Cuba’s Social Control, A Highly Effective Weapon
February 15, 2017
By Osmel Ramirez Alvarez
HAVANA TIMES — The Cuban system is well thought out, that doesn’t mean
to say that it is flawless though. It works; it holds itself up and
manages to keep afloat in spite of shortages and its lack of success.
How do they do it? In many ways; but it comes down to three essential
factors: the first, a social policy that displays a popular goal, even
though it doesn’t work very well; secondly, manipulation of the masses
by exercising absolute control over the media and education; and
thirdly, social control. I will deal with the latter in this article.
Fidel was a great architect of social structures. It’s a shame that he
didn’t fall in love with real democracy, he would have made great
contributions with that brilliant mind of his, there’s no doubt about
it. However, he “entered into holy union” with socialist extremism and
used his genius to strengthen it. He was the father of the Cuban
institutions which now protect this populist tyranny disguised as
socialism with more force than the USSR or Eastern Europe used,
according to historic reality.
The neighborhood CDRs controlling people; government trade unions
controlling workers; the MTT compromising everyone with a place in their
war, which was always on the horizon; the ACRC, which unites those who
have fought, which were many, under the hope that they will be dealt a
better hand in the future which never comes; the FEU and the FEEM, which
control students and neutralize their revolutionary spirit which is
innate to their being; the OPJM and the OPJM, which indoctrinates and
uses children for their own interests; the ANAP, to control farmers; the
FMC to control women; the UJC, which scouts young people who stand out
in any way and obligates them to be the PCC’s fresh blood.
[See below for what all the abbreviations stand for]
Lastly, the PCC itself and its repressive organizations. The first
unites both honest people who stand out for their work or in their
communities, as well as management and technical teams which almost have
to have a military background if they want to be promoted as well as
opportunists which climb the ladder in politics and the system as a way
to live comfortably in Cuba. They clap and cooperate, repeating what
those at the top want to hear for the sake of a promotion. The second
includes the MININT and the FARs.
The MININT calls the shots in social control. Apart from the regular
police officers, there are two technical intelligence bodies: one for
economic and social crimes; the other for political and foreign crimes,
known as State Security. Both have a wide network of collaborators and
salaried agents, committed on different fronts, who put pressure on
people in order to get information. Not much gets past their control.
Another not less important factor is the effect that manipulation has on
the human mind, mainly the media. Almost all of the messages we hear
that come from the government have been intelligently put together to
make us believe exactly what benefits the government or at least makes
us doubt. Fear of the unknown, the ghosts of Imperialism and Capitalism
and crises outside of Cuba dominate the media, or the
“mafia-mercenaries, Cubans in Miami” which want to destroy “the glory
Cuba has experienced” and hand over the country “to the greedy Empire”,
call it Posada Carriles, Mas-Santos, Orlando Bosch, la wild wolf, etc.
It might seem Machiavellian but that’s how the Cuban system has been
designed. That’s why the State-Party still holds great control over a
people who don’t believe they are avant-garde or anything of the sort
but that they attached by very strong ties. It’s unfair for them to be
judged without analyzing the situation; it’s unfair to blame the victim
of the accomplice.
A recent example: I’ve explained, on several occasions, that the famous
“Weekly Package” of audio/visual materials is restricted from spreading
national political information from the opposition due to the level of
illegality that is tolerated. It’s a kind of pact: the Government allows
the business which comes from plagiarizing and illegally reproducing TV
and film material to function while it doesn’t harm their politics.
On February 10th, the MININT in Mayari, Holguin, where I live, held a
meeting with everyone who has a “CD buyer-seller” license in the
municipality; the objective: to ban a series from being included in the
Package: “Hugo Chávez, El comandante”.
According to what they were told, these self-employed workers have it
written in their regulations that they are not allowed to involve their
activities with the country’s politics, economics or social situation,
nor act against its interests; and this TV series has been labeled
“subversive”. The series was produced by Teleset, Sony Pictures Television.
It seems that the story doesn’t fit in with the vision about the late
Comandante Chavez that the government is interested in spreading in Cuba
and so they decided to pressure these “buyer-sellers” from spreading it
among the population. They all know by now that if their computers are
checked and they have the series then their license can be suspended and
they can be fined. Not to mention that the license they have doesn’t
include copying the Package to customers, just selling second-hand Cds.
They can penalize this activity whenever they want; it’s just being
tolerated for now.
Can the private sector, under these conditions of subjugation, be the
starting point for a more active and leading civil participation of our
people in favor of democracy? Those who harshly judge Cubans for “not
taking real action to save their freedom” should first answer this
question. The reason some people don’t understand them is because they
haven’t understood how social control works in Cuba. In order for a
“prisoner” to flee or fight against his or her jailers, they have to
first throw off their ties: and it isn’t that simple.
Note: CDR: Comité de Defensa de la Revolución; MTT: Milicia de Tropas
Territoriales; ACRC: Asociación de Combatientes de la República de Cuba;
FEU: Federación de Estudiantes Universitarios; FEEM: Federación de
Estudiantes de la Enseñanza Media; OPJM: Organización de Poneros José
Martí; FMC: Federación de Mujeres Cubanas; ANAP: Asociación Nacional de
Agricultores Pequeños; UJC: Unión de Jóvenes Comunistas; PCC: Partido
Comunista de Cuba.
Source: Cuba’s Social Control, A Highly Effective Weapon – Havana
Times.org – www.havanatimes.org/?p=123667