Cuban Americans and Cuban independence day
My grandmother had a neat life. She was born in Cuba (1892) when it was still a Spanish colony. She recalls the celebrations on May 20, 1902 when Cuba finally became an independent country. She left Cuba and died in the US in 1984.
Today, Cuba celebrates the 112th anniversary of that independence day that my grandmother celebrated as a little girl. However, there is little to celebrate in Cuba in the 54th year of communism.
We continue to hear of dissidents being arrested, such as Jorge Luis Perez-Garcia, known as "Antunez". (Via Babalu)
We heard this from Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, a dissident who recently spoke in the US. He reminded us of Cubans in prison or under harassment by the Castro government via Capitol Hill Cubans:
"Dear friends: since I became an independent blogger and journalist in Cuba, I was told, by the former Minister of Culture, Abel Prieto, and the former director of the Cuban Book Institute, Iroel Sanchez, that I will never publish again in my country. They were both removed from their positions later (Saturn’s law), but the unholy war of the Castros against critical intellectuals goes on and on.
While I talk here, the Havanan novelist Angel Santiesteban languishes a 5-year sentence for a common crime announced to him —by State Security agents— as a punishment for his opinion columns in his blog:Los hijos que nadie quiso /The Children Nobody Wanted.
While I talk here, a journalist from the free-lance agency Hablemos Press / Let’s Talk Press, Calixto Ramon Martinez was kept many months in prison for reporting an outbreak of cholera in Cuba, which still constitutes a serious health risk there, even for tourists, a fact that the Cuban government refuses to recognize in its due importance. Finally he was released without any explanation, documentation of his case, or at least an attempt to give him an apology or indemnify him.
While I talk here, a Catholic Afrocuban young mother and her husband, both peaceful pro-democracy activists, Sonia Garro and Ramon Alejandro Muñoz, have been for two years and two months in several Cuban prisons, subject to physical abuse and isolation periods, just because they protested when they were forbidden to attend the Holy Mass of the Pope Benedict XVI in the Revolution Square of Havana city, in March 2012. Hundreds of human rights activists were then arrested, including me, kidnapped for three days with my girlfriend, apparently accused of attempting to take counter-revolutionary photographs of His Holiness with the Heroic Guerrilla Ernesto Che Guevara behind him, in the façade of the mysterious Ministry of Interior where the mass took place.
While I talk here, an American citizen under contract by USAID, Alan Gross, is being held hostage since December 2009 in a Cuban jail, serving a 15-year sentence for charges that included espionage. A Jew himself, he was just helping the Cuban Jewish community to have a ready access to the internet, since the right to independent information is not recognized by my government. In fact, it constitutes a major crime: enemy propaganda, diffusion of negative news, among other brutalities of our actual Penal Code. This was a miserable mafia message thrown to the fair-play face of America: mind your own business, do not dare to try to help the Cuban civic society or you will pay a dirty price too.
Besides, dozens of well-known terrorists have found safe haven to grow old in Cuba and take care of their families and their fortunes, after a whole life devoted to international delinquency, including USA fugitives, ex CIA agents and hit-men associated with dictators and paramilitary bands worldwide."
The Castro government will put on a show today and celebrate independence day. However, I am sure that most Cubans won't really feel it until this corrupt dictatorship passes on.