Not on my Block!

As the new dictatorship parades around in its new clothes, tossing out terms like “discussions,” “reform,’ and “human rights,” the true nature of that body is easy to spot. The repression continues unabated. Recently Marc at Uncommon Sense noted that both the President of Flamur (the group that spearheaded the petition drive to eliminate the apartheid two-tier currency) and her husband, as well as the spokeswoman for the group were treated to the catch, threaten, and release treatment. To some, this seems an improvement. But I think it was Skinner who came up with the idea of random reinforcement. With hundreds languishing in the Cuban Gulag, the threat is not an empty one. And release is not assured when the State flexes its muscles.


The other preferred tactic of the born again Regime is the harassment and intimidation of those who don’t get with the program. According to a dispatch from Havana, dated January 24 and written by Jaime Leygonier?, Dr. Darsi Ferrer awoke one morning to find “Viva, Fidel!” painted on the wall of his house. As he went to remove it, he was informed he couldn’t. Darsi then added an “Abajo” or “Down with” to the sign, as he indicated, to establish equilibrium. The situation escalated with Darsi and his wife at their fence calling the security people “Nazis” and the arrival of a busload that included many people Darsi recognized as having been in the mob that beat them at the Human Rights march. It was at this point that his neighbors, many of them elderly, answered the mob leader’s call for “any revolutionaries on the block” by interposing their bodies between Darsi and the State thugs. One elderly lady confessed that she had even used “bad words,” while her daughter, worried the old lady was going to lose her pension, attempted to get her back in the house. According to her, the would be repudiators were forced to get back on the bus and retreat “with their tails between their legs.”
A small victory.