Archive for the ‘Translator: Raul G.’ Category

Spanish post

February 7 2011

The National Orlando Zapata Tamayo Civic Resistance and Disobedience Front is calling on all activists and members of the Cuban resistance to participate in the “Zapata Lives!” march, which will take place throughout the nation on February 23rd, the one year anniversary of the assassination of political prisoner Orlando Zapata.

Brothers, Sisters, Cubans… this 23rd of February will be the most appropriate moment to declare that we are all resistance, and that Boitel and Zapata live on!  Paying homage to this Cuban martyr also means paying homage to all the martyrs Cuba has had during all its years of political imprisonment.  In this same manner, by doing this we also accept these martyrs as symbols and guides in the struggle for peaceful changes towards democracy in Cuba.
Compatriots, on this 23rd of February, notify the neighbors of your municipality or city in Cuba that the flame of resistance is now stronger than ever.
Brothers, the name of your movement does not matter, nor does its political affiliation or association.  It is the time to unite all of our voices in one demand and to scream wherever we can be heard:  Zapata lives on!  We are all resistance! The streets belong to the people!
The following signatures belong to the national executives of the The National Orlando Zapata Tamayo Civic Resistance and Disobedience Front.

Eriberto Liranza Romero

Idania Yanez Contreras

Alejandro Tur Valladares

Sarah Martha Fonseca Quevedo

Rolando Rodriguez Lobaina

Adriano Castaneda Meneses

Guillermo Del Sol Perez

Raul Luis Risco Perez

Nestor Rodriguez Lobaina (currenty imprisoned)

Translated by Raul G.



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Spanish post

A young mother, 25,  and her husband arrived at my house very late at night.  They brought their two small children, one 3 and the other 4.  At the moment I wasn’t home so my wife, Yris, tended to them. Their appearance caused quite an impression on my wife, and one of the children told her:

“Ma’am, please let me sit, for sleepiness and hunger are taking their toll on me…”

The next night, they repeated the visit.

They were a humble and young couple called Yirisleidis Hernandez Perez and Yasmany Castillo Gomez. Their little ones were named Enmanuel and Yandier.

“Tomorrow will be the deadline. They are going to throw us out into the streets and they are going to tear down our home.  We don’t know what to do, and this is why we have come to ask you all — the Human Rights people — for help.”

That night, they left knowing that they would not be alone, for the “Human Rights people” would be there supporting them.

Although I did not have enough time to inform all those I would have liked to (and surely they would have gone), activists started arriving to the scene at around 4 in the morning.  The first was Juan Ariel Rivero Diaz, followed by others from Placetas.  Adriano Castaneda from Sancti Spiritus was arrested upon arriving to the location and was later tossed out onto a side-road of the highway.  Soon therafter, a group of brothers from Santa Clara arrived.  At noon, we were already a group of 11.

From the very beginning, we were very impressed by the firm posture assumed by the young woman, which was completely the opposite of her husband who, as we say in good Cuban slang, “cracked when the time came.”  He was terrorized by the threats of the political police which took control over his home and surrounding areas.

“As long as the Human Rights people are here, they won’t even dare come.”

“They said they were coming at 4 pm.”

“They are going to postpone the eviction until Saturday.”

The number of neighbors and sympathizers who arrived on the scene to support this family was overwhelming.

Between the conversations, sips of coffee, declarations made on the radio by activists and neighbors, it finally was 4 pm.  The area continue to be watched.  The whole scene looked like the prelude of an invasion.

When we were informed that nothing was going to happen after all, and that the group from Santa Clara had to leave to go back home soon, we decided to provisionally leave the place. We left Juan Ariel and Diosiris Santana behind, and their role was to inform us if anything happened.

The peaceful march back home was violently interupted by an enormous State Security operation, along with the Ministry of the Interior (MININT), right in the entrance of the city.  The majority of the malice was carried out on Damaris Moya and myself.  Beaten and dragged, we were then taking to the police unit of Placetas, along with the remaining activists of the group.  We were kept the entire night in the unit in their filthy dungeons.

