The death penalty “will weigh on us tomorrow” for Cubans

La pena de muerte "nos va a pesar mañana" a los cubanos

HAVANA, July 29. Several days after the president of the Supreme Court, Rubén Remigio Ferro, made a plea of the validity of the death penalty in front of the Cuban Parliament,the provincial deputy director of Collective Law Firms in Guantánamo, Dayron Salazar, criticized the execution of the measure and advocated that the Island not follow the path of “police states that justify violations of due process.”

“I will never want more police officers or less guarantees in a criminal process,” the official summed up in an article published in the local newspaper Venceremos.

“Tomorrow it will weigh on all of us more than it already weighs on us,” he added, asking for “balance” from the Cubans who still maintain that the maximum penalty is useful to achieve “a prosperous society where guarantees and security come together.”

Salazar reflected on the increase in publications and pages on crime on social networks – some of them related to the Ministry of the Interior, such as the well-known Fuerza del Pueblo – and offered his “specialized” assessment on the subject, as a lawyer.

Salazar’s hypothesis contravenes the heavy hand justified as “defense of the Revolution”, upheld by Ferro, and points to the causes of crime, which he lists: poverty -which “is not justification, but it is a basis”-, creation of numerous spaces for the consumption of alcoholic beverages and the precarious education of young people, who grow up “thinking that nothing matters.”

“The family has to work, the school has to work, the institutions have to work,” alleges the official

“The family has to work, the school has to work, the institutions have to work”, alleges the official, for whom the Government must solve these pressing problems, which “cannot be faced only with sanctions or with Criminal Law”. But above all, says Salazar, nothing will be achieved by “disproportionately increasing police power and resources.”

The example, he indicates, is El Salvador, a country to which the lawyer attributes having crossed all the limits of repression in its prisons under the pretext of promoting citizen security. “If we create prisons like those of President Nayib Bukele… but we don’t fix the social bases, nothing has been done,” he affirms.

The name of Bukele is being read more and more frequently in the publications made on social networks by Cubans fed up with the rise in crime and the insecurity that is spreading in the streets. They argue that someone like the Salvadoran president is needed to stop the wave of violence.

However, “the security of citizens is not only guaranteed with a greater number of police officers or with more severe sanctions, but with the creation of infrastructures that allow the normal development of life in a country,” Salazar insists, in an unabashed criticism. precedents to the usual criminal process in the courts of the Island.

The method followed up to now – “attacking the perpetrators of crimes” –, he continues, is the “easiest and most comfortable solution” for the leaders, who are “responsible for solving social problems”.

“If that sanction had worked, there would no longer be criminals in the world. There are many things to fix, not just crime”

Finally, Salazar used an argument by José Martí to criticize the defense of the death penalty, although he did not directly allude to Ferro’s intervention. “If this sanction had worked, there would no longer be criminals in the world. There are many things to fix, not just crime, which is a result and not a cause. That is what it means to live in a rule of law,” he concluded.

On July 21, in the middle of the ordinary sessions of the Cuban Parliament, the head of the Supreme Court presented the Military Penal Code Law and recalled that the “death penalty” had not been applied for 20 years, but that it had full validity. Ferro alluded to the theft, in 2003, of the boat that connects the town of Regla with Old Havana. Nine days after those responsible were captured – the boat soon ran out of fuel – the regime shot three people.

The “crime of terrorism” for which the “kidnappers” were convicted continues to deserve the maximum penalty, recalled Ferro. “We have to have it there as an element of the defense of our society, as a defense of our State, of our Revolution, in the face of the very serious threats in which we permanently live. And also for citizen tranquility.”

After Ferro’s appearance, as was foreseeable, the deputies approved the Military Penal Code Law, which updates the Military Crimes Law of 1979.