Here is a taste of Raul’s reforms and magnanimity.
Photo: Luis Felipe Rojas
On Monday, August 16, at 6:45 AM, the political police burst into my house to detain me. I was forced to sit in a chair in the lobby, where everyone passed by, of the police station in San German for thirteen hours. It was a punishment, I was nauseated, I had a constant migraine, and muscle pains that lasted for days. I was unable to do anything, anything but pray during the intervals between both of the interrogations, and wait for my release or that they would finally put me in the general prison barracks that the G2 has in the Pedernales neighborhood.
I returned to the love of my relatives after 8:00 that night. One day, I will not return home so quickly, I know it. Now, I write while I can. My wife also suffered her par, spending the entire day in front of the Police Station, informing the press by phone, leaving voice-mails and being on the lookout to see if they sent me back to Holguin.
The week before I had posted the report about human rights which the Eastern Democratic Alliance released that week and which they also published on various web sites or sent to various organizations which monitored human rights in countries which violated them.
I saw it coming, I even had a premonition dream about it (it has happened more than once to me).
I have searched the Human Rights Covenants, including the one about “Principles for the Protection of All People Subjected to Any Form of Detention or Prison.” In paragraph a) it says: ” By ‘arrest’ is meant the act of apprehending a person who has supposedly committed a crime or by an act of authority.”
Amongst the different norms about torture, and cruel or degrading treatment, there is nothing about sitting a person for 13 hours in a chair without access to any food, simply because in a specific place in the region where I live, they were going to undertake a peaceful activity, or for divulging the testimonies of horror that I have seen, as it seemed was my case.
Their arguments seem to run out quickly, the corporal punishments assume the morality of those who have the power. This reminded me of when I was a child and I misbehaved, like now. I have always been irreconcilably disobedient, I don’t think I will change at this point in my life.
On Monday the 23rd, I hadn’t even gotten up from bed when I once again heard some loud banging on my door. I had to live through the same police story, only with the difference that now they told me about reports denouncing human rights violations, about my blog, and about the independent journalism which I do. They reminded me that to write, like I do, many others spent much time in prison since 2003. They told me about the Gag Law which mentions something about 25 years behind bars.
I could only think of Rolando Rodriguez Lobaina, of his brother Nestor, of Enyor Diaz Allen, Roberto Gonzalez Pelegrin, and Francisco Luis Manzanet Ortiz who were all imprisoned incommunicado, over there in olive-green Guantanamo. They were paying for the crimes committed by the police of Baracoa.
Now I wonder, what will the regime consider my next prank to be. I think about the path that has brought this country the totalitarian power that is eating away at itself. What will be my next punishment?
Note: This post was delayed 15 days from being published on “Crossing the Barbed Wire,” but it was finally able to be posted.
Translated by Raul G.