Saturday, September 27, 2014

“J’Accuse” from a High Position

"J'Accuse" from a High Position / 14ymedio
Posted on September 27, 2014

An official with the Housing Institute denounces corruption and
privileges, as well as reprisals taken against his family.

14ymedio, September 24, 2014 – Before leaving Cuba in October, 2013, the
author of this accusation occupied an important post at the Housing
Institute and, as a jurist, saw firsthand the intrigues perpetrated by
high-level officers of the agency to illegally grant properties to
elites and friends. As is shown in the accompanying photos, Juan Carlos
Gálvez Migueles was an active participant in the political life of the
Island. On December 14, 2008, Gálvez was elected to the national
secretariat of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution, and
ratified as a member of the executive committee of that organization.

A lawyer by profession, Gálvez worked as a counterintelligence officer
following his studies at the Eliseo Reyes Rodríguez "Capitán San Luis"
Advanced Institute of the Interior Ministry. His problems started when
he refused to collaborate in the legalization of mansions belonging to
the children of ex-President Fidel Castro.

"I was disappointed in many things about the system that were drummed
into me and that I was taught to defend. The blindfold fell from my eyes
when I saw the problems of daily life in the real world of the average
Cuban," Gálvez told 14ymedio in an email exchange. "That system is not
made for honest, sincere, hardworking people like me, where the more
corrupt one is, the better."

My Duty is to Denounce – I Am Not Afraid
by: Juan Carlos Gálvez Migueles

By these presents I wish to make a public statement about the violation
being committed by officials of the Cuban State who represent the
Provincial Housing Administration of Havana, against three women and a
girl of just one year of age, with the intent of evicting them from the
property located on 3rd Street, Building 15022, Apt. 10, between 7th and
N streets, Altahabana neighborhood, Boyeros municipality. These women
are: Sara Elvira Migueles Velo, 47-years-old; Rosaima Rodríguez
Migueles, 17-years-old; Marinelvis Martínez Migueles, 24-year-old,
mother of a one-year-old girl, named Aynoa. They are, respectively, my
mother, sisters and niece.

The property from which the authorities want to remove them was acquired
by this writer in May, 2012, when I was appointed Principal Specialist
of the Havana Provincial Housing legal division, while in process of
being named assistant legal director of this agency.

In August of 2013, I was accepted to participate in an advanced public
administration course at the University of Extremadura, Spain. However,
the Spanish embassy did not grant me a visa because I missed the
deadline to submit some required original documents. At that point I
decided to leave Cuba for good, due to various reasons that at present I
don't believe it opportune to divulge.

To facilitate my departure I took advantage of the opportunity provided
by this course and requested authorizaton by the Provincial Housing
Director, Liudmila Mejias Ocaña, to approve my attending this course. In
reality, I was leaving for another country but I could not say where I
was going, because right away my family's home would be taken away, as
is happening right now. Besides, I also could not disclose what I was up
to, because I had been a member of the Interior Ministry and had ties to
high-level officials stemming from the duties I carried out.

In October, 2013, I left Cuba, keeping my new home base a secret, until
January, 2014, when it becomes known. It was then, in a gesture of
cruelty and bad faith, that the Provincial Director of Housing and
Assistant Legal Director, Marbelis Velázquez Reyes, imposed a
disciplinary measure on me of final separation from the agency for
unjustified absences. This is a measure that violates Decree 302 of
October 11, 2012, which in turn modifies Law No. 1312, "Migration," of
September 20, 1976, given that what should have been applied in my case
was a leave of absence from my position.

But her objective was to take revenge because I had already been
selected as assistant provincial legal director. Therefore, she had to
attack my family, declaring them illegal occupants without right to
relocation, knowing that they had no place of origin. Then, where will
they be taken to live? On the street, to a temporary community shelter?
I don't believe this is just or honorable.

Therefore, I am bound to make this accusation:

I was asked to work on the legalization of the houses owned by the
children of ex-President Fidel Castro Ruz, all homes that consisted of
more than 500 square meters of living space, comprising more than 1000
meters of total lot space, surrounded by hundreds of meters of addition
land. I refused to do this, based on it being in violation of the
current General Housing Law No. 65, which only recognizes properties up
to 800 meters in size.

I was asked to work on the legalization of the houses owned by the
children of ex-President Fidel Castro Ruz, all homes that consisted of
more than 500 square meters of living space.

These individuals, by virtue of being offspring of a leader, have more
rights to a good home than my family. I ask: What do they contribute to
society that I haven't? In what war did they serve? What have they done
that is special? Why do these citizens have to have an interior ministry
official representing them in their legalization proceedings?

