Lunes, 23 de Julio de 2018
Última actualización: 00:16 CEST
POLITICS

The Condemnation Memorial: Exhibits and Attendees

Bloody shirts. (DDC)

On August 13, 2017, the former Museum of the Ministry of Interior, located at 5th and 14th, Miramar, changed its name. It is now is the Condemnation Memorial, which the Government presents as a "space to expose the attacks suffered by the people of Cuba." Among them it includes "the illegal immigration fomented by the imperialism," "attacks against the leader" and "the media war."

The Memorial is administrated by State Security's Centre for Historical Research, whose mission is to provide "scientific" packaging for the government’s version of the events of the last 60 years advanced, "in particular acts aimed at destabilizing security and internal order."

In this place, the real pain of many Cubans - but only those whose stories behoove the regime - is mixed with propaganda.

Although admission is free for both Cubans and foreigners, the museum does not draw many visitors, according to its workers, because it is difficult to access. Most Cuban visitors come on trips organized by Communist Party unions and committees at their workplaces. Then there are the "friends of Cuba" organizations, generally supported by the government abroad.

At the entrance to the premises, a mural of 3,478 crosses represent "the victims of terrorism against Cuba," as calculated by the government. A "counter" consisting of cubes, which can be updated at any time, indicates the number.

The visit can be conducted alone, but the custom is for a guide to lead the tour. The first stop is a room featuring images of the La Coubre freighter explosion. Then there is the permanent exhibition of weapons used in "attacks against the leader." Touchscreens allow the visitor to interact in various ways with 3D images of the weapons. One can see how they are disarmed, and access the official version of the story of the attack.

On other screens there are photos of bodies and people killed in attacks. A bloody-stained shirt that belonged to Manuel López de la Portilla, considered the first martyr of State Security, and a piece of the Barbados plane, are also part of this exhibition. A false glass floor reveals a huge amount of ammunition.

Another of the memorial's rooms uses projections to present examples of the "media war." The covers of digital sites such as DIARIO DE CUBA, Generation Y, Café Fuerte and Cubaencuentros are exhibited as examples of "platforms financed by imperialism to lie about the Revolution."

A projection dedicated to "bacteriological war" displays bleeding eyes and purported plans to spread disease in Cuba. According to the guides, this is one of the areas that is most shown to children, with a digital map of Cuba illustrating all the diseases "sown in the country." Each projection is accompanied by its corresponding touchscreen, where it is possible to "explore the history behind the images."

Another of the rooms features a rudimentary boat built in the 90s by people who wished to flee the country. The projections include images of Cubans loading boats during the Crisis de los Balseros, the Elián González incident, and a page from The New Herald announcing a revolt on El Malecón. Among the programs installed on the touchscreens one can find a "timeline of the manipulation of the migratory issue," as the Government dubs Cubans' constant exodus.

The Memorial is also used to host exhibitions by plastic artists; Alexis Leyva Machado (Kcho) is one of those regularly exhibiting.

At the end of June a joint exposition of works by students from the San Alejandro school on the subject of migration was in the works. The current one is a mural that depicts the Island of Cuba, formed by toys, some moving away towards the north. One of them is a flute that, the guides say, represents the "siren songs of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, who lures the children away."