However, the eviction never took place. Thanks to the Human Rights people, according to what all the neighbors of the town have said. But we must add that it was also thanks to the bravery and decisions of the young people to not give in to so much intimidation and threats from those who wanted to leave this young mother out on the street with her two children, without a roof or bed.

Another important victory of the internal resistance.

Translated by Raul G.

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Official Stupidity from the G 21

When resorting to physical blows, this displays a degree of errors in intelligence and professionalism.  Many times, fear makes people lose their wits.

It seems as if this is what happened to officials of the political police.  That night, they went to go look for me at the cells of the Aguilera Unit, in the 10th of October municipality.  They had arrested me during the morning hours as I was leaving the home of the distinguished civil leader, Eriberto Liranza Romero, where we had just held an important meeting for the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Resistance and Disobedience Front.  In that encounter, activists representing multiple organizations throughout the Western region of the country were present.

“Antunez,” they told me, after identifying themselves as high ranking officials from the popular Section 21, also known as the National Headquarters of the Confrontation Unit, “we are going to talk clearly to you.  That Front which you now lead will simply not be permitted in Havana.  And I’ll tell you more.  Due to activities like the ones you are carrying out, our Revolution has been losing allies that were slowly dropping their hostile positions against us,” and he continued, “And that will simply not be allowed.  You are scratching our limit, and at any given moment, the leaders of our Revolution will order your imprisonment.”

“Don’t think for a moment,” the stupid major named Ignacio continued, “that because we are releasing prisoners we will cease condemning counter-revolutionaries.”

I remembered the time when Colonel Tamayo told me, “Antunez, you should know that whenever we unleash another operation, which you all refer to as repressive waves, you will be one of the first to be imprisoned, and with the longest sentence.”

Although the interrogation was ingenuous, it still was very interesting, for it acknowledged that the struggle which irritates them the most is that which is carried out through public protests and actions.  They also let me know that the Front has kept them very nervous, and that they do not have the most minimal of desires to cease oppressing any dissenting voices.  And that is why we will continue in the streets, because the streets belong to the people, and the government has tried, and continues to try, to steal them from us.

Translated by Raul G.

January 3 2011

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They Returned Yili: Another Victory for the Resistance

We received the call precisely when we were concluding the Central Opposition Coalition reunion and were displaying our unconditional support of our leader, Idania Yanez Contreras.

“They released Carlos, but they don’t want to give him back his daughter, Yili.”

“They have to give her back!  They’ve made them suffer far too much already,” my wife Yris exclaimed, full of tears and clearly bothered.

“Let’s go to Los Arabos,” Idania and Yris exclaimed in unison.

“What a mess.  Now how are we supposed to do this?  We barely have the necessary resources for so many of us to go out, and the only one who can transport us in his car only has room for 6.  And there are almost 20 of us!”

Everybody wanted to go.

Yirisleidys Alvarez Perez.  The young girl was returned to her father, Carlos Alvarez, with those scars and bruises on her face.

Yirisleidys Alvarez Perez. The young girl was returned to her father, Carlos Alvarez, with those scars and bruises on her face.

Alcides, Idania, Yris, Adriano, Columbie, Francisco, and I all hopped into the car, where we were only able to get as far as Santa Clara, for there was a strong police operation underway.  Those of us who went were strategically chosen due to our individual representation of the provinces which took part in the event:  Matanzas, Sancti Spiritus, Ciego de Avila, and Villa Clara.  Our brother, Tur Valladares from Cienfuegos, could not join us due to health reasons.

Along with the cold which chilled our bones in Santa Clara, we were joined by Guillermo, Frank, and Carlitos.  In the railroad terminal for Colon, we were also joined by Joseito and Carlos himself, and we traveled to Colon, where the same police operation was taking place.

They did not want to give him his daughter back until he pulled out his ID Card.  This was a condition the father did not accept.

With a hunger strike, along with our support and the support of other compatriots — the Lady in White Alejandrina Garcia, Lazarito, and Cari — there were more than 20 of us in that display of solidarity.

Three hours had not even passed when State Security major Alejandro knocked on the door to tell Carlos to go to Los Arabos to pick up his daughter.  Yris, Idania, and Alejandrina all accompanied him, and they were all witnesses of that emotional moment where a desperate father once again embraced his daughter after 4 months of absence and separation.  The young child had scars on her face.

