104 Hours in the Darkness / Luis Felipe Rojas

This post was written by Luis Felipe Rojas as soon as he was released from his 4 day detention on Wednesday, March 28th, as Pope Benedict XVI was heading out of Cuba.

I was detained on Saturday, March 24th at 8 AM. I had just left my house to buy bread for my children, and since I disobeyed the orders of a paramilitary guard from the Rapid Response Brigades of not leaving my home, a jeep of the Operational Guards, along with G2 (State Security) agents, showed up to arrest me.

They have imposed a judicial accusation on me for public disorder. According to them, I committed that crime because I left my house. As a protest, I declared myself on hunger and thirst strike until Tuesday, when I awoke bleeding from my throat. Because of this, I decided to drink water three times a day until I was released. I slept on the floor of the San German Police Unit. I did not shower, nor did I carry out my physiological necessities.

As a member of the Marriage Pastoral Group, my wife Exilda Arjona and I were impeded from carrying out a pilgrimage to Santiago de Cuba. They surrounded her in our house with dozens of officers during those days and they told her she would be immediately detained if she stepped out.

In a few days I will write in regards to the Papal visit and the discourses on both sides- that is if they even repeat them on Cuban TV and I manage to hear them. Today, I only have strength to think of the hundreds of Catholics and believers who were detained by the Cuban political police to keep them from receiving papal blessings.

I also reflect upon what happened to the family of Delmides Fidalgo in Buenaventura, Holguin,where mobs under the direction of the political police beat his daughters, shattered things in his house, and detained him, a man who professes his Christian faith in a denomination which is not Catholic and who was trying to travel to Havana to solve a personal issue, not to assist the Pope’s Mass.

In radio stations which transmit into Cuba from the outside, I am still hearing of cases of people being injured and threatened by the paramilitary-police apparatus which intends to carry out genocide in Cuba in the near future. I just hope that the silence of the people and of the Cuban Catholic Church has been shattered by then.

Translated by Raul G.

28 March 2012