Message from UNPACU to the OAS: Tyranny, political prisoners and international solidarity

José Daniel Ferrer - Secretario Ejecutivo de la UNPACU

Three tyrannies in the Continent, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua, use their tenebrous prisons to quench their peoples’ desire for freedom.

Cuba, December 7, 2018. By José Daniel Ferrer, General Coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, UNPACU.

One day in the fall of 2003 I had a discussion with a 1st Lieutenant of the political police of the Castro-communist regime named Pedro Morel Veune. I was confined in a punishment cell in the Provincial Prison of Pinar del Rio. In a kidnapping of sincerity the young repressor told me: “… the Directorate of the Revolution recognizes that it was wrong in the way we imprison you…”, he was referring to the group of 75 peaceful opponents and independent journalists sentenced to long imprisonment in the Black Spring of 2003, “…we should not have incarcerated them together, nor accused them for political reasons. From now on they will be processed on different dates and they will be charged with common crimes…¨

To this conclusion came the Castro dictatorship when seeing the international solidarity that received the political prisoners of that Black Spring. The mother of tyrannies in the Western Hemisphere has confined hundreds of political prisoners in their horrendous prisons who survive in subhuman conditions. The firmest are victims of beatings, torture and other cruel and humiliating treatment, with the intention of breaking their will and making them abandon the fight. After the strong condemnations that the regime received from many in America and Europe due to the repressive wave of 2003, it has been imprisoning  dozens of human rights defenders for false crimes that may seem simple common crimes. The sentences are generally between six months and five years in prison. Some are serving their arbitrary sentences and others are imprisoned. The regime wants to always leave its message clear: fight for democracy has a very high cost. Woe, to those who dare!

Currently in Cuban prisons there are, at least, between 120 and 130 political prisoners, most of them peaceful activists. More than five dozen qualify as prisoners of conscience. Only the Patriotic Union of Cuba, UNPACU, has 49 activists in prison. In the last 7 years more than 230 coordinators and activists of our organization have been imprisoned for their pro-democracy activism. Two died in prison. The “manufactured” crimes most used against the activists are: “public disorder”, “attack”, “contempt”, “resistance”, “nonpayment of fines”, “pre-criminal social dangerousness”, and we have a case for “enemy propaganda”. We also have some activists who have had fabricated false denigrating crimes of “burglary”, “murder attempt” and “drug trafficking”. They are accused of these false crimes with the intention that the victims do not receive any solidarity because of the nature of the crime they are accused of.

Prison, with all that implies, is the most effective formula of the dictatorship to frighten and paralyze activists who fight for freedom and the people eager for change. The Castro regime exports its repressive methods to other nations of the continent. Cuban agents repress in Venezuela and Nicaragua and have a presence in other countries where they govern allies of the oldest and most perverse dictatorship in the West. Solidarity inside and outside of Cuba with political prisoners and their families is the most effective medicine for such a grave evil. Solidarity in all fields, firm and decisive support, like that of the Government of the United States. The UNPACU is grateful for the important Campaign “Jailed For What?” that bothers the regime so much and helps our prisoners and the cause for a new Cuba.

 


 

This message was transmitted in Washington by Adolfo Fernández Sainz, prisoner of conscience of the Group of 75, due to the prohibition imposed on José Daniel Ferrer to travel outside Cuba. Here is the video of the public audience:

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