Same Hatred, Different Collar / Rosa Maria Rodriguez
Posted on August 28, 2015
Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
Hate crimes are violent acts induced by prejudices against a person or
group considered "different," owing to their social class, race,
ethnicity, nationality, political affiliation, ideology, gender, sexual
orientation, religion, or disability. Modernity has driven the
legislative powers of many countries to establish judicial standards to
combat those types of crimes and to prosecute the perpetrators. This has
entailed a reduction of such abuses, which are provoked also by the
social context of the persons or groups, and by the stereotypes created
In Cuba, the official and propaganda media of the regime inform us about
hate crimes that are committed "in capitalist countries," of course.
Thus, the Cuban population knows of those violent behaviors that occur
in places where there are no military conflicts and which are miles away
from their security and wellbeing — rather than those that could be
occurring at that moment in their own environment, just inches from
their own backside, or at just a hair of separation from their own head.
The reports don't reach Cubans directly or unadulterated, but rather
strained through the proselytizing sieve of the state analysts. It is
the same hatred, its collar placed by the official discursive
demagoguery and the rulers of some countries, who because of rampant
special interests — often personal, partisan or group-based — are
aligned with the Cuban dictatorship.
Ever since the Castros rose to power in 1959, they have relied greatly
on incentivizing, for their own benefit, this type of conduct classified
as a crime in the penal codes, and even in the constitutions, of some
countries. The Castros utilize this criminal behavior as propaganda, and
as political confrontation and victory.
Years of repeating the same modus operandi with total impunity confirm
this. While they deny one part of the society the exercise of its
freedom of expression, they reward pro-government gangs when these
behave in a criminal fashion that favors the authorities.
In my country, where strikes are prohibited de facto, where almost
everything is directed by the authorities and nobody dares to perform
that type of discriminatory violence without the consent of the
government, the historic Cuban leader — retired since 2006 — has on more
than one occasion called upon the citizenry to "take control of the
streets," which they allege repeatedly and coercively, belong to the
Numerical advantage notwithstanding, they represent the lion and the
victims represent the bound monkey. However, there is even more vileness
in hiding under the civic skirt while throwing people into the bullring
of that cowardly and vulgar misdeed.
Tattooed onto the history of the first two decades of this system is the
humiliation, repeated and sustained for years, of ordering those who
were filing their exit papers to labor in the fields.
Similarly, there was the harassment in the 1980s, with the so-called
"acts of repudiation," inflicted on those who wanted to leave for the
United States via the Mariel Boatlift.
The authorities have stuffed their legacy full of actions of this type
directed at leaders of the peaceful opposition, independent journalism,
and civil and human rights organizations. It is a government crime that
persists today. This is not because I say so, it is because they do it.
Such is the brazenness, and such has been the impunity throughout the 56
years of dictatorship, that Cuba now is not enough for them, and they
dispatch their committed civil army — individuals who want to maintain
their standard of living, or who are afraid to refuse in these
despicable activities so as to keep their jobs or perks — to other
countries, as we saw at the Summit of the Americas this past April in
It is not just that some of us extend the open hand of reconciliation
and dialogue, and in return receive the fist of official ridicule and
violence. But, what can we expect from an extortionist political model
that took over the country, amputated and demonized democratic praxis
upon imposing a single-party system — thus eliminating political
competition — and that governs testicularly, according to their whims,
despite the fact that its long tenure has ruined Cuba?
In these times that seem like closing stages, or like historical
summations, within our territory and regarding it, in which many
observers beyond the rulers are thinking positively and constructively
about the Cuban people, it is necessary that we reframe the concept of
the peace that we want for our society.
It should not be one with a clockwise-rotating swastika — as that
intimidating one of Nazi Germany's — but rather a "pax" anchored in
respect, inclusion, social justice, sustained harmony, and equity among
all the children of the same one nation.
Hate crimes in Cuba? Definitely — almost all instigated, run and
monitored by the government.
Translated by: Alicia Barraqué Ellison
13 August 2015
Source: Same Hatred, Different Collar / Rosa Maria Rodriguez |
Translating Cuba -