Reports from Cuba’s Venezuela: Postcards from El Rodeo III
A few days ago 18-year-old Clider Martínez was taken in by the National Guard while protesting in Los Palos Grandes. After being processed he was sent to El Rodeo III, one of Latin America’s most dangerous prisons.
Allegedly, Clider got the book thrown at him because he had been caught a few days earlier in one of the student camp takeovers (he was released conditionally on May 12th), and this was, well, his second strike. It is, of course, a clear violation violation of due process, as well as several other Constitutional and Human Rights.
To put things into context, three months ago, when the powers that be tried to send a group of students to Tocorón (another of Latin America’s most dangerous prisons), the vicious prison inmate overlords (the “Pranes”) refused to allow them into the facilities, saying that “Venezuelan prisons are no place for students.”
I translated the handwritten note Clider sent his mom from prison. I’m giving it to you as is, with no periods, in all the Kerouac-esque glory of his syntax.
Mom, I want you to know that I was taken, and I wasn’t doing anything, Mom, I was at a peaceful protest and as it ended many started to cover their faces with masks and I walked away, two blocks away, while waiting for a friend, the National Guard went by and I got arrested, I honestly was not a part of este peo, Sweet mom you don’t deserve what you’re going through because of me, I feel horrible just thinking how you must feel, Just knowing what I’m making you endure makes me think that I’m the worst son, I really ask for your forgiveness and hope that you can find it in yourself to do so, today and everyday that I stay here I’ll be missing the world of you, tell Maiayel and Maria, Carlos and Granny that I love them, and you too, the woman of my life, I will stay here for 45 days while the investigation takes place, mom, and I will get out, don’t worry, I’m fine
Love you mom, forgive me