I Eliécer Avila Perez, father of Eliecer Avila Cicilia, desire to make public that at 9:30 AM on April 24, 2012, an Official from State Security, Manuel Sosa Lozada, met with me on the premises occupied by the administrator of Servi CUPET Puerto Padre. Following is a summary of the salient features of the conversation:
He started by telling me that my son Eliécer Avila, “is a counterrevolutionary and a mercenary,” and that “he meets with elements linked to the Cuban American Foundation, paid by the U.S. Government, and that he receives money from this foundation to issue opinions opposed to the government Cuba and the Revolution.”
The officer insinuated to me that there are all the elements of the above. But his idea was that I would influence my son to immediately abandon what he is doing and stop meeting with all those elements, and otherwise they would have no alternative but to take action against him. And once he is included on this list, he will not have the freedom of movement he has now and also will not be able to live in Havana as they will prevent it.
The officer continued by saying that my son called all the “leaders of the Counterrevolution” to tell the whole world about the arrests that took place on the occasion of the visit of the pope. They had taken these measures for the safety of the Pope himself.
He further informed me that friends and family had sent my son many warning messages and that he does not listen to anyone, but they know that the only person he is listening to is me, hence how important it is that I “exercise my influence to make him reflect” as he is “immature and manipulated as the enemy wants” and is very clear that his attitude is in the interests of the U.S. government.
He also said that “Security is far from repressing him, they are trying to protect him, because otherwise citizens would have beaten him on the street as they have with others.” The officer reiterated that they are handling this due to his great immaturity and the money paid to him by members of the Cuban American Foundation. Also he told me that they had “gotten him a permanent job in DESOFT and he had not accepted it because it is quite clear that he is living on the money the U.S. Government pays him through the office of the United States Interest Section and the Foundation.”
He said if that if all this was not true, how can he justify that he gets so many recharges on his phone or that some “Lorenzo” sent him a laptop via “Cecilia.”
When it was my turn, I said my son is not a Communist, but he is a Revolutionary, who speaks his mind with total honesty, front and center, leaving no room for doubt about where he stands.
Nor had he ever been called undisciplined nor disorderly. He always expressed his views with respect. On the other hand, it is not true that he has spoken ill of the Revolution, on the contrary, he speaks well, in favor of the people and in disagreement with those who operate for their own benefit in the name of “Revolution.”
I affirmed with full knowledge: his statements had never been conditioned on any payment, that what they are doing now is discrediting him before the people and so they are hanging a sign on him of “Counterrevolutionary and Mercenary,” accusations we will never accept.
After discussing the matter with great force the officer tells me that he is not interested or concerned about what my son says, that’s his problem, and he will have to bear the consequences, what they are not going to allow is that he continue with his attitude, they have all the means and the elements to act at any moment, to talk to him and convince him or “he is going to get into serious trouble.”
As for me, I had not spoken up on these issues before now but today’s threats force me to do so.
First: I do not know, nor do I want to doubt the integrity of the officials of State Security, but after talking with him long enough, I am convinced that basically what he is telling me is lies. And in cases where he said something that was, in fact, true, he interpreted it and manipulated it to make perfectly normal questions into crimes, tricks that I know well having been in the Interior Ministry (MININT) for a number of years.
Second: I know the man well, because he was born and raised at my side, he is my son. So I have known him his whole life and I know his activities in detail. And I can affirm that so far what he has done, defended or denounced reflects the sense of justice that, in good part, I myself taught him and of which we, his whole family, are deeply proud.
Third: As a parent I will not tolerate even to the least extent, that some puppet, of the many with which State power arms its theaters, will touch a hair on his head. If this happens look for those responsible even to the earth below at the cost of my life if necessary.
Fourth: Both my son and I respect the work of any authority when it is exercised with a sense of responsibility, on behalf of the citizen and respecting his rights, on these terms we are at their complete disposal. But someone who orchestrates a show, or tries, without showing any identification, using unjustified force, to violate our integrity or our home, can find themselves at a perfect meeting with the blade of a machete and then they will not claim anything at all.
Fifth: I urge these same authorities to dedicate their resources and efforts to finding those responsible for countless cases of theft and even murder that we have pending in this small town, where more and more people are unprotected at the mercy of the criminals, while the government continues to invest all our money on going after young people like my son, who are exercising their right to participate and comment on the indefensible and permanent evils of this country.
Eliecer Avila Perez
Eliécer Avila Cicilia responds to defamatory actions of State Security:
I write these explanatory lines as an exception. I do not propose to occupy even a second of my time in the future to responding to anything that comes out of the laboratories of Cuban State Security. To alter my infinite tranquility and to upset myself are not pleasures that I will give to anyone.
I’d rather spend my time reading and learning and enjoying the victories of my team in the Baseball National Series. But the comments that have been floating around my neighborhood are very suspicious, that I am imprisoned; and the recent meeting with my father, to test the waters and prepare some very crude play cannot be tolerated. I respond here to the slanders made by this gentleman on behalf of State Security:
SS: “Your son is a mercenary paid by the USIS and the CANF.”
Me: In my life I’ve never stood before anyone who identifies themselves as an officer of the Interests Section nor the Foundation. I know no member or employee of either one of them. Much less has anyone offered me work or money.
