Archive | August, 2010

The History of Amnesty International

8 Aug

Photo by:  Luis Felipe Rojas

It’s called Like Water on the Rock and it was written by Jonathan Power.  It’s a book full of insinuations about the saintliness that Amnesty International represents for many suffering people. I rarely walk in to Cuban bookstores that sell books in dollars, but a friend of mine convinced me to do so, telling me that there were sales, books for about one convertible dollar.  I found a biography of Churchill, a novel by Henry James, and this portrait of AI, that group of Human Rights that is on the verge of its 50th anniversary.

The book was prepared in honor of its 40th anniversary, and if it weren’t for its laudatory tone, it could have been a true jewel.  Two of its best chapters are dedicated to China and Northern Ireland: precise, full of facts and testimonies that remind us of the best of English journalism, but also suffering an attack of unforgivable forgetfulness. Cuba is only mentioned once, on page 160 out of the more than 400 pages in the book, and it is only mentioned while it is being accused of supposedly assisting Latin American guerrillas.

It’s difficult to believe that a book that recounts four decades of the most prestigious human rights organization in the world fails to dedicate a single page about the oldest dictatorship in this hemisphere.  Legal records, case studies, and fieldwork made up Mr. Power’s research of different AI committees.  His mission was to verify all sorts of diverse assassinations and violations, and there is not one single mention of the country that has generated a shocking number of exiles, physical and mental tortures, political prisoners, and the heaviest set of information gags that this country denies.

It is a book published nearly nine years ago for the paper known as Debate.  And now they sell it for almost the same price as a pound of pork costs the average Cuban.

It is a systematic forgetfulness, a State strategy.  Soon, they’ll probably let us purchase the Bible, The Illiad, or History Will Absolve Me (LHMA)….we must be attentive.

*LHMA:  The accusatory text which Fidel Castro had the opportunity to defend himself with when he violently assaulted a military barracks under the dictatorship of Fulgencio Batista in 1953.

Translated by Raul G.

In the Voice of the Victims

7 Aug

Thanks to friends of mine, I leave you with this:

The voices of Caridad Caballero Batista, Marta Diaz Rondon, and Mariblanca Avila.  The three women have been victims of police brutality in Holguin and Banes.  In the cases of Cari and Marta, what they are narrating in this clip occurred on August 3rd.

Mariblanca, in just one month, was victim of police beatings three times.  Here she recounts the worst of the three times.

Here is the text:

Voice of Caridad Caballero Batista: Marta Diaz Rondon from Banes, and Gertrudis Ojeda Suarez, also from Banes, were walking towards my house when State Security officials impeded them from entering and dragged them on the street and threw them in a car.  When I tried to intercede for them, my husband and I were then also dragged and beat.  My husband, Esteban Sandes (?), and my son Eric Esteban (?), 17 years of age, and I, all tried to intercede for Marta and the agents of State Security dragged us all, beat us, and they threw me to the ground and they brutally continued to beat me and drag me.  The same thing happened to my son who is full of scratches and bruises because he was shoved up against a fence.  And well, they took Marta with them, and we were further victims of offensive words shouted at us by the agents of State Security.


Voice of Marta Diaz Rondon: Gertrudis Ojeda Suarez and I were on our way to the house of Caridad Caballero and there were some cars parked nearby, there were a few, I don’t remember how many. In those cars was Commando 21, whose members looked like giants.  When we arrived right outside Cari’s house, they rushed up towards us and began to brutally push us and dragged us to the car.  I’m full of bruises everywhere on my thighs and my legs, as is Gertrudis.  Cari rushed out of her house in defense of us, when she saw us she began screaming anti-governmental slogans and they also dragged her on the ground, while some of the agents jumped on her and covered her mouth.  We screamed “assassins”, and “down with the dictatorship” when we saw this, and they locked the doors of the car to prevent us from running out and defending Cari, for they were now beating her.  They took us to a penitentiary (?) center and kept us in a cell from 6 pm to the next day at 2 pm.  We protested, we didn’t eat anything, and we continued protesting.  They accused us of public disorder.  Public disorder is what they did because they were the ones who attacked us.


Voice of Mariblanca Avila: I think they are like an army (?).  The dirtiest man in the world that any mother could have given birth to was that man.  While we were driving towards Guardalavaca, that man took advantage that I was hand-cuffed, harassed me, and told me, “I am going to kiss you”, and then he kissed me on the neck, and the more I screamed the more he took advantage.  He squeezed hard down on my left arm.  I now have an incision there, my arm is swollen.  The dirty things he told me scared me.  There were 3 others in the car with us, but that man put the cuffs on me and went in the back with me as if I was an assassin.  3 others were in the car with me, and 2 others behind in a desolate road, there were woods everywhere.  I was very afraid because I know that they are capable of anything.  And because of that man I have not been able to sleep again.

Translator’s note: If anyone wishes to fix the ‘?’ which I could not hear too well, please add it in the comments, below. Thank you!

Translated by Raul G.

The Violators

3 Aug


Photos by:  Luis Felipe Rojas

Since we suffer from a lack of rights, I find myself obliged to publish photos of three well-known oppressors from the Eastern region.  They are especially notorious in the areas of Banes and Antilla in Holguin.

Henry Borrero (he appears by himself in the photo) and Freddy Allen Aguero Diaz and Wilson Ramirez Perez (from left to right).

Ramirez Perez savagely beat Caridad Caballero Batista and Mariblanca Avila — inside of a car to prevent anyone  from helping them — like all the people who show up to help Reina Luisa Tamayo Danger in Banes.

Caballero Batista and Avila Exposito were both dragged out of the car they were traveling in and were thrown in another car with a license plate that proved it was property of the G2.

Through this blog, I have helped to denounce such actions, like the ones that occurred on Thursday July 22nd, in the voice of Caballero Batista.

Ramirez Perez himself was also involved in the beating of Cristian Toranzo Fundichelis in 2009.  The others are all members of the operative group of the G2 in the area.  Their sad mission consists of attempting to squash the opposition movement in Holguin.

That is their legacy, a string of violations that will eventually work against them when the long and unfortunate nightmare of socialism is over.

August 3 2010

Translated by Raul G.