What happens when the old art forms of attacking and killing become the norms of a country? What can we expect from oppressors and the oppressed if not the most acid fruit of human relations: violence?
Belkis, wife of former political prisoner Jose Daniel Ferrer, had her arm cut open after she was attacked by a scissor prior to an arrest. In Moa, the activist from the Eastern Democratic Alliance Annie Sarrion Romero was attacked by a former coworker, suffering fractures in her head and other visible wounds on her forehead. The home of dissident Franklin Peregrino del Toro, in Cacocum, Holguin, was smeared with tar in attempt to offend and mark him for his opposition against the government. According to testimonies from the former political prisoner Fidel Garcia Roldan, Major Duglas Torres, along with another official from the Confrontational Unit whose last name is Chapman, took him to a vicinity in the neighborhood of Mayabe, in Holguin, and with sticks at hand threatened him. Fidel told me that he warned him that he would beat him until he was dead, and that they tried to coerce him to collaborate with that oppressive organ.
In the coastal town of Antilla the dissident Cristian Toranzo Fundichely was victim of harassment by a member of the PDR chain, a military dependency in charge of collecting fees. The paramilitary officer publicly verbally offended him, to which Toranzo responded by shouting anti-government slogans. But the Cuban political police’s art of provocation does not have a set pattern, although arrests and beatings are the most common methods. In the case of my wife, Exilda Arjona, and I, they call us- at our expense- from the number 53631214, which according to CUBACEL is the property of Maria Eugenia Gonzalez Lopez. The only thing is that the owners of that house cannot explain to us why we are receiving these bothersome calls in the middle of the night. During the Sunday in which I was reporting about the funeral of Monsignor Meurice Estiu, an ex combatant from the Ministry of the Interior, Luis Leyva, and his daughter Irka carried out a repudiation attack against my wife and my young son as they were on their way to mass. Exilda was accused of being a counter-revolutionary and of having been “paid off by the Americans”. Irka is a nurse who is under popular Public Health ministerial punishment, waiting to complete her 5 years of obligatory punishment in order to leave the country and reunite with her Mexican husband. In order to obtain such a permit, she must demonstrate her fidelity to the government through such appalling acts like this one. On June 15thof this year, in Bayamo, the human rights activist Yoandri Montoya Aviles received various injuries as product of a beating by a Rapid Response Brigade officer. The offenses screamed at him were the same ones that are always screamed throughout the country in the presence of high-ranking counterintelligence officials.
Trainers and athletes of martial arts like Taekwondo and Karate in Baracoa, Bayamo, and Gibara are used in mob repudiation attacks to beat peaceful dissidents. Their award is permission to leave the country and offer their services in Venezuela or other Latin American countries.
A group of Guantanamo natives with horrible social conduct have threatened the well known dissident Rolando Rodriguez Lobaina with death. Raudel Avila Losada and Carlos Reyes Casanova, dissidents from Palma Soriano, have been attacked with knives by unknown men who also shout offenses at them and so-called revolutionary slogans. Both of these dissidents filed numerous complaints at the local commissions office, but we know that nothing will occur, considering that those receiving the complaints are the same ones carrying out the beatings and arrests of men and women during the past 6 weeks in Santiago de Cuba, in an attempt to impede them from assisting the cathedral of the town to pray for the liberation of political prisoners.
State terrorism IS state terrorism. The government gives orders to spit, beat, humiliate, cause provocations thru verbal violence, throw stones in the middle of the night, throw rotten eggs, arm workers with pickets and iron bars…and in sum, to discredit those who oppose. It is a very clear agenda employed in order to try and keep a firm grip on power.
Translated by Raul G.
1 September 2011