“We are no longer afraid!”
Among history’s harshest lessons is this: Autocracies fall when they are at their most tolerant. Whether it be kingdoms, empires, Fascists or Communists, freedom advances during times of enlightenment, or at least glasnost. Regimes prepared to hang on through total terror cling on and on.
Today’s tyrants have taken this lesson to heart.
Cubans do not fear Miguel Diaz-Canel they way they feared the Castros. We hope and pray they are right.
The Cuban dictator has a nightmarish security apparatus at his disposal. If he is prepared to use it, and if the thousands employed to keep the regime in power follow his lead, the Cuban demonstrators face the very worst imaginable.
The Cuban people know this. Their courage inspires, yet fills us with dread.
A sampling from Human Rights Watch and others:
- The “General Directorate of Counter-Intelligence” and the “General Directorate of Internal Order” surveil, control and punish the Cuban people
- The “National Revolutionary Police” and the “Technical Department of Investigation” surveil dissidents, bring them to trial and execute, imprison, impoverish or exile them
- “The Committee for the Defense of the Revolution” claims to have enlisted 91% of the Cuban people to watch and control 100% of the people.
- “The Singular Systems of Vigilance and Protection” surveil every level of Cuban government and society and suppress opposition activists
- “Rapid Response Brigades” watch and control dissidents
- “Academic and Labor Files” are maintained on every citizen to determine whom to advance and whom to suppress
- “Repudiation Meetings” are state organized mobs, sometimes of school children, which harass and intimidate dissidents
- Cuba’s armed forces control over half the island’s economy, monitor and crush dissent at home and in nation’s such as Venezuela, and remain a power base for the Castros
- Cuba has no independent judiciary. There is no due process. Its courts are instruments of Socialist repression.
- The Cuban government has impoverished, exiled, imprisoned or executed thousands
Cubans protesting in the streets face the very real probability that they are being watched and reported on by their neighbors and professional agents of the state. Some will disappear. Others face any and all levels of violence and repression by the state until their dissent is crushed.
The security apparatus of Cuban Socialism is dreadful.
Yet every so often a rare and precious freedom moment arises. Enough of the people proclaim “enough!” and dictatorships teeter and fall. (Ask Nicolae Ceaușescu).
CFACT looks forward to the day Cuba is free.