004. eyes & ears

Updated: Jan 12

In this episode, Carmen & Fryda go into what it's like living in authoritarian Cuba. We explore the role that various organizations and institutions play in the daily lives of Cubans and how neighborhood based social surveillance incentivize snitching (known by Cubans as "chibaterismo") and create an atmosphere of distrust.


Below are organizations we mention in this episode, their logo, the year they were established, their english translation, a link to the Cuban state's encyclopedia (ecured.cu) article on official role of the institution, and an article offering a more critical perspective of the role of the institution.


Comite de la Defensa de la Revolucion (CDR)

established in 1960

Committee for the Defense of the Revolution

ecured article

Huffpost article (2012)







Milicias de Tropas Territoriales (MTT)

established in the 1980s

Territorial Troop Militias

ecured article

Washington Post article (1985)





La Defensa Civil

established in 1962

The Civil Defense

ecured article




Brigadas de Respuesta Rapida

established in the 1990s

Rapid Response Brigades

Diario de Cuba article (2020)




Organización de Pioneros de José Martí (Pioneros)

established in 1961

José Martí Pioneers (Pioneers)

ecured article

The Atlantic article (2015)






Unión de Jóvenes Comunistas (La Juventud)

established in 1965

Young Communist League, or The Youth

ecured article

Cubanet opinion piece (2020)









Partido Comunista de Cuba (PCC)

established in 1923, then 1965

Cuban Communist Party

ecured article

Britannica article

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