Tuesday, May 9, 2017

2610. A Dog Is Set on Fire in Manzanillo, Cuba

By Irina Echarry, Havana Times, May 9, 2017

One of the protagonists of the crime.
For a few days now, there’s been a video that’s being going viral on social media: young people in Manzanillo burned a dog alive, in the middle of the street. Because of the precarious situation, we have with the Internet, I haven’t been able to see it, but the truth is, I really don’t want to.

The first thing I felt when I found out about was horror, imagining the howling of that poor little dog trying to escape the flames. I asked myself how anybody could come up with such a cruel act.

Then I found out that no one who watched the scene did anything to stop it, and I was overtaken by a deep sadness. Sadness because a society where people claim they have the right to kill however and whenever they want, is a sick society. Today, it was a defenseless pup, tomorrow it could be any one of us.

Heretics were tortured and killed back in the times of the Spanish Inquisition; it was mistaken, cruel, terrible, but they still had a purpose. What provoked these young Cubans to do such a thing? What were they thinking when they closed up a dog in a box and set it on fire? What drove them to show their faces while they committed such an act of vandalism? Were they even aware of what they were doing?

Unfortunately, we don’t have an animal protection law here in the country (and it will most likely take years to be introduced). There are some organizations doing everything they can to do this, collecting signatures from people who have some sympathy towards the subject. From my point of view, it’s of the utmost importance that Aniplant, CEDA, PAC and anyone who does anything independently for animal rights come together for this noble cause. Scattered, we won’t be able to do anything while these kinds of atrocities take place.

As a result, today it’s hard to legally take people who commit these injustices to trial. However, there are other laws, guidelines or regulations that exist in Cuba which could be used to make these murderers pay in some way for what they did.  A lot of the time, they are used wrongly by the government, for their own convenience, in order to take “dissidents” to trial, why can’t they now be used for a just cause?

These young Cubans need to be taken to court; they’ve shown their faces so they can be identified. Their punishment would allow them to reflect upon what they did, have an influence on the community that didn’t get upset when they were faced with such an attack, and would give a lesson to all of the Cuban society.

We need to demand justice, we need to wake up from this lethargic spell between what we confuse as “normal” with evil, playing with cruelty, and we need to give real value to those we share this planet with us.

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