The only time I saw, from the distance of a few meters, an official of the Interests Section was at an excellent program of Estado de SATS that my friend Antonio Rodiles organized to talk about US-Cuba academic and cultural exchanges, the video of which is fully available to the public on the Internet.
SS: “Your son is a mercenary because he meets with terrorist elements.”
Me: Gentlemen, they are abusing the lack of logic. If there are terrorists in Cuba, what have you done to arrest them? What terrorist acts are those that my friends have committed? The alleged people have records as unblemished as mine. I do not know of one offender among them. Although it is obvious that you use those terms right and left to refer to anyone who does not sit well with you.
SS: “Your son called on the international Counterrevolutionary leaders to denounce the arrests that we conducted during the visit of Pope.”
Me: Most true, now they are saying something that works. Although again they give it the wrong labels: You kidnapped — listen well — Willian, a musician who is almost a child, church pastors, the grandson of that great of Cuban literature Eliseo Diego, who is a filmmaker and interested in nothing having to do with the Pope. And I will not continue with the long list… of normal guys who are not leaders of anything. For all of them, their families desperately searched hospitals and police stations and no one gave them any information. That is called abuse, and if you do not want the world and the rest of Cuba to find out about it, don’t do it and that’s it.
SS: “If your son is not a mercenary, how is it that his phone is recharged so much and they send him a laptop.”
Me: Gentlemen, we are already out of control to be playing with this nonsense. With these statements and the purchase of the empanadas* — that were the snack for that historic Estado de Sats meeting — I am beginning to believe that some of you are immature. You know full well that Cubans scattered all over the world, from time to time will recharge phones through the webpages you have enabled for them to do that, and that I find out about it when it’s done. Normally I only get the typical call:
“Hello Eliezer, I’m So-and-So, I live in Germany and I agree 100% with your ideas and so I put money on your phone so you can communicate better, hugs.”
I know it drives you crazy when someone shows solidarity with those who think differently from your bosses, but imagine, if it weren’t so, with the huge scam that you impose on the prices of calls, we couldn’t communicate. Why don’t you, instead, offer fair prices for all Cubans to have a mobile phone as has been normal everywhere for years, and not a basic and backward service like what you provide?
The laptop I have, taking advantage of the chance here to thank him him for it, was sent perfectly legally and paying the abusive tax by Lorenzo Garcia, who does not live in Miami and is a computer scientist like I am, through Cecilia, whose parents, a wonderful elderly couple whom I also salute, live in the city of Santa Clara.
None of these people have anything to do, as far as I can see, with any foundations or interest sections. Although it is clear that here anyone can be anything, including you yourselves, who don’t skimp on sending me charlatans, excuse me, “agents,” terrible in their simulation, guys without character who for a snack or a certificate would sell their own mother.
SS: “They offered me a job and I didn’t accept it.”
Me: For more than 6 months, after you fired me from my job, I went everywhere I could think of to try to find work: Constructive Maintenance Division, Directorate of Finance and Prices, the Port of Cayo, Pre and IPI, etc… and nobody wanted to give me a job thanks to you. Now, after I speak up in the Estado de Sats program, you come with this odd job in Desoft, for which you’ve deceived all my compañeros so only they would hire me. Telling me from the beginning that the job was every day and that if I was late or absent for any reason I could lose the only thing that someone works for here: a bonus in hard currency.
I do not accept such treatment, I do not manipulate or chain anyone.
And indeed, while I know how to make a living, as I have always had to do it, even while employed or studying, I don’t want to know about odd jobs that jeopardize my freedom.
SS: “What we’ve done is protect him, because otherwise citizens would have beaten him on the street as they have with others.”
Me: This hardly deserves an answer because ordinary Cubans you said this to would laugh in your face. I have traveled around the country invited by people who want to have a serious conversation. I have talked for hours with doctors, architects, artists, teachers, athletes, housewives, young students of all kinds, members of the Cuban Communist Party and even military. And never has anyone disrespected me in the least, on the contrary, people express their respect and at times I feel terrible because the people who want to talk to me are endless and I don’t have enough time. The same thing happens at Coppelia, and in any countryside.
You do not have that satisfaction, and you know it. Your complicit silence in the face of the growing needs of people, and your repressive activities and threats, they want nothing to do with. But don’t worry, if one perfectly likely day, you are not the authority but just one more Cuban, almost certainly this society will change, mature, progress mentally, and nobody is going to do to you want you want to do to me. However, if you want to travel around Cuba I invite you to come with me, while you go with me you won’t miss a meal.
Gentlemen, unless you fabricate them, I have no enemies and I sleep very well.
Finally, I just want to propose something to you: Broadcast a televised Roundtable for all of Cuba and ask me a thousand questions in front of the people, I know I can answer them all without any problems. And then reverse the telescope, let me ask five questions of the maximum leaders, let’s see who can respond and what they say. We will see whose hands are cleaner.
Eliécer Avila Cicilia
*Translator’s note: Estado de SATS ordered empanadas for a snack at one of their events. State Security arrived at the baker’s early, claiming to be from Estado de SATS, and paid for and took the empanadas so there would be no snacks at the event.
Translated from Penultimos Dias.
27 April 2012