Under custody

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What’s going on? Should I wonder each time I realize the high amount of police force in the streets, especially in the areas of Central Havana and Old Havana. The fact of seeing a man in uniform on every corner; or that the Central Park and the Capitol are, each time more often, guarded by “black wasps” or “red berets” with dogs, ois now so much an everyday thing that we aren’t even amazed.

We Cubans have been witnesses of how our cities get filled by these persons; that show their clubs and call us “citizens”; walk around in couples and deploy from Mercedes Benz trucks. It is usual that one has to show ID when walking with a friend from other country, or that right in the roadway the bus stops for our bags to be inspected, under the possibility that we are carrying some cheese, the tail of a lobster, or some dangerous shrimps masked by personal articles.

The presence of the police, however, has not brought a noticeable decrease in crime, but rather the refinement of illegality. The people have learned to evade them, to not to go by the corners they usually watch, and to mask more effectively the cheese brought from the other provinces.

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