My House is Not a Prison

4 Oct

Photo: Luis Felipe Rojas

That is a principle held by the activists of the internal resistance in Cuba, who have suffered all sorts of restrictions when they decide to take to the street and the police arrive at their doors and tell them, “either you stay inside or you will be imprisoned”.

Yoandris Montoya Aviles, from Bayamo, told me the same thing when they tried to surround his home, as they routinely do, on a day in which he was going to go out and carry out activities for the National March.  He stepped out to protest the arbitrary measure but was quickly taken to a police unit, later releasing him 24 hours after.

During the beginning of the March for the Freedom of Cuba which took place in the city of Baracoa on this past 12th of September, that idea was among the main points for those of us who set out from our provinces to Baracoa to begin the National Boitel and Zapata Live March.

Many dissidents throughout the country were beaten during this most recent march while others have even been sentenced for Disrespect and Disobedience for the simple act of not letting themselves be treated like fair animals, surrounded and exhibited  before the eyes of impassive neighbors which cannot respond anything to the supposed authorities.  The cases of Caridad Caballero, Marta Diaz Rondon, Esteban Caballero Sande, Francisco Luis Manzanet Ortiz, Annie Carrion Romero, and Isael Poveda Silva are clear examples of ruthless beatings just for protesting in the middle of the street and saying ‘no’ to the dictatorship.

This new line of disobedience has its fundamental roots coming from Gandhi.  Hundreds of Cubans have practiced it during 52 years of an iron-fist rule imposed on civil society, and it has now gained strength once again.

The repression on behalf of the general’s army is against everyone.  Non-violence, too, is relevant to everyone.

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