Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, who next week will be honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom, is a man of the greatest character, which makes him one of the castro dictatorship’s greatest enemies.
The dictatorship may have Biscet locked away in one of its dungeons, but after reading what he wrote in a letter smuggled out of prison earlier this year, it is hard to think of Biscet as one of its prisoners. No jail cell can confine the moral force he represents.
It is very difficult for common prisoners to serve a prison sentence; all the more so for a man of peace confined for exercising his right to freedom of thought. Everything has been so excessive and arbitrary that, the tribunal that condemned me did not pronounce sentence until three days after the trial had concluded. At that moment I felt their disloyalty to justice. I am convinced today of the fear they felt when they convicted an innocent man and put him to live with the scum of society. During all these years in prison I have witnessed ignominious things that I cannot go into the details of due to their perversity; acts that threaten the decorous behavior of a civilized society. In spite of the difficult situation, I am not frightened nor will I go back a step in regards to my ideas. I am here by my own free will to condemn and not to retract myself and will serve this unjust sentence until God in the Highest puts an end to it. (emphasis added)
The honoring of Dr. Biscet with the Medal of Freedom represents a potential milestone in elevating the American public’s knowledge and recognition of this great men, and the hundreds, if not thousands, of other political prisoners in fidel castro’s gulag. Each of them is a hero, but Biscet’s story — he is black, he is a doctor, he is anti-abortion, he is committed to the principles of non-violence — belies so many myths about castro and his so-called “revolution.” If it can grab traction in consciousness of the American and international public — and that is a big “if” — Biscet’s story might provide a tipping point in changing what that public thinks about Cuba today, similar to the way Nelson Mandela’s imprisonment did for South Africa in the 1980s.
Learn more about Dr. Biscet at Free-Biscet.org and the Web site for the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights.