"Working together for a free Cuba"




Blind human rights activist suffers brutal act of repudiation in Cuba.

On Thursday, September 1, 2005, from 8:00 AM until 4:30 PM, I was the victim of an “act of repudiation” perpetrated by military and paramilitary mobs of the communist government while I was carrying out a meeting of the Cuban Foundation of Human Rights at my home in the city of Ciego de Avila.

Forces of State Security and the Cuban Police used the provincial coordinator of the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution (CDR), Mr. Jose Manuel Benedico, to lead a mob of between 200 and 400 people that shouted obscenities and governmental slogans. These people banged on our doors and windows, and they made it apparent to us that they were not going to permit activities in the defense of human rights. They threatened us with death, saying that they were going to yank us out of the house by our necks and that they were going to pull out our teeth. Some 20 or 30 children at the front of the mob shouted, “Long live Fidel,” and “Down with human rights.” One young person, with his fist raised, looked at me and shouted, “If I catch you, I’ll kill you!”

That day, they tried to fumigate my house with smoke, and they threatened to turn off our water and electricity. They prevented any food from coming in to my house. They even cut off public phone connections so that the act of repudiation would not be reported abroad.

Activists who left my house at 4:30 in the afternoon received insults upon leaving, as in the case of Emilia Leon Díaz. Others were beaten up, like Lazaro Iglesias Estrada, National Secretary of the Cuban Foundation of Human Rights, and independent journalist, Osmel Sánchez Lopez.

From August 6, 2005, to the present, I have suffered more than 15 acts of repression, like arrests, detainments, fines, citations, common court cases, and acts of repudiation. I am constantly monitored, and they (government officials) keep my telephone interrupted continually, for entire days and nights. Our calls are interfered and our conversations are recorded.

They constantly attack my friends and family. Operatives of the police have attacked the houses of independent farmers, Idael Perez and Manuel Guerra Rodriguez. The Cuban government keeps my two brothers and sisters, Silvia and Jose Gonzalez Leiva, and my father, Joaquin Gonzalez Ferrer, who want to emigrate to the United States, prisoners, without granting them the visa required to leave Cuba.

Cuban authorities, alleging that I am sanctioned as well, warn me that receiving visitors or making visits constitutes an act of public disorder. In Cuba no such law exists.

The situation is very tense because their objective is to pressure me to be forced to leave the country.

Cuban Foundation of Human Rights

Source: Coalition of Cuban-American Women/ LAIDA CARRO
Translation: Coalition of Cuban-American Women/ TANYA WILDER – Human Rights Committee
E-mail: joseito76@aol.com  Website: www.jcgl-cfhr.info