Fidel Castro and the WT
Hasta la vista” is a Mexican expression not, to my memory as a Cuban, a Cuban one.
Arnold made "hasta la vista" an international expression.
My next item will be based on a key word UMAP, if you want to have a preview please run of a search of that word +Cuba.
One of the darkest moments in the whole history of the Castro regime was the creation of the UMAP (Military Units for Production Help). This was an attempt to use as cheap labor all the males not incorporated to the Revolution, the excuse was that they were fulfilling their military service obligation.
The other purpose was to have control over these individuals, included in this group were Catholics, evangelicals, JW's, homosexuals, anyone with ties to the previous government and so on. What they did was to create a series of concentration camps in one of the provinces and intern all of these individuals there.
Since this was done under the guise of military service, there was no due process or any semblance of legality; people were just gathered and confined in these places without any recourse. Not only single men were affected but many family heads were also taken and the wives were left to fend for themselves.
The treatment was brutal, this concentrations camps were designed following the model of the Soviet camps, beatings, abuse, rape, hunger and even some killings were part of the treatment; anything to break the will of the recruit and set an example for the others.
The brothers were at the forefront of these harsh conditions and they experienced intolerable conditions during their time there. Some of the officers and guards were very sadistic when dealing with the friends.
This experiment was so well planned that on swift move all the personnel working at Bethel, all the circuit overseers with the exception of two were arrested and taken to this infernos. They remained there for the duration of the experiment.
This abuse was finally closed after about two years, the reasons for the closure were that it was totally ineffective, non productive and the most serious one was international public opinion. It seems that at a time when Castro was trying to become legitimate, a group of French intellectuals visiting the country got wind of what was going on and made statements that were very damaging to the Cuban image.
This was really a very sad affair, had a profound impact in the witnesses work, later on I will go into further details regarding this.
Like a said in a previous post if you want to learn more about this run a search and you will find a ton of information in English and Spanish.
Thanks for reading
After a few days off, I am adding a little bit about the conditions after the UMAP closing. When the brothers were taken prisoners, the Government decapitated the Branch Organization; there was a line of succession established in case of a major disaster and the 6th choice to take over as BO was the only one left. This particular brother had a very strong personality and was able to keep the work going with the limited resources that were available.
While the brothers at the concentration camps were suffering abuse, the ones on the outside were under tremendous pressure and fearing that their moment was coming soon. When the prisoners were released all of them came back to their service positions and there was no usurpation of duties.
To be continued
jwfacts - "Since Castro was so harsh on religion, how did the ratio of JWs become so high?"
Two reasons, I think.
a) The WTS's numbers are horseshit...
b) ...their ideology had the perfect passive/aggressive flavor of resistance to the regime without being outright active revolutionists.
Cuba should be the 51st state. Kennedy should have invaded and the people rally behind him for statehood.
Back in 1902 the US gave Cuba their independence, at that time USA retained control over Puerto Rico and the Philippines. Cuba tried to copy the US system of Government but it never succeeded, the first 57 years were a very bad succession of corrupt Governments; after that we have 57 years of one man ruling.
A full intervention in 1961 was very dangerous, Castro was very aggressive and who knows what he was capable of doing.
William Simpkins came to Mexico and became the BO in the early 70s I met him Cuz my dad worked there 73-75.
I also think I met one of the fayad brothers he came to Mexico from Florida and worked at the branch in 84 or 85 he was an interior designer of the newly constructed B2.
He had lots of influence there Cuz
Yes, the Fayad brother that was a designer was Farid. There was a lot of controversy around the family, the BO was married to one of the Fayad sisters. One of the brothers and the husband of another sister were send to Gilead and then the two DO serving the country were part of this family. A lot of people charged nepotism and that was a source of friction for some time, with the arrival of Castro all those things became nothing.
This line stood out for me in an earlier posting,
"another day I will tell why the WT did this." ... why because they are so damned arrogant and they constantly seek martyrs' to justify their self deluded importance.