May being brave not be so costly, and being a coward not so worthwhile
May being brave not be so costly, and being a coward not so worthwhile*
/ Lilianne Ruíz
Lilianne Ruíz, Translator: Unstated
In one of those programs that State Security shows on Cuban television,
I have seen one of the men I most admire for his courage in this saga
for the freedom of Cuba. But State Security did not really present
Antúnez, nor speak of his years as a political prisoner, of the horrors
of Cuban prisons, so dark and forgotten.
Jorge Luis Garcia Perez "Antúnez," is a Cuban who was imprisoned from
1990 until a few years ago, solely for expressing his ideas contrary to
If he had only been in prison for spreading his ideas it would be
terrible injustice, but in his testimonies of Castro's political
prisons, you can relive the horror of the punishment cells, and of human
beings reduced to the most unimaginable degradations to make them
retract who they are, forcing them to wear the uniform of common
prisoners and making them go through political re-education courses.
Someday Cuba will be on the front page of newspapers around the world
because of the trials of violators of human rights we will then be able
to hold, for the crimes against humanity in these 53 years. The world's
radical left, extreme, carnivorous, predatory, wanted to ignore them,
perhaps because they would be willing to do the same in their own
countries. To speak of this is difficult, to imagine how far the
wickedness of man goes, begins with a closed door we don't want to go
Possibly because of this many influential people in the world prefer to
look at the uniformed children, the waving flags, the doctors graduating
from the Latin American School of Medicine, the discourse of social
justice. And this apparently been very well studied by the elite of
power in my country.
The world prefers to ignore the testimony of people like Valladeres,
Hubert Matos, Antúnez, the 75 of the Black Spring. And meanwhile State
Security fabricates these programs where they try to discredit people
largely unknown to the Cuban television audience. Maybe even for Cuban
and foreign journalists themselves, excepting of course the independent
journalists and some disobedient foreign correspondents who decide to
seek out the truth and not remain within the comfortable official discourse.
The only thing the mafia of Villa Marista (a political prison), and
Section 21 (an arm of State Security), achieved with their latest
monstrous documentary was to show, once again, how they monitor and
persecute people who have spoken out against the regime.
In response to the lie with which stupid people try to establish
people's perception of State Security, reducing the problem to an issue
of money and not authentic freedom and rebellion, I answer in my blog —
so that anyone in Cuba (where I live and where I have come out of my
closet) could read me — saying that in order to go out into the streets
to protest and to demand freedom for the political prisoners, as the
Ladies in White do, requires so incredibly much more than money.
To land yourself, as Antúnez did (and as other Cubans did whom they also
try to discredit for being opponents) in a cell of the Castro regime, in
solitary, without rights, you need to have an I-don't-know-what that
most Cubans don't have. That the State Security officials who made the
TV program don't have, nor do the guards who inflict tortures on the
prisoners, especially those who torture the political prisoners with
cruel and degrading treatment.
Not even the maximum leaders who die of fear have it, those who are the
primary culprits of these injuries against humanity, fostered by the
ideology of a system and the low value of a human person within it;
these are the conditions without which the current owners of Cuban could
not remain in power.
In the first centuries of Christianity the greatest testimony one could
give of faith in Jesus Christ was martyrdom, and Antúnez has proven to
the point of martyrdom his faith in freedom: he is alive and sane thanks
to the spiritual force God gave him. (Boitel Lives is his book of
testimonies from his years in prison in Cuba.)
In the case of those endearing gladiators, the Ladies in White — who
also showed up on the TV screen in violation of their right of privacy —
the major "sin" that State Security presents was their having accepted
collaboration from other Cubans in exile, who knows if perhaps it was
another Lady with better rhetoric, to write a statement on the death of
These women, mostly from humble backgrounds but with a true
intelligence, have chosen the better part of what no one in exile, nor
many men in Cuba, nor this writer, have chosen, which is the courage and
stamina to go to the very end, as Laura Pollán did, in their fight for
Freedom for the political prisoners.
Faced with the lack of justice and citizen security in the Courts, after
learning that the power in Cuba is a fierce dog that calculates his
moves without any respect for the human condition or the condition of
being a woman, they need a lot of courage and a lot faith.
When freedom is in danger, it must be rescued. The only ones who have
sold their individual freedom, and hence their country, have been the
mercenaries of the present government of the Island of Cuba, the
sadistic gendarmes of MININT (State Security), who with no fear of God
nor respect for men, populate the memoirs of Antúnez, the hellish
conditions that Cubans and many people in the world prefer to ignore.
And that, one more time, the official government site Cubadebate did not
comment on, nor was it presented on television by State Security.
Translator's note: A line from this song by Joaquin Sabina
August 7 2012