On Friday, I wrote about a statement signed by hundreds of Cuban democracy activists. One of the things they were pleading for was a continuation of U.S. sanctions on Cuba (i.e., the Castro dictatorship). At the time, there were over 550 signatories. Now I see that the list is over 800. On Friday, I wrote,
The list includes some of the people I admire most in all the world — starting with the first name, Antúnez, the moniker of the leader who has been in and out of prison more times than I can count, and who has had the living hell beaten out of him (his wife has, too), and who never, ever breaks (neither does she).
There ought to be a statue of Antúnez somewhere (of Iris, too). If I had the nerve and the ability, I’d do it myself.
Antúnez and his wife have, once more, been arrested. And brutalized. State security agents told Antúnez that he had become a barrier to the normalization of relations between Havana and Washington. He was strangled and lost consciousness twice. He was also injected with an unknown substance. Before he was released, he was told that he is more at risk than ever. Which is believable.
In Cuba, opposition to the lifting of sanctions is punishable by up to 15 years in prison. The 800-some signatories have risked this. I wish that our anti-embargo people here in America would remember this risk, once in a while. Maybe remark on it. They are free to express their view. People such as Antúnez have a different view — and they are not free to express it. If they do, they are strangled, one way or another.
Cuban democrats are, honestly, some of the bravest and best people on earth. I hardly have the words to express my admiration for them, or to express my contempt for their enemies.