Dissection of a Tyranny (Part III)

Caption reads: “Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) guard”.

by Jose Luis Garcia Paneque

The official dictatorial ideology followed by the regime during these past 5 decades has been to continue planting discord among Cubans, as well as to create fear over an enemy that never shows up. From the government’s first discourses during the “euphoria” period, the dictator asked, “What do the people want?” And the ingenuous people who, at the time, believed in the slogans of social justice, screamed, “Execution Wall!”; “Properties for the people!”; “Intervention!”; “Make them go away!”, and “Scum!” History has recorded these unfortunate moments.

They did not realize, or did not want to realize, that this was yet another phase of the establishment of a tyranny. Today, we will compare this to another postulate by Saint Thomas of Aquinas, which will illustrate the perversity of the regime.

“In order to maintain the tyranny, it is necessary that the tyrant rule in a fashion where all his subjects accuse one another, engage in disputes, where friends persecute friends, where citizens make profits out of others’ indecisions between the low and high classes, and the rich must be ruled by discord.”

From the very beginning of the revolutionary process, hate and bitterness was encouraged. First, such animosity was directed towards the losing side, and then it shifted towards those who achieved to step up the social ladder through much hard work and courage. Soon, one could see the results of what was imposed on the people who were stepping out of a dictatorship with a civil war initiated by an adventurous rebel. But like the English philosopher, David Hume, said, “We know that tyrants produce rebels, and throughout history we see that, when the rebels triumph, they are susceptible to becoming tyrants themselves.”

The most severe monstrosity was the creation of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR). This was aimed to be a mechanism of vigilance, intimidation, coercion, and not to mention the countless times of repression in the neighborhoods through paramilitary mobs with the sole intent of having citizens spy on each other so that they can denounce their own neighbors, plant the seeds of discord and mistrust, with the pretext of fighting against supposed enemies of the “Revolution”. They implanted so much hate throughout the country, for the sake of one egotistical man’s personal desire.

The Rapid Response Brigades were no less sinister. These brigades were created in work and study centers to confront, many times with violence, all those who publicly dissent, with the same worn out argument of defending the people from the “enemies”. But, who is the enemy? The response is the most shocking part of it all: “it’s none other than another Cuban” who wants to think with his own mind, and as a consequence of this, at that very moment he becomes an enemy which must be eliminated. Imagine how many Cuban families have been divided in the name of defending that sacred and poorly-named “Revolution”!

We Cubans feel so much pain when those inflamed mobs (many times forced to take part) carry out “acts of repudiation and revolutionary reaffirmations” to the Ladies in White, our family members, and to the dissidents. My family, including my young children, suffered such abuses of power which left me no other option but to send them into exile. Today, 8 years after, I have to live with the bitter pain of being separated from them all because of the carelessness of one tyrant.


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