Proclivities to Crime

Yuniel Mariño recently reached his eighteenth birthday. He does not work or go to school. He spends his mornings at the park with his friends. The afternoons the same, but passing a rum bottle from hand to hand. He arrives home silently in the early hours of the morning even though he had more than a few drinks.

El Chama, that is his nickname in the neighborhood. He wears chains, bracelets and several gold teeth. His dad lives in Miami and sends him a monthly allowance for his expenses. The young man is smart, and so as not to run out of money, occasionally he invests in some small business.

Too much speculation for the liking of the head of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR). Mariño came up in the monthly meeting  of the Commission of Social Prevention as someone with the potential to be a criminal.

This Commission has the fundamental objective of preventing people in the neighborhood from engaging in dangerous activities or crimes. It consist of, among others, the members of the Popular Power in the locality, chief of the Police sector, the Municipal delegate, the president and the head of vigilance for the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR) and the secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba in the Zone.

The Social Worker who persuaded Yuniel to get involved in the labor force offered him a job in a basic Farming Production Unit that specializes in vegetables. He declined. He alleged that with his foreign monthly allowance he does not need to work for a salary of 315.00 Cuban pesos in the farming industry.

In spite of his arguments, the chief of the Police Sector, started a proceeding of warning for antisocial behavior, and gave him an ultimatum to find a job. An order that he did not obey. Afterward he received another job offer, this time for construction. He declined.

Yuniel was reprimanded by the Police authority, according to the Penal legislation, for an attitude potentially dangerous to the social, economic and political order of the Socialist State.

Two more warnings followed his denial, and the beginning of a Judicial Case. The District Attorney of his Municipality solicited the courts to impose a Security Measure pre-transgression for showing signs of dangerous potential.

In his stubbornness, Chama never thought they would be able to demonstrate that his conduct was contradictory to the norms of the Socialist Morals. That his way of life disturbed the community order; as a result, they considered him a person with a proclivity to crime.

Yuniel never had gone inside a neighbor’s house to steal. He did not traffic in nor consume drugs. He did not attack or kill anybody. Nevertheless, he was sanctioned to work in a farm for a year and six months, jailed in a correctional. This is the fate run by youth who dare to defy the regime.

Laritza Diversent

Translated by: Mari Mesa Contreras

  1. Alex
    April 23, 2010 at 12:08 pm

    So its better to be hanging in the streets drinking rum and not doing anything? Thats the problem with youth he has the ability to do more than other cubans but instead chooses to just hang. i mean they gave many chances and he ignored them. oh my god now he has to work like other Cubans! poor kid!

  1. May 3, 2010 at 3:55 am

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