“My Most Fruitful and Difficult Experience Has Been Jail” / 14ymedio, Lilianne Ruiz, Antunez

Jorge Luis García Pérez, Antunez. (14ymedio)

Jorge Luis García Pérez, Antunez. (14ymedio)

14ymedio, LILIANNE RUIZ, Havana, October 25, 2014 — On leaving prison, it took Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, known as Antunez, some time to digest that he could go where he wanted without being watched. They had held him captive for 17 years and 37 days of his life.

Just as he learned to do in jail, today he devotes his efforts to civic resistance, inspired by the doctrine of Gene Sharp and Martin Luther King. His movement gathers dozens of activists who carry out street protests and civic meetings in several provinces of the country and in his native Placetas.

Lilianne: Let’s talk about before going to prison, adolescent Antunez. What did you want to be?

Antunez: In adolescence, a firefighter. I liked the idea of rescuing people, putting out fires. But before going to prison I wanted to become a lawyer. I believe that was my calling.

Lilianne: Jail is a survival experience. Do you think it hardened you?

Antunez: The most fruitful and difficult experience, as paradoxical as it may seem, has been jail. I never could imagine that jail was going to be a hard as it was, nor that I was going to be a witness to and a victim of the vile abuses that I experienced. I do not know how to answer you if it hardened me or not. When I entered prison I had a much more radical ideology, it was less democratic. But jail, thanks to God and to a group of people whom I met, helped me to become more tolerant, more inclusive, and to respect various opinions.

As a prisoner, I went to the most severe regime in Cuba. The gloomy prison of Kilo 8 in Camaguey, commonly known as “I lost the key,” where the most sinister repressors are found. Torture forms part of the repressive mentality of the jailers in a constant and daily way. It was there where a group of us political prisoners came together and founded the Pedro Luis Boitel Political Prisoner’s Association, in order to confront repression in a civic way. Thus, I tell you that prison did not harden me, because if it had, I would have emerged with resentment, hatred, feelings of vengeance, and it was not so.

Lilianne: What is your favorite music?

Antunez: I like romantic music, Maricela, Marco Antonio Solis, Juan Gabriel. But I also enjoy jazz, although I am no expert. The music to which I always sleep is instrumental.

Lilianne: Will you share with us your personal projects?

Antunez: There is a saying according to which a man, before he dies, should plant a tree, write a book and have a child. Fortunately, there is already a book, titled Boitel Lives; CADAL published it in 2005. I have planted many trees, because I am a country peasant. I only need to have a son with the woman I love, Iris Tamara Perez Aguilera, so here I am now telling you one of my goals I am aiming for.

Lilianne: You know that a growing number of dissidents and activists have identified four consensus points. What do you think?

Antunez: I believe that they are standing demands that concern all members of the opposition and all Cubans wherever they are. I wish that more fellow countrymen would adhere to these four points. I believe that they represent the sentiment of all good Cubans: to free political prisoners, for the Cuban government to ratify the human rights agreements, recognize the legitimacy of the opposition and stop repression. Everything that is done for change, to free us from the communist dictatorship that oppresses us, is positive.

Lilianne: Why does Antunez not leave Placetas?

Antunez: Not everyone wants to go to Havana. I know many people who keep their rootedness. I would say that, more than roots, it is a spiritual necessity. I leave Placetas three or four days and I begin to feel bad. And that sensation that I have when I come up the heights, coming from Santa Clara… that is something inexplicable. The motto that I repeat, “I won’t shut up, and I’m not leaving Cuba,” means also: “I won’t shut up and I’m not leaving Placetas.”

Translated by MLK

No, No and No Raul Castro / Jose Luis Garcia Antunez

Jorge Luis Antunez (EFE)

Jorge Luis Gracia Antunez (EFE)

This I believe is the second or third occasion that I write to you, and as always without the least mood or desire that you answer me, because given the absolute contempt and disgust that emanates from your person I can’t feel otherwise.

Señor Dictator and Genocide, 24 years and five months ago at barely 25 years, five months and 15 days of age I dared to defy you.  Surely your lackeys and sycophants in the high command of the political police and the party mentioned it to you.

I remind the dictator, that night you pronounced in the city of Santiago de Cuba that call to the Fourth Congress of the Communist Party of Cuba, and as always with a discourse like so many and like so many of your brother’s, barely a few paid you any attention.

I recall that I was in the plaza that you all call Revolution, where big loudspeakers transmitted to mute, hungry and above all deaf people your verbal diarrhea. That was Thursday March 15, 1990, Stalinist Europe was falling, the old Soviet empire was at the point of disintegrating and here in the Caribbean a senile caste was clinging to power and refusing to implement reforms. Continue reading

Husband-Wife Human Rights Defenders in Imminent Danger: “Don’t allow them to kill us.”

