Accidents / Luis Felipe Rojas

Political police officials and government snitches watch over house of Luis Felipe Rojas in San German, Holguin.

They are neither that accidental nor that inevitable. That’s the slogan of a national TV spot in Cuba. A beauty which allows itself to play amid warnings and statistics of accidents. Like that, for some time now, what they have been referring to as accidents are nothing more than absurd stories guided by a legality that hangs on a thread. Various dissidents have suffered humiliations, beatings, and all sorts of mistreatment. However, the excuse of the so-called authorities is that we are “negligent provokers and we are always looking for trouble”. They threaten us, saying “we will kill you”, ”we will rape you” (in the case of female dissidents), “be careful because no one knows what could happen to you one of these days”. And later, when it happens, they don’t want us to share the details, they wish for the world to ignore the chain of occurrences under their methods, so that they start to vilify us on one hand while receiving physical blows on the other.

This past 15th of January, the dissident Denis Pino Basulto suffered a beating inside of what was dressed as a civilian vehicle, but in reality was being driven by the political police. Denis explained that they put a nylon bag over his head and they commenced to beat him. Before losing sight of all of them, he affirms that he saw Major Yordanis Martinez Leon, aka ‘The Polish’, who also now claims to be chief of State Security’s Confrontation Unit in Holguin, orchestrating the whole thing.

From Sibanicu, Camaguey, Yoan David Gonzalez Milanes sent me an SMS where he assures that the police official (also political) who goes by the name of Ricardo drove his motorcycle against him (license plate #ZE770). He was next in line to cross the street and the guard missed the stop sign, and thanks to passers-by who shouted warnings at him to avoid the worst. Gonzalez Milanes states that similar cases have occurred with other dissidents.

Various Twitter users had been sharing the photo of the Rastafar brother Hector Ricart who was disappeared by a police operation and whose family has had no news on.

Other dissidents have been arrested on their way back home, while their families remain without hearing any news on them. Only a few days later are they informed of where their relatives are being ‘kept’.

Guillermo Fariñas and Jorge Luis Montiel were both detained on Wednesday. As they were being taken to a barracks of the political police in Santa Clara, the police vehicle was involved in an accident. Inexplicably, the car crashed against another one which was in front. The Sajarov Award recipient was then taken to the place where injustices are constantly committed, and luckily, the international press became concerned with his situation, and they started finding out throughout Cuba why Farinas was arrested or why he had been beaten. One of these days, something can happen to him and we will have to believe that it was an accident or a ‘natural death’.

The inexplicable death of Laura Pollan in a country that is a ‘leader in medicine’…

Those who keep vigilance, confiscate, and detain are always dressed in civilian clothing, while driving in what seem to be self-owned vehicles. They do and undo, while impunity protects them.

The impunity with which police officials at the service of State Security act puts us up against something truly disastrous waiting to happen. These warnings can go under the fixation of a guess, but we already have deaths, and the scars on our bodies are very well known.

It’s never a bad thing to use the only weapon we have, to hurl these bags of paint against the body of repression, so that its figure does not look so placid in the eyes of its negotiators, those who claim to always have an answer ready. We are paying attention!

Translated by Raul G.

23 January 2011