Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Weekly Photo Challenge: Security

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Policia Especializada Cuba Comandancia

I did a bit of searching to try and find out what the Specialised Police might do. But it seems likely that security concerns prevent that information from being released. Wikipedia had some generalised information about policing – but does not give much information. And some maps identify the location as The Old City Police station. It is clearly some ancient fortification – one of several around the entrance to the port. Which, at one time, needed protection especially from British privateers – the original Pirates of the Caribbean. Of course modern weaponry made such fortifications obsolete and in most places they become museums and tourist attractions. Cuba, of course, is different. Castles – like the Tower of London – have always done double duty as places of confinement – again usually in the name of “security”. One of those splendidly flexible and ill defined terms, and deliberately kept that way. All kinds of things are done in its name including deliberately overstepping all the formal controls most countries place on the power of the state to spy, detain and maltreat those it feels might be threatening it. Security of the state trumps security of the person not just in places like Cuba – for 50 years condemned by the United States for its supposed excesses in limiting the freedom of its citizens and supposed threats to its far bigger, more powerful neighbour – but also the location of the US Naval base at Guantanamo Bay and site of some of the US’s most egregious (and illegal) excesses in the name of security. It doesn’t look anything like this, of course.

Written by Stephen Rees

April 5, 2017 at 11:53 am

Posted in photography

Tagged with ,

5 Responses

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  1. […] Stephen Rees’s blogWeekly Photo Challenge: Security […]

  2. […] Stephen Rees’s blog Weekly Photo Challenge: Security […]

  3. According to ecured.cu (cuban wikipedia ?),
    https://www.ecured.cu/Polic%C3%ADa_Nacional_Revolucionaria
    This is the Special(-ized ?) Brigade of the National Revolutionary Police.

    According to the page, they specialize in complex situations, like gang activity, hijackings and so on. The RCMP has similar specialized divisions. I don’t believe there are distinct municipal police / provincial police in Cuba as in Canada, so the organization spans everything.

    There’s also “the Specialized Police, part of the PNR that acts in the areas of tourist interest of that city”, though their role is not explained in the article.

    Ian W

    April 6, 2017 at 1:41 am

  4. Given that location it is right in the most tourism heavy area – Old Havana

    Stephen Rees

    April 6, 2017 at 11:28 am

  5. […] Weekly Photo Challenge: Security (stephenrees.wordpress.com) […]


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