14ymedio, Havana, 26 December 2020 — Physics professor Pedro Albert Sánchez was able to make his peaceful walk this Thursday “in honor of freedom” from the sculpture dedicated to the Knight of Paris, in Old Havana, to the El Quijote park in El Vedado, after the last Sunday when he was detained for 24 hours after launching the call.
“As I had promised, I made my walk in honor of the freedom of expression of all of us who feel excluded from this regime. Despite not being interrupted while I was walking, I did notice a lot of tension around,” Sánchez commented on his Facebook account.
Internet users responded to Sánchez with words of support and encouragement. “Professor, I hope there will be more walks and that you will do them accompanied by those who identify with your ideas. We have only one life and we deserve to live it with dignity,” said a profile who identified himself as “all Cubans.”
Other commentators congratulated the professor on the initiative and recommended that he take special care in case of possible reprisals that the Cuban political police may take against him and his family.
“I can even say that someone recorded me, the question would be which side is that person on, whether on the side of freedom or repression,” the professor inquired. “My position before the political police remains the same, I have no accounts to render to injustice and to them as human beings I tell them that the security of the State does not depend on the abuse of power they commit, but on the dignity with which they carry out their work.”
Sánchez also referred to the confiscation of his mobile phone during his arrest: “Those bunglers taking a phone from an old man who wants to tell four truths added to everything they have done for more than 60 years that does not guarantee the security of the State, which guarantees is the absolutization of the power of the elite.”
“My mission is to demonstrate as long as I have the strength that what they are doing is not for the good of the Cuban people, they are guaranteeing the power of an elite that uses the people as hostages. I, like many Cubans, wish to safeguard the true conquests of our people and not the nonsense of the elite.”
The 62-year-old professor was arrested last Sunday for calling for a peaceful walk in Havana demanding freedom of the press and expression. He was not heard from again until the police decided to release him. “They took away his phone, the only thing he has to communicate with and without the chance of having another one. He is already at home, but in solitary confinement,” his former student Ileana Medina said at the time.
Shortly before the arrest, Sánchez, who does not consider himself an opponent, released a video from John Lennon Park in which he called for the unity of people “excluded from socialist society” and asked the president, Miguel Díaz-Canel, “to be responsible for a situation that could turn dangerous.”
In his message, Sánchez demanded the immediate mobilization of “those who understand this, those who want to feel themselves to be civic human beings even though they are apolitical. This is the beginning of a process, but not 40 years from now, when my granddaughter is 15 years old, no, it is for now.”
The teacher had previously released a video from his home in which he said he felt a lot of pressure, but was not afraid; and he demanded the help of the press to spread what he considers “the truth of what is happening,” in addition to calling the State repudiation rallies state terrorism. “If they think they are doing those things for the love of the people, for the love of all society, they are making love to us by force.”
Sánchez, in another video published this Wednesday on this Facebook profile, said that if necessary, on 31 December there would be another walk for freedom on the Island.
The professor’s arrest was one more case among the many arbitrary arrests made by the political police lately. Following the hunger strike organized in November by various artists to demand the release of rapper Denis Solís for the crime of “contempt,” most of these young people are forcibly confined to their homes and immediately detained every time they try to go out.
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.