The goons and thugs who do the Castro brothers' dirty work in their gulag are not very bright guys, and really they don't have to be. They just need to be as cruel as humanly possible, and then some, especially to those either imprisoned because of their opposition to the dictatorship or those who have turned against the regime while in jail. In Castro's Cuba, there is no more serious a crime than rejection of the revolution, and the dictatorship has succeeded too well in recruiting those willing to deliver payback.
Brains are not required.
This was made clear recently at a forced labor camp — a concentration camp, if you will — near the city of Guantánamo.
A political prisoner named Alberto Martínez, who is serving a 4-year sentence for being a "pre-criminal social danger," was threatened with time in a punishment cell after he requested that guards return to him items of his that they had taken, according to a report posted at Misceláneas de Cuba.
For good measure, a couple of guards — goons identified as Lt. Marcos Columbié and Freddy Castillo — forced Martínez to stand in the hot sun. At one point, Columbié restrained Martínez so to allow Castillo to deliver a series of punishing blows.
A measure of sanity was introduced to the situation when the head of the labor camp, who was not identified in the report, ordered the beating to stop. Martínez, who later described the incident via telephone to a Cuban independent journalist, said the warden told his minions to quit causing trouble.
There was no reason for Martínez, a leader the local political prisoners organization, to be punished, except that he had the audacity to have his belongings returned to him. He had the audacity to suggest that he be allowed a measure of dignity.
But none of that matters to thugs like Columbié and Castillo. They are just clubs swung by the Castro brothers against their opponents for more than 50 years, following their orders as slaves of the revolution bred for their willingness to act like animals.
The incident also shows there is no rhyme or reason to the cruelties of the Castro gulag, and caution is required before trying to more fully understand the ways of the tyrant.
Except that those cruelties just reflect its nature.
To understand why what happened to Alberto Martínez, happened — and to comprehend the sufferings of thousands of others locked away in the Castro gulag — always remember that.
This is not a regular Political Prisoner of the Week profile, but I have added Alberto Martínez's name to the list of prisoners on the right sidebar.