Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

February 17, 1999, Cuba Free Press.

IN CUBA, RECRUITING THOUSANDS OF POLICE IS A SUPERFICIAL SOLUTION WHICH IS WORSE THAN THE EVIL IT TRIES TO CORRECT By Raúl Rivero, Cuba Free Press.

HAVANA - It is well known that this is the country estate of The Farmer who neither produces nor lets others produce. Nowadays this Farmer is getting stricter and is hiring policemen to restrain those who wander through his meager fields.

It is true that thefts, assaults, fraud, murders, purse-snatches and burglary have this country in the midst of a moral crisis. But it is also well known that to enforce order here and now is a superficial solution which is worse than the evil it tries to correct.

I believe it unnecessary to hire thousands of policemen so as to "clean" Cuba's virulent air. What is needed is to liberate people's initiatives and to open society's structures so the Cuban people may be allowed to earn a decent living decently. It is somewhat sadistic to impose rigid rules, to control all the country's resources, including the creatures within the territorial waters, to ban fishing in artificial lakes, to decide the future of the mangoes in "your" own yard (which is not private), and then to chase and jail those who presume they have a right to feed themselves and their families.

All societies have their permanent proportion of criminals. Social scientists study these facts and the causes. These groups are met with a corps of professional agents with scientific rigor and unyielding modern methods and techniques.

Here it is otherwise. The police are being amassed because crime has overwhelmed the capacity of ordinary professionals. There is a tide of disorder, of a lack of discipline and a fury to steal, to get something into one's hands no matter what the cost. Whatever is needed to survive has its roots in the locks which the state, the Republic's absolute master, has arranged for society.

When I state that the remedy is worse than the illness I well realize that most of the rookie policemen come from rural areas, where life is hard. The young man from Marroquí, or from Antillas, Ceiba Mocha or Quemados de Güines prefers to patrol Havana in his uniform and with a gun to than to remain out in the field getting 20 pesos a day, that is one U.S. dollar per day.

Here the rookies will be "justly rewarded," according to the front page welcome in the official press. And they will have selected that "option for strong men of patriotic convictions," as described by the Minister of the Interior.

A professional and expert policeman calms the people; but a newcomer with little formation or technique provokes unrest. And this is precisely the feeling of the citizens who are moving about in a city overwhelmed by a subjugating police presence.

Many observers see second and third intentions behind the façade of the stated one. What could they be?

So, here is the set-up for new battles amongst the two humble segments of society - the police and the policed - while the roots and the summits of the ruling class remain afar and aloof.

Raúl Rivero, Cuba Free Press.


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