Tuesday, June 14, 2011

One Day, They Will Not Return / Luis Felipe Rojas

One Day, They Will Not Return / Luis Felipe Rojas
Luis Felipe Rojas, Translator: Raul G.

The automobile pretentiously came to a stop and interposed itself in
front of the four individuals dressed in civilian clothing. Suddenly,
two more vehicles arrived and took away one woman and a man. Nobody
protested, everyone was astonished by the arrest. Those being detained
screamed slogans against the government, but no one dared get involved
with the protest, or what for the rest of the world is better described
as a kidnapping.

A neighbor from the "Hilda Torres" Holguin neighborhood was the one who
described the scene to me. Those arrested were Human Rights activists
who, this past May, were protesting against the government's behavior
towards their ideological counterparts in the center of the country.

"Only one young man protested and they took him away", said Fidel Garcia
Roldan, former political prisoner and victim of that kidnapping.

For some time now, we have been seeing some changes in the behavior of
the political police in various regions of the country. Caridad
Caballero Batista and Mari Blanca Avila were locked in a car and
savagely beaten, according to testimonies offered to this blogger. Jose
A. Triguero Mulet was taken to a "security house" in the municipality of
Mayari in 2010 and during his entire arrest there none of his relatives
received any news about him. Journalist Alberto Mendez Castello was
taken from his work place in Puerto Padre and kept in a "comfortable
hotel room" with a hood over his head for a few hours while they warned him.

Caridad Caballero herself was locked away in a small cell of the
political police unit of San German for three days. Her young under-age
son was alone at home the entire time and did not receive any response
from the authorities. Various friends living outside of Cuba called the
number 53-243-81-323, the office of the police unit, and they were
redirected to 53-243-80-480, which is supposed to be the office of the
MININT Delegation. In each of these cases, the officials swore that
there was "no one there by the name of Caridad Caballero".

On February 2008, a green Lada vehicle stopped at the door of my house
while the driver, who claimed to be called Douglas and who claimed to be
the 1st official of Confrontation with the enemy in the province,
assured my wife that I was going to be taken to the local police
barracks but he quickly turned the wheel in the first street corner and
I found myself in the G2 Operations Barracks. My family waited for hours
outside the unit until a clumsy official assured them that I had been
taken to Holguin.

Now, the repressive forces have alternated between kicks and punches and
scaring the family. There has been an abrupt turn towards what, in the
Central America of the 80′s, was considered a "kidnapping". Now, we are
insulted when people do not believe our testimonies.

Our names or identities are not registered in the Penal Control record
books, we are never listed as detainees, and the operational G2
officials, the police officers, and the Military Prosecutor lawyers all
lazily assure, over the Penal Code and the Constitution of Republic of
Cuba, that "they do not need summons or citations to detain us". "We do
not have to add you in the book of detainees", I was assured on August
4th 2010 by Juan Carlos Laborde, the attorney of the Ministry of the
Interior of Holguin, located in Marti and Narciso Lopez. Captain
Laborde, didn't you assure me that there, in that unit, positive
responses were always given to the PEOPLE? "And you are not one of the
PEOPLE", he replied to me in front of another Castroite official.

Cuban police units are reservoirs of people who bitterly stare at those
who are detained and scream slogans against the dictatorship. While one
is sitting in the bench at the waiting room, the functionaries dressed
in blue stare at you out of the corner of their eyes as they try to
relate you to some sort of robbery or violation of norms. But those
claims are hammered onto us by the men from the G2 dressed in civil
clothes when they deal with us. Then we become food for "the fattest of
the fish".

12 June 2011


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