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Why Did the Culture Minister Personally Resort to Violence?

Alpidio Alonso, rather than instructing his subordinates to perpetrate violence, actually engaged in it himself.

Minister Alpidio Alonso physically assaulting members of the 27N movement.
Minister Alpidio Alonso physically assaulting members of the 27N movement. Facebook Live

The Vice-Minister of Culture, Fernando Rojas, had already demonstrated that he was capable of attempting to settle disputes with fisticuffs. Now, his immediate superior, Alpidio Alonso, has  been filmed physically attacking a DIARIO DE CUBA journalist.

In the images, caught by several phones at the entrance to the Culture Ministry, Minister Alonso advances towards the members of the 27N, escorted by a group of people who appear to be bodyguards - although they may be cultural specialists (with a minister and a vice-minister like these, anyone can have a post and title there.)

Now said authorities are quick to declare that they invited those of the 27N to go in and talk, but that they refused. "Violence is not the solution," Fernando Rojas tweeted. Thus are they attempting to turn the tables and point fingers at the victims of the assault, as the official version will allege that it was 27N activists who physically attacked Minister Alonso.

The images reveal that Rojas did, in fact, invite them into the Ministry's headquarters. On three occasions, according to him. However, those same images show that the members of 27N responded that they could not because they were surrounded by the police. And they asked the vice-minister why they were being restricted in this manner.

Thus, it was with police and bodyguards all around that Minister Alpidio Alonso proceeded to start swinging, despite the cell phones filming him. What could possess a Culture Minister to lay bare the hypocrisy of his position and resort to physical violence, knowing that he was being filmed?

One might speculate that he did so out of his own convictions, those that spurred him to be a minister, including one that the streets - not to mention the entrance to a ministry - belong solely to the "revolutionaries," and that, against those who do not submit to the truth of the ruling party, the only possible response is violence, an act of repudiation.

If these are Minister Alonso's reasons, his behavior makes it clear what kind of "culture" the revolutionary regime aspires to. I suspect, however, that the main motive for his display of violence was the police cordon condemned by 27N members. Alpidio Alonso felt threatened, not only by the group of young people, but also by the political police that control the country. He and Fernando Rojas are accountable to State Security and, therefore, that horde of police exposed their fecklessness.

It was up to the minister and vice-minister to demonstrate to their higher-ups that they would not be so soft as to allow the protests that occurred in November to recur at the doors to the Ministry. The 27N would not continue to cause a stir, because this is a prerogative reserved only for revolutionaries.

This is why Alpidio Alonso did not tap any of his subordinates to commit this violence, and was quick to do it himself; and why he descended the stairs accompanied by an entourage, adopting a combative pose; to be seen in this way by the bosses who call the shots, and let off the hook for the excessive police presence.

Through this pathetic exhibitionism, Alpidio Alonso sought to portray himself as a combative revolutionary who imposes his position. And after this bit of over-acting, now it is time to adopt a role as victim and complain about having been provoked. Here we see, for the umpteenth time, the bipolarity of Castroism, which consists of going on the attack, and then blaming the victim for any damage done.

Whatever one's hypothesis to explain this disgusting spectacle, it has manifested the sycophantic spirit of Culture Minister Alpidio Alonso and Vice-Minister Fernando Rojas. This episode also demonstrates, along with previous arrests, cordons, and other officials who have physically attacked citizens, the regime is increasingly sensitive to provocations, more and more desperate.

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