The Committee in Defense of the Revolution (CDR) was created 50 years yesterday as a neighborhood watch-dog network during the early days of the Cuban Revolution. CDR’s recruited Cuban locals to report on their neighbor and any “counter-revolutionary” tendency they might have. Now the committee also works as a large social service agency helping the government in times of natural disasters by supplying volunteers.
Most of Cuban’s government leaders were in attendance including the committee’s creator, Fidel Castro. He gave an hour long speech in front of thousands of Cubans where he extolled the virtues of the revolution and repeated certain elements of the speech he gave 50 years ago.
“In the face of the imperialist aggression, we’re going to implement a system of collective vigilance,” he said. “So that everybody knows who lives on the block, what they do, and what relations they have with the tyranny, and with whom they meet.” No mention was made of the many political prisoners incarcerated as a result of CDR’s existence.