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Irina Echarry: I enjoy reading, going to the movies and spending time with my friends. Many of the people I love are dead, or are no longer in Cuba. I will do my best to transmit my thoughts, ideas or worries via these pages so you can get to know me. I will give an idea of my age, since it helps explain certain things. I’m over thirty-five, and I think that’s enough information. I don’t have any children yet, or nieces or nephews. There are days when I transform myself into a child with no age at all in order to see life from another angle. It helps me break the monotony and survive in this strange world.

Crime in Manzanillo: Will it Go Unpunished?

May 9, 2017 |

Irina Echarry

One of the protagonists of the crime.

HAVANA TIMES — For a few days now, there’s been a video that’s being going viral on social media: young people in Manzanillo burned a dog alive, in the middle of the street. Because of the precarious situation we have with the Internet, I haven’t been able to see it, but the truth is, I really don’t want to.

The first thing I felt when I found out about was horror, imagining the howling of that poor little dog trying to escape the flames. I asked myself how anybody could come up with such a cruel act.

Then I found out that noone who watched the scene did anything to stop it, and I was overtaken by a deep sadness. Sadness because a society where people claim they have the right to kill however and whenever they want, is a sick society. Today, it was a defenseless pup, tomorrow it could be any one of us.

Heretics were tortured and killed back in the times of the Spanish Inquisition; it was mistaken, cruel, terrible, but they still had a purpose. What provoked these young Cubans to do such a thing? What were they thinking when they closed up a dog in a box and set it on fire? What drove them to show their faces while they committed such an act of vandalism? Were they even aware of what they were doing?

The guy who filmed the video.

Unfortunately, we don’t have an animal protection law here in country (and it will most likely take years to be introduced). There are some organizations doing everything they can to do this, collecting signatures from people who have some sympathy towards the subject. From my point of view, it’s of the utmost importance that Aniplant, CEDA, PAC and anyone who does anything independently for animal rights come together for this noble cause. Scattered, we won’t be able to do anything while these kinds of atrocities take place.

As a result, today it’s hard to legally take people who commit these injustices to trial. However, there are other laws, guidelines or regulations that exist in Cuba which could be used to make these murderers pay in some way for what they did.  A lot of the time, they are used wrongly by the government, for their own convenience, in order to take “dissidents” to trial, why can’t they now be used for a just cause?

These young Cubans need to be taken to court; they’ve shown their faces so they can be identified. Their punishment would allow them to reflect upon what they did, have an influence on the community that didn’t get upset when they were faced with such an attack, and would give a lesson to all of Cuban society.

We need to demand justice, we need to wake up from this lethargic spell between what we confuse as “normal” with evil, playing with cruelty, and we need to give real value to those we share this planet with us.

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  • Carlyle MacDuff

    You are absolutely correct Irina. Such inhumane bestial acts detract from the image and reputation of the people of Cuba. There is an appalling indifference to the well being of animals.
    But where were the police – they are so much in evidence. Where were the MININT goons? The perpetrators merit a visit to Villa Mariska! That such an action is possible without Police intervention is beyond disgrace.

    • Carlyle MacDuff

      *** For the uninitiated, Villa Mariska is the notorious MININT operated facility where confessions are obtained. Few leave without confessing to whatever they are accused of and in Cuba the accused are guilty until proven innocent.

  • numidia lorenzo

    prision para este asesino!!!!!!!! no queremos en nuestra Cuba delincuentes como este paseandose por las mismas calles que nuestros hijos!!!! quien tortura asi a un pobre perrito callejero que solo buscaba migajitas de comida para sobrevivir no tiene madre ni tiene escrupulos ni principios!!!!! este sujeto es un criminal declarado y no puede quedar impune tal hecho!!!!! necesitamos una ley de proteccion animal en Cuba YAAA!!!!! hechos como este no son aislados!!!!! basta de ignorar a los que no tienen voz!!!! eso no es una caracteristica de nuestro pueblo…habemos muchos que nos quitamos lo poco que tenemos para compartirlo con nuestros callejeritos….esto es inadmisible!!!!!! justicia por favor!!!!!

  • Rich Haney

    Excellent article, Irina. Thanks for reporting it. If such things, regardless of which country it occurs in, go unreported or unpunished, we all are the victims and the losers.

  • Ken Hiebert

    I hope this story is not true, but I fear that it may be. Especially since there is a picture of one of the perpetrators as well as a picture of the person who took the video. It puts me in mind of The Great Cat Massacre of the late 1730’s in Paris.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Great_Cat_Massacre

  • El reverendo

    hagamosle lo mismo a ellos! justicia publica !

  • Carlyle MacDuff

    Could it possibly be that acting under the instruction of General Alejandro Castro Espin, that the known perpetrators of this ghastly act of putting a dog in a box and igniting it have been recruited to become MININT goons?

    Otherwise why no prosecutions?