With a history of decades of crisis, it’s the roughest sector in Cuban society (working-class mobs given a repressor card and the green light to take out their frustration and envy). Such is the State’s favorite to do its dirty work: repression at its roughest ?visible beatings, insults and humiliation.
We can see a strategy with at least two clear objectives: to frighten the population and wipe its hands clean. Except for a small number of extreme cases, the regime has kept its armed forces out of its daily practices to scare the population, while it has made terror an everyday practice, but without an obvious link to the State. Thus, the government’s coercive apparatus presents itself as an institution that protects society and ensures order, and not as a mechanism to create fear and even panic.
The police and State security forces are there to protect protestors against the people’s fury. People who oppose the regime aren’t given long jail sentences ?unless they’ve overstepped the mark, after various warnings?, but are constantly threatened, arrested for a couple of days, “missing” for a few hours.
One of the problems with this kind of strategy (beyond the basic punishment, of course) is that the time comes when it becomes really hard to control.