Antunez & SraUrgent Alert

List email from Cuba, from Martha Beatriz Roque, 2/13/2014, 2:15 PM (translated from Spanish): “Jorge Luis García Pérez Antúnez just called to tell me that his house was invaded for the third time, his wife was arrested, and he regained consciousness while laying on the street next to a patrol car. “Don’t allow them to kill us,” he told me in a groggy voice.”

Martha Beatriz then followed with a message to Cuba Archive: “He sounded like he was in a very bad state, exhausted from feeling un-supported. I am very worried that they will kill him and nothing will happen. He is now all alone and in hunger strike.”

“Antunez,” and his wife, Iris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, are leading members of Cuba’s peaceful opposition movement. They went on hunger strike the morning of February 10th to protest the violent repression to which Cuban authorities have most recently subjected them –-detentions, violent home invasions, and confiscation of their belongings. Their telephones have been cut off and since January 24th  their home has been surrounded by security forces.

The couple lives in in Placetas, which is approximately 200 miles from the city of Havana in the province of Villa Clara.

Read remarks Antunez delivered at Georgetown University on September 16, 2013 here.

Antunez13 February 2014

Antunez and His Wife Arrested and Disappeared

Iris Tamara Perez, center, and Jorge Luis García (Antúnez), right

Iris Tamara Perez, center, and Jorge Luis García (Antúnez), right

CUBANET – The house of opposition leader Jorge Luis García (Antúnez) has just been sacked this morning after State Security foreces (political police) carried off him and his wife, Iris Tamara Perez, as well as the noted activist’s brother Loreto Garcia, and his wife as well Donaida González Paseiro.

The events occurred in the morning in the town of Placetas, in Santa Clara province. According to exclusive reports from the Human Rights Activist on the island, Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello, the house was taken by agents looted, and painted with blue oil point on the outside. In the absence of Antunez and his wife they stole a flat-screen television, fixed line telephone, computers, printer, scanner, suitcases with clothes, shoes, as well as  diplomas Antunez had received on his recent trip to the United States for being an open and constant fighter, documents that were hung on the walls.

After the arrest, according to Roque Cabello, the government’s paramilitary mobs held a rally and an act of repudiation, a common practice of the dictatorship since the ‘80s, the purpose of which is to publicly humiliate people. Continue reading

Warning Signal / Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez

Archive photo

By: Jorge Luis García Pérez Antúnez, Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Resistance and Civil Disobedience Front. FNRC-OZT

Attention, attention: Never has Cuba been so close to freedom, but never like now has danger loomed that can be cut short and mediated by opportunistic efforts, lacks of faith and even the occasional traitor added to this clear and shameful pact with the Castros…

If we do not stop this dirty and unpatriotic plot in time the results will be the huge fraud-change fraud where the continuity of the Castro regime will be guaranteed when descendants of the leaders of the regime and certain opportunists from here and there will divide up the nation like the booty of corsairs and pirates.

We won’t allow them to eliminate the Cuban resistance. The memory of our fallen and the sacrifice of our compatriots deserve respect and they can’t sit at a negotiating table. I speak on behalf of those who are opposed to a reconciliation without justice first.

As one of the most important Cuban resistance slogans say: I do want real change.

Placetas, 18 July 2013.

19 July 2013

Declaration of Saratoga / Jorge Luis Garcia – Antunez

People of Cuba, people from Camaguey, and all compatriots:

We are a group of peaceful human rights activists and pro-democracy opponents who today have met in the already emblematic Saratoga neighborhood in the city of Camaguey, where after fruitful exchange and work meeting, we are launching to the world this historic declaration in which we express the following points of view:

We express our most firm and unconditional support to our brothers of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) who, in the east of the country are struggling between life and death on a hunger strike. We hold the regime and its political police publicly responsible for the consequences for their lives and health that may result from the just demand for our arbitrarily imprisoned brother. We send to each and every one of the strikers and the members and officers of the iconic and courageous organization, the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), headed by well-known opposition leader José Daniel Ferrer García, our deepest sympathy and affection.

Those of us present took the opportunity to publicly call world attention to the unfortunate cases of Nicolás Felipe González Menéndez and Arcelio López Rojas, in the prisons of Villa Clara and Camagüey respectively, who may lose their lives in  hunger strikes they are engaged in separately and for different reasons. The cases of Nicholas and Arcelio are paradoxical and for us the silence and indifference of the media, as well as a few activists in and out of Cuba, is unacceptable; for the simple reason of not being recognized as political prisoners, they are denied coverage and following in the media.

Those who are listening to us know that we are here today for each and every one of the prisoners in Cuba, whether or not they have the status of political prisoners, whatever the causes for which they were imprisoned, they have the right and solidarity with them. And whoever lacks the courage to do it, let them know that today we met here in Saratoga, and open and responsibly we speak up for all those in Cuba and elsewhere in the world who risk their lives in the just demand of their rights.

