For the ‘Agents Fernandos’ in Cuba

Doctor Carlos Leonardo Vázquez, agent ’Fernando’. (Screen capture)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Juannier Rodríguez Matos, Houston, 3 November 2021 — When I was a child I wanted to be a doctor. I wanted to save lives. I wanted to help a lot of people in Cuba. And I wanted what my parents told me not to be true: “Doctors are slaves in Cuba.”

Over time I realized that, being a freethinker, it was practically impossible to exercise such a noble profession in the land captured by Fidel Castro. We know how the communists prevent many from studying this career for expressing opinions contrary to the process imposed in Cuba. And so that they did not take me by surprise, I became a biologist, my great innate love.

Today I feel a mixture of immense respect and gratitude for people who dedicate themselves to medicine, an admiration that I can compare with almost nothing. Knowing that their job is to save lives makes them, for me, heroes of humanity.

 Some time ago I read a wonderful article on BBC News about a doctor at Scripps Mercy Hospital in San Diego, USA. As his patients in the emergency room could not see his face with the personal protective equipment, and to comfort them, the respiratory therapist Robertino Rodríguez decided to place a photo of himself smiling on the equipment.

Rodríguez’s initiative was imitated by hundreds of doctors and nurses, who even posted cartoon photos to encourage hospitalized children infected with the Wuhan virus.

This is how the doctors I want for Cuba act. continue reading

Today, November 2, 2021, I watch on Facebook the video of the doctor-agent, or agent-doctor, Carlos Leonardo Vázquez González, agent Fernando.

During that uncomfortable material that only reflects how low it can go, I experienced a set of sensations, a mixture of sorrow, frustration, fear and desire to continue doing good for Cuba.

Grief, because Dr. Carlos Leonardo is Cuban. I am ashamed when I see my compatriots staging such miserable roles, because the work of State Security agent is a real task to turn human beings into monsters that they do not know about love.

Frustration, because I know other doctors in Cuba with a high percentage of probabilities of being agents of the political police, exercising their work comfortably, and instead I know of so many doctors expelled for not wanting to serve the repressive apparatus.

Fear, because when I saw the needle at the end of the material, the famous needle with which they inoculate HIV, the famous needle with which they ruin lives, I thought of Ariel Ruiz Urquiola; I thought of his sister Omara, who was almost killed by adverse treatment; I thought of Oswaldo Payá and those doctors who wrote the cause of death that State Security ordered them to write.

I thought of my dissident friends and Cuban activists who are treated by those doctor-agents, those whose oath is not Hippocratic, but ‘Fidelist’. My friends are in danger in Cuba. I pray for them always.

But I also clung to the idea of continuing to put my strength and best thoughts in my beloved homeland, which has suffered for several decades from the weight of an ideology that is not Cuban at all. For my Cuba, all the good things in the world.

Agent Fernando has thrown away more than 25 precious years of his life. Agent Fernando is willing to violate any ethical principle because he owes everything to State Security. Agent Fernando is nothing more than a servile talent, a slave to communism; sadly a bad person.

We also ask for everything good in the world for him. We defeat hatred with love, and we always remind all those Fernandos agents that there is still room for them on the side of good.


COLLABORATE WITH OUR WORK: The 14ymedio team is committed to practicing serious journalism that reflects Cuba’s reality in all its depth. Thank you for joining us on this long journey. We invite you to continue supporting us by becoming a member of 14ymedio now. Together we can continue transforming journalism in Cuba.

Robbed, Arrested And Beaten By Cuban State Security / 14ymedio, Juannier Matos Rodriguez

A man stands in the street in the city of Baracoa, in Guantanamo. (EFE)
A man stands in the street in the city of Baracoa, in Guantanamo. (EFE)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Juannier Rodriguez Matos, Baracoa, 30 October 2016 — On Wednesday, October 12 at 5:40 pm, when I was on my way to the phone company in downtown Baracoa, the voice of Capitan Alfredo Oliveros ruined my afternoon, “Juannier, let’s go to your house for a moment, we want to talk with you […], we’re going to do a search,” he told me in an arrogant tone of voice.

A patrol car came up the road and the driver and a soldier from the Special Troops got out, handcuffed my hands behind me, and made me get in the back of the car. He got in with me and looked at me so long and fixedly I had to say to him, “Compadre, don’t look at me any more.” He responded, “You wouldn’t want me to pick you up and beat you.” continue reading

They took me back to my house and waiting there was Dieser Castro Pelegin (formerly a deputy of the Ministry of the Interior, MINIT, in Baracoa, now I don’t know what he does), the State Security agent Eliner Leyva, an official from the Cuban Revolutionary Police with the ID number 25513, the investigator Diorvys Odelin Lamoth, a van with some six or eight soldiers from the Special Troops, the informers from the Vigilance Committee, Diosmarys Infante Palmero (president of the Federation of Cuban Women) and Meydi Duran Navarro (agent from MINIT’s Special Protective Services Company), along with Alfredo Oliveros.

They showed me a search warrant signed by Elier Lopez Carcases, currently a MINIT deputy in Baracoa. They did not tell me the reason for the search.

They took my computer, a phone, a hard drive, two USB memories, several books and magazines, among other things.

Those hands took my books and threw them in a dirty sack, and with some copies they mockingly said: “This is burning my hands.” They took books that did not even mention Cuba, it was enough that the title would include the words freedom, rights, ethics, civic, transition, journalism and democracy, any of those words that are always repeated in international settings by the experiment called Revolution that is Cuba.

The officers claimed they were subversive books, but they were mine and they had no right to steal them from me. I don’t go to some communist’s house and say, “Hey, that book 100 Hours with Fidel is useless. Give it to me, I’m going to toss it out, it’s 100 hours of lies.”

What hurt me most was that the flash drives and the computer had years of research for my degree in Biology, my diploma work, a recent several months long research project collecting information on a population of polymita brocheri (land snails) in Punta Maisi on which I will publish new results, hours of work in the hot sun in Maisí, dozens of gigabytes of literature on the subject and specialty, as well as personal information.

I begged them to let me keep the items about biology, which is professional work, about those beautiful snails that are a threatened species, that was done for Cuba, I didn’t even know what to say, but as if it was nothing, they didn’t understand they were taking a part of my life.

They took two Cuban flags, one of which I flew from my roof as a gesture of solidarity with the neighbors who lost everything and in appreciation for my brothers all over the island who prayed for us during Hurricane Matthew, which I’m convinced made God protect every human life; and one of which was on the wall at the head of my bed, which made me dream every night about a more just and fraternal country with room for everyone.

Then I was again handcuffed with my hands behind my back and without saying anything they took me to a cell in the Baracoa police station. There I refused to eat and continued to do so the next day, when they took me out again, handcuffed, to a jail in La Maya, in Santiago de Cuba, passing through Imías, San Antonio del Sur and Guantanamo.

The next day in the morning, a MINIT major went to the jail, apparently the second in command in the La Maya unit, and I told him, “Officer, you are violating my right to a phone call.” He responded, “Yes, and we will continue to violate it.”

I told the officer who was guarding the cells I was feeling sick and would he please take me to a doctor. I heard a senior officer reply: “The one from Baracoa, he’s a disgrace, he’s a counterrevolutionary, let him die, it’s not your problem, it’s CI’s (Counterintelligence) problem.” I was in that filthy cell without eating until Saturday morning, when a police official came and put me out on the street.

I arrived in Baracoa the next morning. I went to the MINIT delegation and they told me they weren’t going to return anything, that everything had to be reviewed in Guantanamo and then they would give me an answer.

Juannier Rodriguez Matos
Juannier Rodriguez Matos