Letter to All Cuban Mothers: Let Us Not Remain Silent

Artists gathered in front of the Ministry of Culture in Havana, in November 2020, demanded that the Cuban government open up to dialogue. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Ines Casel, Havana, 12 April 2021 —  Since November 27th of last year my heart has had no peace. That day, my son Julio César Llópiz Casal and a group of young Cubans waited for more than 12 hours to be seen by the Minister of Culture to present their concerns. Finally, at dawn on the 28th, a group of 30 was authorized to enter the ministry to dialogue with the vice minister and other officials, “in an atmosphere of respect and among revolutionaries,” as Fernando Rojas himself declared before Cuban Television, on the night of November 28.

Just a few hours later, Rojas made the following statement at a press conference: “We are not going to give legitimacy to those who, with the support of the United States Government, want to damage this country, and want to damage its tranquility, and it continues to be symptomatic that this is at a time when an American administration that has done the worst that can be done against the people of this country is coming to the end of its mandate. It does not seem gratuitous that this is so. I cannot affirm it, but I have every right to have that opinion.”

Since that day, a campaign of infamy has been unleashed against those Cubans who met with the government, in all the official media (the only authorized ones) in the country, in an escalation without restraint or measure.

I have said it and I will repeat it until my last breath: my son is not a terrorist, my son does not seek to destabilize the system, much less incite a popular uprising. My son is not manipulated, directed, paid by any foreign government, by any organization, by any media of the press. My son is not a criminal, he is a Cuban artist who works in Cuba, for Cuba and by Cuba. My son speaks his mind in any place and in any circumstance; my son is a good man.

Today, I have so present in my heart the thousands of Cuban mothers who have suffered and do suffer, often anonymously, the crimes and injustices committed against their children, (Mariana Grajales, Leonor Pérez, Salustina Benítez, Esther Montes de Oca , Rosario García, Joaquina Cuadrado, Lina Ruz, Reina Tamayo, Ramona Copello, Carmen Nordelo, etc.) I am writing to:

– The Government of the Republic of Cuba: I beg you to stop this media murder of people who only commit the “crime” of thinking differently and saying so. It is a responsibility that belongs to them.

– Journalists and spokespersons who lend themselves to this farce: do your job correctly and ethically (I don’t think I should tell you how, because you should know, at least theoretically) and don’t keep sinking into shame and cowardice.

– To the Cubans who, honestly, have blind faith or absolute confidence in the “Revolution”: I do not think it is unreasonable to ask them to seek information, by all possible means, about who my son is, who are the people who today they are being accused of being mercenaries and traitors to the country. Remember that “knowledge is virtue.”

– To those who, from their vantage point of comfort, do not want to “give the enemy wrong signals”: put your hand on your heart and secretly ask yourself if it is really that thought that guides you at this time.

– To all the Cuban mothers who today find themselves in a situation similar to mine: from wherever we are, let us not remain silent. That we don’t ever have to say, “We should have screamed.”

José Martí, that “mystery” that has accompanied me since I can remember, wrote on January 1, 1891: “Nations should have one special pillory for those who incite them to futile hatreds, and another for those who do not tell them the truth until it is too late.”

This, today, is my pillory!


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