How Would the Cuban Government React to Mass Protests?October 3, 2013 | Print |
HAVANA TIMES — All Cuban news reports about demonstrations, strikes, rallies and other types of civil protests in different countries always make a point of emphasizing the police or military repression that these movements invariably encounter.
It is true that these types of protests are commonly repressed – the institutions in power will always seek to contain the masses in one form or another.
The fact of the matter is that those in power don’t like protests, criticisms or any kind of declaration they haven’t called for or sponsored (and this holds for the entire world, even for countries which call themselves democratic).
In Cuba, save for occasional and isolated protests organized by the Ladies in White or this or that minor commotion kicked up by the opposition (demonstrations that, incidentally, are always repressed by supposed “civilians”), such events are next to inexistent.
We hear no news about some form of organized social initiative in protest or against something (outside of State-sanctioned circles, that is).
I’ve always asked myself: how would Cuban authorities react to a massive event of this nature?
I wonder if it would involve the use of riot squads, tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and other instruments which our media invoke to strongly criticize the governments that repress their civilian populations during such demonstrations.
Will such methods be used against Cuban citizens one day? Who’d have thought it, as people say. I believe that, if they felt threatened in a major way, they would strike back at civilians in the same way other governments do.
Early this morning, a friend told me that, in a number of schools and mainly the University of Oriente, a group of individuals distributed a number of CDs and DVDs with subversive content.
All employees at these institutions were immediately alerted in order to prevent these materials from being viewed on the computers and to tackle any other subversive activity within the schools.
Again, I wonder:
What measures could they take against a student or worker who has received these materials?
Will they go to every student and employee to take the disks away from them?
Will those who watch these materials in a computer at school be expelled? If they were to protest, would they be met with repression? What kind?