Placetas, July 19th 2010.
When, in April 2007, I was released after 17 very long and difficult years of captivity, I did not know that I was to face a much more difficult battle than the one I was in before. Assimilating into civil protest would mean dealing with numerous different personalities, temperaments, points of views, and political views.
In that context, my experience was similar to that of the commander Huber Matos, who (through his book entitled “How Night Fell“) described that he reached the Sierra Maestra mountains with an incorrect notion about Fidel Castro, nearly placing him on the same level as the Father of the Nation and other past figures who fought for our independence. To me he seemed to be just like some of those who, here, they call historic leaders of the internal opposition; I had been enamored of more than a few, and I saw them, or more to the point I heard them, as integrity and pluralism personified.
From the beginning, I could not understand the suggestions of living from tales or from having a well-recognized name. Upon leaving prison I could have become a decorative figure behind a desk, spent all my time in meetings, or could have spent my time drawing up and signing documents.
I could have lost my own independence, giving up my points of view and political and ideological ideas, because, one way or another, that was what was going through my head.
I would have had to be a really big hypocrite to then turn my struggle against my brothers in exile, to support politics that consisted of dialogue and close approaches with the tyranny of Havana — this is something I have never supported. Or to be an accomplice of attacks and criticisms against true patriots, in and out of the island, who give the best of themselves for the freedom of the country. Or to contribute to minimizing the importance of that tool of the media which my country depends on, Radio Marti.
It would have been very disloyal of me to not continue promoting the strategy of community work through regional projects, for such programs put one in contact with the true potential for change: the ordinary Cuban. Projects and initiatives are for the people, not for public opinion, they are for the sake of results, not glory or names. True opposition leadership derives from convocation, from sympathies, respect, and admiration from the community one lives in, not from the media, nor from international organizations, despite how much prestige or credibility they may have. In speaking about all of this, I cannot forget to point out the important leadership roles of Marta Beatriz Roque Cabello, together with the Assembly to Promote Civil Society and, more recently, the Network of Social Communicators, Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva and the Council of Rapporteurs, and Osvaldo Paya Sardinas (although I disagree with him about the Varela Project on a subject as sensitive as that of the political prisoners), I do not let that stop me from acknowledging that the Varela initiative had an unprecedented impact on the population. It is as if the message of freedom and the invitation to defend rights was knocking on the door of every Cuban home for the first time.
But standing sharply against those, and other noble efforts, are the same people as always. Now they sharpen their attacks towards the Central Opposition Coalition, the same way they once did against the Eastern Democratic Alliance and against the Committee of Rapporteurs of Human Rights in Cuba. They are the ones who feed off individuals of few scruples, information, and especially, who desire to be among big names, in order to attack the indisputable leader of the opposition in the center of the country, Idania Yanez Contreras, one of the most pure people with the greatest integrity which the cause of freedom in Cuba relies on. They also try to create a public confrontation between yours truly and the independent journalist Guillermo Fariñas Hernández.
I believe that the Castro-ite sectors of intelligence and counter-intelligence should distance themselves from their current methods because they are already worn out and each day that passes they are less and less effective, and to top it off, they perform such methods always with the same people and with identical methods.