Although we will miss the commemoration of Mother’s Day, we want to congratulate in advance Cuban women as mother, wife and woman. And especially in these moments they have been at the forefront of the vanguard and fight in the Cuban resistance, confronting with courage and patriotism the totalitarian repression. This time we want to congratulate several Cuban Marianas these days who are carrying the truth of Cuba to different parts of the world and international forums such as: Berta Soler, Yoanis Sánchez, Belkis Cantillo, Laura Labrada Pollán, for all of them on behalf of Cuba, many congratulations.

Those meeting here today and gathered here on this public balcony in view of Camagüey and the military are here confirming our sacred commitment to the peaceful defense of human rights and democratic change, and especially in unity in action, as a basic component in all liberating process.

Those gathered here in Saratoga, members of the following organizations: Camagüey Human Rights Unit, Pedro Luis Boitel National Civic Resistance Movement, Rosa Parks Women’s Movement for Civil Rights, members of the Central Opposition Coalition, all affiliated to the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Front of  Civic Resistance.

Compatriots, here we are in the provincial headquarters of Human Rights Party of Cuba affiliated with the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, a pioneer flagship of our coalition of coalitions, we are:

Yenni Barayobre Columbié

Daniel Miguel Jiménez

Elicardo Freire Jiménez

Santos Manuel Fernández Sánchez

Alexander Pérez Aguilar

Orlando Romaguer Peña

Orlando Gómez Echevarria

Julio Columbie Batista

Damaris Moya Portieles

Jorge Luis García Pérez Antúnez

We also want to emphasize the presence of Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera on a convalescent bed recovering from pain of a beating and the fear that we have because there may be a repressive action and we may be suppressed. Also here are the opposition activist and mother of Santos Fernández Sánchez, Elida Sanchez Jimenez.

6 May 2013

Massive Wave of Arrests of Dissidents in Cuba Happening Right Now / Antunez – Jorge Luis Garcia Perez

Antunez

Antunez – Jorge Luis Garcia Perez

Attention! Attention! Attention!

Reporting is Jorge Luis Garcia Perez (Antunez) general coordinator of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Resistance Front from the city of Placetas, Villa Clara province.

Right now several regime opponents are being violently arrested in the city of Placetas as they are trying to go out into the streets to honor the martyr Orlando Zapata Tamayo and the four Brothers to the Rescue pilots murdered on the orders of Fidel and Raul Castro.

Similarly, minutes ago it was reported that other members of the opposition in the city of Camaguey were violently arrested inside the Fernandez Santos Housing project.

Also, several opponents threaten to take to the streets in the town of Violeta, in Ciego de Avila province if their leader Julio Colombie Batista is not released.

Also there is an operation mounted outside his home, with music, rum and loudspeakers, placed there by order of State Security, to prevent opposition activities.

24 February 2013

About the Migratory “Reforms” / Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez #Cuba

In February 2008, the United States government granted me a special humanitarian visa for my consequent admission into Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami in order to treat my severe cardiovascular infection which I still have. Because I put as a condition real guarantees of returning as soon as I finished the examinations, and not accepting the humiliating condition of permanent exit from the country, the political police denied me the famous exit permit.

Friend who follows me on Twitter, it still has not occurred to me to reactivate my passport, foreseeing the little Castro-communist game. But if I ask myself, in the case of seeking it, will the tyranny permit me to leave to go to the hospital and then return, knowing that I will neither shut up nor leave?

Camarioca, in the ’60’s. Mariel in the ’80’s. The rafter crisis in 1994. And now, the migratory reformers: the escape valves continue, the strategies continue, the bleeding of our nation by the Castro-communist tyranny continues.

Alert, compatriots. Alert, compatriots. This can be a little game of incalculable and dire consequences for our nation.

Translated by mlk

January 15 2013

Attack on Antunez in Placetas / Luis Felipe Rojas #Cuba

Imagen

Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez” – Photo by Tracey Eaton

Democratic Cuban Directorate, Miami, December 3, 2012. In the city of Placetas Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez” reported that at noon he was traveling on his bicycle to his home, and at the intersection of South 5th Street at the corner of West 6th, a police car came behind him, toward the place where he was riding. On turning on his bike toward a street to the right, he followed his instinct for self-preservation, the cop car managed only to brush him from behind, and the police, visibly nervous, ask him for his identity card and detained him.

“Looking back I realize that had this attack of the cop car against me taken place next to the little bridge there that I would have fallen and broken my neck, it would have killed me. This worries me greatly considering the number of threats that I am receiving from the police; the threats I received in Camagey when I was arrested, they were going to kill me, they would not allow me to continue to promote activities in the streets. Death threats recently in the province of Holguín when I was arrested. That hatred and that viciousness that the military doesn’t hide when they confront me,” complained Antunez.

December 4 2012