Fariñas’ Letter to Raul Castro
Santa Clara, Cuba, 20 July 2016
General of the Army Raul Castro Ruz, President of the Councils of State and of Ministers of the Republic of Cuba
Yesterday, on 19 July of the present year, I was tortured while handcuffed by troops of the Special Brigade of the Ministry of the Interior in the province of Santa Clara. Because of group of us, militants of the United Anti-Totalitarian Forum (FANTU), were going to the 5th Unit of the National Revolutionary Police (PNR), to inquire about our member falsely charged in the province of Pinal del Rio, Jose Rolando Casares Soto, and about a member of the Patriotic Union of Cuban (UNPACU), Carlos Amel Oliva Torres, who is on hunger strike in Santiago de Cuba.
To present oneself before an establishment of MININT is not a crime, according to current laws, if one is not carrying allusive posters, distributing propaganda, or shouting a slogan against the regime, and that was what we militants of FANTU were doing when we were violently arrested.
The above is a small sample of the wave of abuses, terror and violence that the repressive authorities of your government unleashed about 19 months ago against the non-violent opposition that civilly confronts totalitarianism.
And that can trigger an escalated violence among Cubans, resulting in a civil war, something that I do not want for my Nation and I think you do not want it either. You and the MININT Special Brigade members – Anti-riot –who tortured me when I was defenseless, and called me a Mercenary.
Let me clarify, that to be a mercenary one must meet two conditions: 1st – To be fighting outside one’s country of origin, and 2nd – To be at the service of a foreign power. I fight within Cuba and I was born in this land. I only accept having been a mercenary when I fought in Angola and was in the service of the Soviet Union, a foreign power.
With regard to the second, let me clarify, it is true that I receive material and financial support from anti-Castro exiles, something that does me honor, because these compatriots in the diaspora do not forget the suffering of the Cuban people. Something that you and your supporters have no moral authority to criticize, because when you were fighting Fulgencia Batista y Zalvidar, the exiles financed you, or where did the money come from to buy the yacht Granma, a boat financed by the exiled ex-president of Cuba Carlos Prio Socarras?
Also the heroes of independence Jose Marti and Antonio Maceo received material and monetary help from Cubans in exile. And so, General of the Army, if we are mercenaries you also were.
And I believe that neither Marti nor Maceo had been. For all the reasons detailed above, I am declaring as of today I am on a Hunger and Thirst Strike, until you declare publicly – and your words are published in the official newspaper Granma – that we opponents are not to be tortured, beaten, threatened with death, we will not be subject to spurious charges and we will not have our personal property confiscated.
Also that you designate one of your vice presidents to meet with a dozen prominent leaders of the non-violent Cuban opposition to realize the fulfillment of your promise. I hold you and your government responsible for my life and the lives of all non-violent Cuban opponents as of this moment.
General of the Army I urge you to act as a Cuban patriot and not as an ideological militant of one ideological trend. That you recognize that no Mercenary offers his life for pro-democratic ideals and that it is our right, recognized by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to always think differently, in a non-violent way.
Without further comment I am,
Guillermo Fariñas Hernandez, Psychologist, Winner of the European Parliament Andrei Sakharov Prize, Coordinator General of FANTU