Friends that Remain

30 Mar

Photo: Luis Felipe Rojas

I met Jose A. Triguero Mulet during a heated political debate. The nearly 70-year-old Mulet is a freedom-loving man.  I’m writing this after he gave me an article he wrote about the humiliations he has lived through just for daring to scream the truth at the militants which rule my country.  It was from those experiences which I took these living testimonies.  I’m simply re-telling his griefs and hopes:

“On July 29th of 2004, I was detained in San German.  For two hours I was interrogated and threatened by State Security Captain Abel Ramirez and Major Parra from State Security in Holguin.  That’s where the harassment really started, through the phone and in person, towards me and also towards my family”.

“On September 10th 2004 I was then harassed in the middle of the street by State Security Captain Abel, just for participating in a vigil held in San German”.

“Then, on October 19th 2004 at 9 PM, he tried to hit me with his car.  Since I quickly tried to jump out of the way, I fractured my finger and suffered various bruises and wounds on my left hand”.

“On March 15th, 2004 Lieutenants Wilmer Sarmiento and Jose Hidalgo,  an unidentified State Security sub-official, and two witnesses from the neighborhood named Yolanda Mompel and Odalis Velazquez showed up at my house.  The reason for such a visit was to carry out a search in my home for articles used in illicit sales.  Of course, they did not find anything of the sort, so they revealed their true intentions, which were to dismantle my independent library.  They not only confiscated all my prohibited political literature but also anything written which attacked the Cuban dictatorship, as well as 2 portable radios and an old typewriter.  The home of my eldest daughter was also searched.  There, the authorities behaved in a gross manner.  They took my stuff and threw it up on their jeep and they took me to the P.N.R (People’s Revolutionary Police) unit.  Nothing was returned to me, and they did not even give me a copy of the confiscation letter after I was detained for 8 hours”.

(…)

“On June 17th 2006, when I was on my way to the city of Holguin, the bus I was on was detained at the entrance of the city by a Captain.  This official boarded the vehicle and walked directly towards me, asking for my ID card.  He then told me to follow him off the bus with my bookbag.  When we arrived to the P.N.R sector I saw that Lieutenant Colonel Enrique and Leonides Licea (both officials from State Security), a police named Emilio (and nicknamed “SOUR YUCCA”), and 5 other uniformed officials were also there.  In total there were 9 of them, standing there like police dogs waiting to pounce on me in that tiny office we were crammed in.  They snatched my bookbag from me and found documents which were to be sent to the Cuban Liberal Party of Havana.  This detonated all those henchmen to fire the most humiliating and offensive insults at me.  As if that was not enough, they took advantage of their strength and they rushed up on me, pushing my shaky body down, despite the fact that my blood pressure was through the roof.  They forcibly took off all my clothes and told me to squat.  I am guessing that the purpose of this was to make sure that I did not have anything hidden behind my genitals.  While I was getting dressed again, my hands were shaking with fear (I am not ashamed to say it) and I noticed that my nose was bleeding and my right eye hurt.  Apparently, while they were forcing the clothes off of me, one of them actually hit me.  Whether they intended to do so or not, I do not know, but I had been hit with a ring, and that’s how the small wound on my nose and the pain on my eye was produced.  They seemed to have gotten scared when they saw the blood, so they decided to let me go, but only after they threateningly told me that I was already an old man and that prison would not be easy on me”.

(…)

“During February 3rd of 2010, at around 5 PM, a group of Eastern opposition members, along with others from Camaguey, were all savagely beaten.  I was among one of the victims.  There were also 8 women.  In my case I received a strong blow on my neck and a strong kick on the back of my left leg.  All of this was perpetrated by the political police, all dressed as if they were civilians.  Some civil functionaries also took place, led by the first secretariat of the Cuban Communist Party (PCC) from Camaguey, Julio Cesar Rodriguez Garcia.  Also present was the chief of the Provincial Camaguey Prisons, Lieutenant Colonel Bombino.  They were beating us because we were carrying out an act of solidarity with the demands made by the prisoner of conscience from the group of the 75, Orlando Zapata Tamayo”.

“I hope that this testimony will serve to inform readers that, without a doubt, the entire Cuban island is a large prison where some of our brothers have been summarily sentenced and jailed in hundreds of small jails away from their loved ones”.

That’s the testimony of Triguero.  It is a truth that is similar to a tree planted in the middle of the forest.  Jose A. Triguero Mulet is coordinator of the Cuban Liberal Party in the eastern provinces.  He is also one of the 4 members of the secretariat of the Human Rights sector of the Eastern Democratic Alliance.  Every semester, his role is to write up a report of the human rights violations committed in this region.

Jose resides in Ave. 29, No. 1806, e/ 18 and 20. San German, Holguin, Cuba, and his telephone is (53)243-81594.

March 29 2011

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