Monday, December 04, 2006

Castro’s last speech

Cubans all over the world know how “the system” works. This article is intended for individuals that do not know much about totalitarianism in Cuba. Death or incapacitation will make Castro’s speech on July 26, 2006, in Bayamo, Cuba, his last. As usual, this one was a showcase of Cuban propaganda manipulations.

Crowd Management

The Cuban Communist government is the employer of around 99% of the country’s work force.
When Castro speaks in public all government employees are granted time off, with pay, for all of them to attend his meetings. Each employee is given a little paper Cuban flag. The employee bosses are given the inescapable assignment of making sure all their employees go to the meetings and stay there until the end. Communist cadres watch the employee bosses to ensure the execution of these mechanisms of control to ensure large crowds attend Castro’s meetings.

All these persons are transported to the meeting site in government provided buses and trucks, and returned back to their offices, factories and other gathering points.

Nobody dares to decline attending Castro’s meetings. Punishment is, at best, a downgrading in the pay scale, or worst, employment dismissal on the spot. Anyone daring to decline, after his or her work place punishment, would have their personal records marked as “counterrevolutionary”, and reported to the Communist Vigilante’s Committee, at the city block level, where he or she lives. The Vigilantes will harass them with daily intimidation tactics.

There are, without a doubt, people who willingly attend these meetings, but under these totalitarian mechanics, it is impossible to ascertain how many in the crowds are there because they do not have other alternative. It is fair to assume that genuine support has waned considerably over the years.

This is an honest representation of the reasons to watch on TV a very large crowd, with little Cuban flags in their hands, when Castro delivered his last speech on July 26th.

Waving the Little Cuban Flags

Castro’s last speech, as usual, lasted in the order of three hours, and was punctuated by his deliberate display of emotions for effect. There were innumerable instances where the TV cameras panned across the crowd, displaying everybody raising and waving the little Cuban flags. The impression that was created was that they were sincerely in support of Castro’s verbal barrage.

Some camera shots showed a man standing behind Castro, holding a plastic stick in one of his hands. Every time the man raised his plastic stick, the crowd raised and waved their little Cuban flags!

It was a shame for a man that commanded spontaneous admiration and support when there was hope at the beginning. In recen years, during his public appearances, Castro depended on forced attendance and on clue waving of little Cuban flags to portray people's fervor and support.


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