Violence is an unjustifiable evil in Cuba as in any other part of the world. It is a primeval lag of a mode of interrelating given to incivility, of a primitive conscience and of a world that allowed itself to be ruled by hate, resentment and the repression of whatever was different.
A society is headed in a very wrong direction in the way it relates and of how it defends an idea or power itself, when it uses imposition, repression or violence. Such a government, regardless of its political shading, has run out of reasons, its policies have run dry; its civilized and peaceful methods of relating to its citizens have collapsed.
Violence, repression, threats and coercion, systematic harassment, defamation as a mechanism to try to undermine an adversary’s morale, and the pretext of fabricating crimes to arrest, jail and void those that think differently, are all ethically unacceptable methods, are socially counterproductive and show a poor state of political capital and are traits pointing, without a doubt, to the identifying profile of those that inflict or allow them.
We are talking about all manner of violence. In the 21st century, the conscience of humanity rejects powerlessly all kinds of violence, suffering from it in all latitudes of the globe, as the international community has not found adequate mechanisms to efficiently arrest the escalations of any type of violence.
All violence is abominable because it entails the abandonment of the human capacity to dialogue, negotiate, yield, understand, change, respect, tolerate, of reaching to unite as a human family in human dignity, in the diversity of creeds, of political opinions, sexual orientation, nationality, race or ideology.
All types of systematic and/or institutionalized violence are a crime against humanity. All of them, beginning with wars, organized crime, dark market swindles, consumption of drugs, organized corruption, the use of force, of repression, and of murder to retain power at all costs, ruining countries and provoking the forced and massive exodus that are in fact forms of violence. It also includes violence and character assassination in the mass media and in social media, to include defiant gestures of violence, offensive words or words of disqualification, mockery and cynicism against those that are different, reaching into the use of lies and a stark and treacherous disfigurement of the truth, institutionalizing lying by calling truth a lie and a lie a true statement, disfiguring the image of the facts with linguistic manipulations calling goodness evil and evil good, are sophisticated and worst forms of institutionalized violence which undermine the social structure and peaceful and fraternal coexistence.
A particularly dangerous and crooked case is when part of the people is organized against the other part of the same people, whatever the motivation or cause. The use of repressive agents dressed in civilian clothes, without identification or uniforms, is as unethical as it is dangerous for two fundamental reasons: one is that it hides and demeans the uniform and the identity of the official and legal institutions that exist to preserve peace, civilized order and peaceful coexistence. When it is necessary to hide the uniform so that the people can carry out violent and illegal acts, something very bad is happening in that country. And the second reason is that in any country these methods institutionalize and make ethical and allowed the existence of paramilitary groups, thugs, repressors disguised as civilians, and the nefarious Rapid Response Brigades, Storm Troopers rejected even by those of the same ideology as an illegal and improper method in a system that preaches fraternity. These activities, which we had considered done with in Cuba are now being reinstituted in work and study centers. It is incredible that systems that condemned and fought to eradicate from the Earth those methods that disgusted humanity on both sides of the world, provoking World War II, today go back to the practice that they once condemned as harmful to human dignity.
States, regardless of ideology, have as their principal political and moral obligation “the duty to take care” of each and every citizen and to be mindful that no form of violence can deteriorate social peace and brotherly coexistence amongst members of the same people. Nothing can justify anyone to encourage confrontation among brethren of the same nation. Nothing can justify the use of violence against peaceful people and groups.
Violence engenders more violence. And so, what is done today by governmental manipulation of the masses against its own compatriots tomorrow can degenerate and even become rooted in the conscience of the people. It is contagious, allowing even the rule of “an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth,” and so “if you did it to me I can do it to you.” If brigades are set up to take justice into their own hand, thus supplanting the use of lawful institutions of justice, then this infiltrates collective memory becoming the systematic experience and custom in place of authority itself, turning it into an unstoppable avalanche, a violent society and an ungovernable country.
All this began long ago when, in order to repress a peaceful demonstration, be it political, religious or about gender identity, the State set aside its duty to take care of, educate and maintain order among all the different groups, to become a belligerent party, abandoning its role as impartial judge to become the executor and henchman disguised in civilian clothes. Worse of all it does it conspiring against coexistence and peace rather than banishing, outlawing and penalizing any type of violence.
This takes place and can happen in any corner of the planet, and we need to reject it and prevent it, but our first obligation is to a civilized and peaceful coexistence, just and free, united and diverse amongst all Cubans. No Cuban is the enemy of another Cuban, he or she can be the political adversary or a religious dissident, or an opposing party from any human dimension, but to be an adversary, a dissident or to be in the opposition does not mean to be an enemy. The only enemy is one that is violent, the only enemy is one that lies, the only enemy is one that divides, and the only enemy is one that represses the natural diversity of our human condition and of the world.
Therefore it is the duty of every Cuban to sound the alarm about the growing violence, about domestic violence, about media violence, about aural an oral violence, about street violence, about the violence perpetrated by the Rapid Response Brigades, by military in civilian clothing, by civilians against other civilians, all brethren, all children of a single and noble people, which is Cuba, a nation that should live together as a family where we can “all have room” and where nobody repudiates anyone else.
Cuba deserves for all of us to stop violence cold. Violence is a dead-end street. It does not lead to any new situation, it does not lead to any continuity, nor does it solve any conflict or discrepancy. Violence only opens the door to more violence and death. We need to stop this belligerent mentality. This Manichean thought of good versus bad Cubans we need to eradicate. The classification of “Cubans as accidental bastards” goes against the Varela Project and the homeland of Martí.
We still have time. Later it will be too late. Let’s say a definite and peaceful NO to all types of violence in Cuba.