That moving scene put an end to the “Return Yili to her Father” campaign, which had been launched by the Rosa Parks Feminist Movement for Civil Rights and counted with the support of many Cubans in and out of the island which joined in solidarity through this unforgettable drama.

That is the Coalition, that is unity, and those are the results.  And that is our response to those who, for matters of greed and other grave reasons, never cease to attack us.

Translated by Raul G.

December 28, 2010

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In Cuba, all he has are a sixth grade education and his sixty years of age. Blas Fortún is one of those rare human beings. If a mission is necessary to the East of Cuba, it is Blas Fortún who offers to go.

If something has to be taken to a prisoner, you don’t have to ask him to do it, it’s not important if it’s very cold, if it’s raining, or a hurricane is approaching. If you have to go to a place to protest, march in the streets of Santa Clara, go out to yell “Down With Fidel!”. His health complaints aren’t important to him, even when he hasn’t been able to recover from the cold and then hot cells in which they put him after that arrest in Santiago de Cuba.

It is useless if we beg him to at least drink water during arrests in the cells, from there he’ll get out looking like a skull and won’t beg for mercy, from there he’ll get out, ready for the next action.

Carpenter, mason, repairer of water leaks, painter, electrician, always ready to lend a hand not just to the fellow dissident who needs something, but to anyone, although it might be the first time he’s seen him. In Placetas, many blocks have the mark of this multi-talented Cuban, to whom one will call for a fix or repair of whatever kind. Like we say in good Cuban, “he catches everything himself, and whatever pain he feels is like yours”.

He isn’t well known but this doesn’t bother him, his is to do what his conscience and heart dictate to him. If the opposition hadn’t existed, he would have created it, because this is the most rebellious Cuban I’ve ever met. What he is at home, in the street, in the jails, and during interrogations you have to see as this older man who, without much formal education but with astonishing information, drives his repressors up the wall.

Spanish post

December 11 2010

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Spanish post

December 9 2010

In the afternoon hours of the 7th of December, the neighbors of the Las Minas neighborhood in Placetas showed themselves to be extremely indignant with the police and State Security.

But this time, ire and indignation did not have anything to do with police brutality against those who, in my house, were founding the Academy of Overcoming and Civic Struggle of the Central Opposition Coalition; but because this time the fleet of uniformed gendarmes who spent the night from its early hours in the hallways of the guarapera deprived the locals of their daily and miserly sustenance, the breads and croquettes that are sold there.

“They’re starving! They didn’t leave even croquettes for us, and those are State Security!”, said a passerby. “What they are is starving gluttons, now they leave with their bellies full and if they’re hungry, in the unit is their hot potato, or they’re going to a tasting or they’ll simply buy one in the shopping, said another.

“The human rights people are right, these people are sons of b…..s!”, commented in a loud voice an old lady who was coming back from the guarapera with an empty bag, exclaiming “Those are some inconsiderate people! At this hour I always arrive at the guarapera, order two egg sandwiches and ask them to give eggs to me uncooked, and with this bread I take my granddaughter’s afternoon meal to her at school.”

“All those gluttons and abusers are over there!”, was heard being said by a drunk in full delirium. It was summed up by a young man exclaiming and motioning so everyone could see him, “That tool, Major Vega was eating them by the fistful, and that Captain Pedro Perez must be getting over extreme anger, he came from Santa Clara to kill an old hunger, those soldiers ate everything!”, he said, withdrawing before the sarcastic laughter of approval from all who were now close to the famous guarapera of Las Minas in Placetas.

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The subject of suppressing or maintaining restrictions of short trips to Cuba isn’t even going to be discussed. I imagine how, in the first place, the bankers and businessmen must feel who are rubbing their hands together to destroy our resources and widen the gap between the haves and the have-nots, from those who receive and those who cannot receive.

Tremendous fiasco for those who do not have faith in the strength of those who fight, who put their hopes on the financial and economic things. Spirit for those of us who are more than convinced that it’s a mistake to oppress our future in plots and in foreign governments and that whatever measure that might result in the perpetuation of tyranny is as damaging as tyranny itself.

Spanish post

December 9 2010

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