Are they different from other Cubans? Can they not go to the municipal
housing administration like other citizens? Could it be that they cannot
wait in line? Can they not observe the waiting period established by
law? Are they subject to a different law that I was not taught at the
Advanced Institute of the Interior Ministry, when I was pursuing my
degree in law and operative investigation of counterintelligence? Where
is the equality that we so proclaim to the world?

Another case is that of Marino Murillo Jorge, vice-president of the
Council of Ministers, to whom was granted a grand residence – or rather,
a mansion in the Playa district, in return for an apartment he owned in
Cerro municipality. But the irony is that the property Murillo was
granted was assigned to the Ministry of Education and, with supposedly
just the authorization of Raúl Castro Ruz, it was transferred to the
ownership of this citizen without any disentailment process and, hence,
no discussion.

Perhaps this citizen, for occupying a high post in the Cuban government,
has more right to a dignified home than my family? What merits does he
have that hundreds of thousands of Cubans, as educated as he or more so,
do not?

I can also speak to the favors granted to officials of the National
Housing Institute such as the house that was exchanged for the president
of this agency, Oris Silvia Fernández Hernández, a grand property, which
originated in a confiscation. Could it be that she has more rights than
my family? Does the legal director of the National Housing Institute
also have more rights than my family, a corrupt individual who has been
sanctioned and yet remains in his post? I could go on naming any number
of high State officials.

The granting of housing is decided in the office of the Provincial
Director in favor of individuals who pay up to 5000 CUCs.

I denounce how thousands of families live in unhealthy conditions in
temporary community shelters. They are not granted public housing, this
being a responsibility of the Provincial Housing Director, Liudmila
Mejías Ocaña, who does not control the administration of the Provincial
Housing Commission. The granting of housing is decided in the office of
the Provincial Director in favor of individuals who pay up to 5000 CUCs,
friends who give gifts, as well as high-level officials, and relatives
and lovers of high-level officials. All of this is public knowledge and
has been condemned on various occasions but, as there is so much
intrigue that involves high-level officials, nothing happens.

I denounce how legal documents are worked up in the Provincial Housing
Office to favor these same people, all under the Thirteenth Special
Ruling on Law No. 65 (General Housing Law), being concluded in record
time, while the documents in other cases go to eternal rest. Those
responsible are the Provincial Director, and the Assistant Legal
Director, Marbelis Velazquez Reyes. The latter owns a fine house that
was disentailed to her after seven years, very well furnished and
equipped, while she earns a monthly salary of only 500 Cuban pesos.

I denounce how my family, on September 17, asked to be seen at the
Council of State of the Republic of Cuba to present their case and were
refused attention, the officials alleging that only letters are accepted
at that location and nobody is seen in-person – an unheard-of and
ill-intentioned assertion. This is not the democracy promised by our
rule of law.

In similar fashion, they went before the Provincial Party Committee of
Havana and the officials who saw them during a public hearing told them
to go before the Municipal Administrative Council of Boyeros and, if
their problem was not resolved there, they should go before the
Provincial Administrative Council of Havana. As we would say in Cuban,
it was a ball game, back and forth.

I should ask, why not lease the property to my family? For whom is this
property being reserved? It could be that this apartment is already
sold, or is being set aside for a friend.

Surely when this accusation comes to light, they will begin to question
me about where I obtained the money to leave Cuba. Well, it was from the
sale of the deplorable house that my mother owned and a landline
telephone that I had in my name, money that I supplemented with funds
from a friend who was my older sister's boyfriend.

I ask that the right of my family to live in a decent home be respected,
that events will not be repeated like those we endured when for more
than 10 years we lived in a wooden building that was falling apart,
where we would bathe in the kitchen, and defecate in nylon bags because
we had no toilet. At that time I was a delegate to the Municipal
Assembly of Popular Power of San Nicolás de Bari, today Mayabeque province.

My neighbors there and those who voted me in can attest to this. That
was also the time that I served as Municipal Housing Director and never
did I take even one concrete block for my house – a fact that my
employees can corroborate. What did I gain from being so humble, so
honest, that now my family should be treated in this manner. For all of
this I decided to leave my homeland.

I declare that today I fear for the lives of my family in Cuba, for
possible reprisals against them, resulting from this accusation and
others that I may be forced to make to defend our rights. By the same
token I fear for my life in this country where I reside, for having
information about officials, for having been myself a member of the
Cuban counterintelligence and someone who knows the methods they employ.

Translated by Alicia Barraqué Ellison

Source: "J'Accuse" from a High Position / 14ymedio | Translating Cuba -

No comments:

Post a Comment