Declaration of Saratoga / Jorge Luis Garcia – Antunez

People of Cuba, people from Camaguey, and all compatriots:

We are a group of peaceful human rights activists and pro-democracy opponents who today have met in the already emblematic Saratoga neighborhood in the city of Camaguey, where after fruitful exchange and work meeting, we are launching to the world this historic declaration in which we express the following points of view:

We express our most firm and unconditional support to our brothers of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) who, in the east of the country are struggling between life and death on a hunger strike. We hold the regime and its political police publicly responsible for the consequences for their lives and health that may result from the just demand for our arbitrarily imprisoned brother. We send to each and every one of the strikers and the members and officers of the iconic and courageous organization, the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), headed by well-known opposition leader José Daniel Ferrer García, our deepest sympathy and affection.

Those of us present took the opportunity to publicly call world attention to the unfortunate cases of Nicolás Felipe González Menéndez and Arcelio López Rojas, in the prisons of Villa Clara and Camagüey respectively, who may lose their lives in  hunger strikes they are engaged in separately and for different reasons. The cases of Nicholas and Arcelio are paradoxical and for us the silence and indifference of the media, as well as a few activists in and out of Cuba, is unacceptable; for the simple reason of not being recognized as political prisoners, they are denied coverage and following in the media.

Those who are listening to us know that we are here today for each and every one of the prisoners in Cuba, whether or not they have the status of political prisoners, whatever the causes for which they were imprisoned, they have the right and solidarity with them. And whoever lacks the courage to do it, let them know that today we met here in Saratoga, and open and responsibly we speak up for all those in Cuba and elsewhere in the world who risk their lives in the just demand of their rights.

Although we will miss the commemoration of Mother’s Day, we want to congratulate in advance Cuban women as mother, wife and woman. And especially in these moments they have been at the forefront of the vanguard and fight in the Cuban resistance, confronting with courage and patriotism the totalitarian repression. This time we want to congratulate several Cuban Marianas these days who are carrying the truth of Cuba to different parts of the world and international forums such as: Berta Soler, Yoanis Sánchez, Belkis Cantillo, Laura Labrada Pollán, for all of them on behalf of Cuba, many congratulations.

Those meeting here today and gathered here on this public balcony in view of Camagüey and the military are here confirming our sacred commitment to the peaceful defense of human rights and democratic change, and especially in unity in action, as a basic component in all liberating process.

Those gathered here in Saratoga, members of the following organizations: Camagüey Human Rights Unit, Pedro Luis Boitel National Civic Resistance Movement, Rosa Parks Women’s Movement for Civil Rights, members of the Central Opposition Coalition, all affiliated to the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Front of  Civic Resistance.

Compatriots, here we are in the provincial headquarters of Human Rights Party of Cuba affiliated with the Andrei Sakharov Foundation, a pioneer flagship of our coalition of coalitions, we are:

Yenni Barayobre Columbié

Daniel Miguel Jiménez

Elicardo Freire Jiménez

Santos Manuel Fernández Sánchez

Alexander Pérez Aguilar

Orlando Romaguer Peña

Orlando Gómez Echevarria

Julio Columbie Batista

Damaris Moya Portieles

Jorge Luis García Pérez Antúnez

We also want to emphasize the presence of Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera on a convalescent bed recovering from pain of a beating and the fear that we have because there may be a repressive action and we may be suppressed. Also here are the opposition activist and mother of Santos Fernández Sánchez, Elida Sanchez Jimenez.

6 May 2013