them, even with guarantees before the law, when they provide information that is useful in the investigative processes,” Manuel Valdés, head of the “Confrontation Body” of the Technical Department of Investigations, said in his speech.

Valdés was alarmed by the “new ways of operating of criminals” and the increase in judicial processes – almost twice as much now as in past years, he said without specifying the data – to which Cano replied by noting that the Police had “scientific knowledge, preparation, dedication and the incentive of creativity in the investigation.” The key, he said, is to develop criminology and “avoid concentrations of criminal acts.”

Even so, he warned, “it is possible that results are not always achieved.” For the rest of the program, the officers spoke about citizen security on the Island, where there is no need to wear, they celebrated, “bulletproof vests or protective backpacks.” “You can’t talk about insecurity in a country where a boy can play in a park without fear of being kidnapped or where you don’t have to hide a child to protect him from a shooting in the middle of a residential area,” they said, in a veiled allusion to the United States.

We must not forget the vocation of the Cuban Police, the agents emphasized, to which Fidel Castro attributed the condition of being “the best in the world, the most organized, the most prepared and also the most human.”

According to the official press, the agents have carried out 11,500 actions to prevent and confront crime so far this year, and their work has resulted in the arrest of more than 12,000 people. Although Hacemos Cuba dodged the obvious conclusion throughout the program and none of the agents dared to rattle the cage, the data – even incomplete – do not lie: as long as the crisis lasts, the escalation of violence is unstoppable.

Translated by Regina Anavy


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