MUST READ: How the Castro Brothers Get a Pass for Terrorizing and Killing Women
How the Castro Brothers Get a Pass for Terrorizing and Killing Women
Experts Misrepresent the Record and Ignore the Victims
When our revolution is judged in future years, one of the matters on which we will be judged is the manner in which our society and our homeland solved the problems of women. ~ President Fidel Castro, November 30, 1974
While many individuals still romanticize the authoritarian regime in Cuba as democratic and respectful of human rights, compelling and unsavory evidence pulls the rug out from under such delusions. Actions speak louder than words, and people dying as they attempt to flee on makeshift boats say a lot more than cliched references to egalitarian ideals.
Similarly, the underhanded and murderous tactics of those in power indicate how vulnerable, paranoid, and brutal they really are — and they attest to the degree of opposition on the island. On August 31, 2013, for example, Cuban opposition activist Sara Marta Fonseca reported through Twitter that “on two occasions . . . a modern blue car with four men inside, one with a radio transmitter, tried to run me and my son over.”
This is not the first time that this has happened, but unfortunately “experts on the role of women in Cuba” remain silent on the institutionalized and systematic violence against Cuban women while whitewashing the role of the men responsible.
Sarah Stephens, executive director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas, a Washington-based nonprofit released a report on March 4, 2013, titled “Women’s Work: Gender Equality in Cuba and the Role of Women Building Cuba’s Future,” that according to the New York Times:
Credits the top leaders of the revolution, principally Fidel and Raúl Castro, with mandating and enforcing rules and laws guaranteeing gender equality and women’s rights, which have made Cuba among the highest-ranking nations in the advancement of women.
Consider the violent evidence, as it continues to pile up, that Ms Stephens has chosen to ignore:
State security agents arrested Daisy de las Mercedes Talavera López on January 31, 2008, for placing a poster on the door of her home that read: “Freedom without exile for political prisoners and prisoners of conscience.” The dictatorship condemned her in a sham trial to a two-year prison sentence — and for those two years of punishment, she lived in a cell with no sunlight. Freed on February 26, 2010, and following several incidents, state security launched cars at Daisy to terrorize her, and they hit and killed her on January 31, 2011.
Laura Pollán, one of the founders of the Ladies in White in March of 2003 and its chief spokeswoman, earned admiration inside of Cuba and internationally. She fell suddenly ill and died within a week on October 14, 2011, in a manner that a Cuban medical doctor described as “painful, tragic, and unnecessary.” This was just days after the Ladies in White declared themselves a human rights organization dedicated to the freedom of all political prisoners. Regime agents had repeatedly assaulted Laura and injected her with unknown substances during protests in the months preceding her sudden death.
After Cuban dissidents Oswaldo Payá and Haold Cepero died in a more-than-suspicious car crash in 2012, state security agents targeted Oswaldo’s widow Ofelia Acevedo and daughter Rosa Maria Payá. Rosa Maria described how individuals were “calling at 4 a.m. . . . terrorizing my grandmother and aunt . . . chasing my mother and me while we were leaving Havana. [The latest] was a call to the home of my family that said directly, we are going to kill you. . . . Therefore, yes, I fear for the lives and physical integrity of my family, and I hold the government responsible for their physical safety and also for the safety of members of our movement and of the opposition.” Both the mother and daughter had to leave Cuba.
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