Don’t Give Away Your Life to Those Bastards, Compadre! / 14ymedio, Eliecer Avila

Carlos Amel’s hunger strike has continued for almost a month. (Twitter / UNPACU)
Carlos Amel’s hunger strike has continued for almost a month. (Twitter / UNPACU)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Eliecer Avila, Havana, 9 August 2016 — I think I should say at this time what I think of the situation of human beings who are on hunger strike, especially my friend Carlos Amel.

In Somos+ (We Are More), being respectful of the decisions they took, we send them in their moment our messages of solidarity. Not because we believe that hunger strikes work as a method to achieve anything in Cuba today, but because it always seems unjust to us that ordinary people did not know what was going on and the reasons behind these extreme decisions.

Today, I want to express my personal opinion, as a friend. This is not an official statement of the President of Somos+, it is the opinion of Eliecer Avila.

I am dying of pain when I see the images of Carlos, an intelligent young man, father of two beautiful children and with a future ahead of him, at risk of suffering irreversible traumas and even death, for demanding things from a cruel and ruthless system that will gain more with his death than with his life.

If Carlos was a member of my organization I would not have allowed him to do something like this or, at least, I would have done everything possible to dissuade him. I think there are many more effective ways to generate pressure, especially when in theory we have thousands of activists across the country, to have to simply rely on the health, and even death, of these young people to be able to move forward.

I do not consider the sacrifice of one’s life as a “natural cost” of any political battle, on the contrary, to encourage an attitude like this seems to me a crime, and more so from the abundance of the table of many who today light up Facebook with messages such as: “The death of these patriots paves the path of freedom.” This is cynical.

I do not see how the death of leaders who must motivate people and drive change can help in any way. For days I have felt the need to say it, although some may not find it not politically correct. Today I could not hold back anymore.

Our struggle is for life, for family, for the future, for our children. All this becomes meaningless if we die.

There is no material value in Carlos Amel’s or any of the others ceasing to breathe. I would gladly give everything I own for a man like him to live and to live a long life, because the nation will need him more and more. In the past, many patriots, with their pressures, pushed our best men to die. I will not be part of the club of those who accept or promote such a horrendous act that rather than providing any political gain, not only forever stains our history, but our consciences.

Carlos, friend, I want to attend your valuable participation in political life, not your funeral.

Do not give away your life to these bastards, compadre!

I love you and respect you always.

Eliecer Avila