Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Worst Evil of Bad People is the Silence of Good People

The Worst Evil of Bad People is the Silence of Good People / Lilianne Ruiz
Antonio Rodiles, Dimas Castellanos, Lilianne Ruiz, Orlando Luis Pardo
Lazo, Oswaldo Paya, Translator: Unstated

Antonio Rodiles continues to be held in the dungeons at Acosta and 10 de
Octubre streets, for 9 days now. Perhaps the political police won't free
him before they trial they intend to hold, to avoid the bruises from the
beating they gave him becoming public.

Socialist legality is a set of traps to bring down anyone who does not
follow the path of the regime. A peaceful protest can be translated by a
prosecutor into "disorderly conduct." Similarly, if a man does not
passively allow three State Security officers to beat him — officers in
plain clothes who never identified themselves as authority before the
blows began to fall — "revolutionary law" translates an action of
legitimate self-defense by the victim into "resisting arrest."

But it was not an arrest which State Security (DSE) agents carried out
against Rodiles and a dozen people waiting outside State Security's
Department 21 — after having exhausted other avenues such as calling
106, the police information number — for the authorities to give them
information on the whereabouts of Yaremis Flores, who was arrested with
similar arbitrariness that same day.

It was an attack and not an arrest that the DSE agents carried out.

They did not communicate to Rodiles who they were, nor that they were
going to arrest him. No police officer with a badge and arrest warrant
showed up. Simply three men in plain clothes without the mediation of
words attacking Rodiles who, according to Revolutionary law, "shouldn't

There are too many cases of opponents of the regime who are driven to
jail through some legal trap: Darsi Ferrer, Jorge Vázquez Chaviano are
just a couple, there are many more.

Rodiles is the leader of Estado de Sats. As Ailer Gonzalez, his partner,
explained to me once, the space took the name Estado de Sats from the
Anthropology of the Theater, by Eugenio Barba (Odin Theatre). Estado de
Sats is the movement of negation that leads to action: to cast the first
stone you have to pull back your arm. The action takes place in an
organic way. In a country uprooted from its vital centers, to talk and
exchange ideas, images — art and thought — is an alternative that the
powers-that-be recognize as "dangerous."

Since last August, just after the arrest of Rodiles during the funeral
of the leader of the Christian Liberation Movement Oswaldo Paya, the
repressive organs of State Security have tried to block the realization
of Estado de Sats in multiple ways. From a siege around the site to
block the audience from attending, to the arbitrary arrest of Professor
Dimas Castellanos and of the poet and photographer Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo.

Rodiles himself went, at the time of those arrests, to State Security's
Section 21 to demand the release of those arrested. In the words of a
member the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU) who was arrested by this same
Department 21 of State Security, the agents told him "Even if Rodiles
turned out to be the second coming of Padre de las Casas*, he was going
to jail."

This is how they intend to do it: through traps and sheltered by a
"legality" that always protects the State and never the rights of the

On Wednesday, November 7, when they arrested Rodiles a wave of mass
arrests of opponents took place in Havana, with virtually no
communication because they cut off the phones of many of the detainees
and their families and friends.

Rodiles' father appeared before the police in a T-shirt bearing a decal
for the liberation of his son and this caused a scandal for the authorities.

Faced with the pain of others, we must remember that if we do not share
the responsibility of preventing the purposes of those who are creating
the human rights crisis in Cuba, the deceptions of these regimes could
continue to thrive in the heyday of dictatorships.

There is no State, no Church, no institution, no ideological, political
or religious excuse to violate human rights. The extreme left-wing
communist States have found a systematic way, protected by their
Constitutions, to carry out these violations of human rights which are
their only guarantee for perpetuating their own political power.

*Translator's note: Padre de las Cases was an early hero of Cuban history.

November 16 2012

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