Juan Juan Almeida surprised his friends when he told us he was going to initiate a hunger strike, as a final recourse to get them to let him leave. It hit all of us because there is nothing further from JJ’s personality: happy, jovial, optimistic and even has the sweet tooth of a little kid.
Those of us closest to him tried to dissuade him at every chance, but failed. It was his last resort. He had already lost everything, all he had left was his body and his own sovereignty over it, no one could interfere.
The first weeks of the strike, when he still had his strength, Juan Juan went out with signs demanding his civil rights, he always went alone and in silence. He was imprisoned, detained various times; but he never gave up. When he was too weak to stand up, he stopped going out to make his demands.
Then, the Catholic church intervened, and everything started to be redefined, and new hopes emerged. Juan Juan never lost faith.
Finally, just last week, the archdiocese contacted Juan Juan and from then on everything started to flow, moving at the speed of a tornado.
On Wednesday the 24th we took him to take care of several things: Archbishop, Immigration, Mexican Embassy. It all went really fast. We left him at his house very tired, but hopeful. That night he got the big news, they called to tell him he would be traveling the following day, heading to Mexico. Another friend took him to make the last minute arrangements, and finally, to the airport.
Juan Juan had no time to say goodbye to his friends, we know he felt this deeply, but to us it doesn’t matter, we were beaming with happiness for him. Finally he will go to take care of his illness, recover his health and his life, together with his wife and daughter, whom he hasn’t seen for seven years. This time the miracle is due to Divine providence.
August 27, 2010