Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

28 de Febrero del 2000

REPRESSION AGAINST CUBAN YOUTH ON THE RISE. By José Orlando González Bridón of the Confederation of Democratic Workers of Cuba, for Cuba Free Press.

Havana.- Police are often seen stopping young people right on the street whether they are sitting, walking or even dancing. The policemen speak to them in an angry manner, asking for identification cards and checking those over their patrol car's radio. The kids feel like delinquents, with good reason.

"Either we make a bad impression on the police or it could be orders from upstairs," one youth said. Another said, "If they treated us decently, we'd get off the track."

The young people seem resentful because they are bothered so often when they go out for a walk or visit any recreational center with their friends. And if one of them asks the police for an explanation, he is considered rebellious and may even be beaten.

One such actions happened to Arián Enrique Martínez, age 15. He was stopped and asked for his minor ID card. He had forgotten it at home so the policeman immediately prepared to take him into custody. The frightened boy tried to explain and what he got for that was a blow which appears to have disfigured his face for good.

That's the way things are going for young people in the Cuba of today. They are viewed and treated as if they were delinquents, as some of them explained. Such complaints come from places like Arroyo Naranjo, October 10th, San Miguel del Padrón, Havana and Havana Center. It is not known whether this situation is caused because the young people, whatever their age, may be less fearful and at the same time more smart-alecky, which could provoke incidents.

Maybe the police are themselves scared of what could happen to them. It is sad, because adolescents the world over walk the streets, go about with their friends, talk along side of the road, meet and discuss "their things." These are the most normal activities for young adolescentse.

José Orlando González Bridón of the Confederation of Democratic Workers of Cuba, for Cuba Free Press.

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