Blind Cuban lawyer and activist
in the island, Juan Carlos Leiva, makes an urgent plea for international
November 1, 2005
Ciego de Avila, Cuba
Cuban Foundation for Human Rights
To international public opinion:
The drastic increase of state terrorism, the violent repression, and the
gradual physical annihilation of the political prisoners of conscience,
compels me to disclose before the world the thick impenetrable curtain
that hides and amasses the monstrous crimes committed daily by the Cuban
government. Humanity is inevitably obliged by the demands for justice
and the noble aspirations of peoples worldwide.
Empowered by the self-restraint of the European Union, and the immoral
complicity of other governments, the Cuban regime, purge in hand, breaks
bones and goes forward politically, destroying the lungs of the
political prisoners; inducing illnesses and inoculating chemical
substances amongst them.
After May 20, 2005, our country has turned into a hell for all
dissidents and political prisoners. A letter cannot begin to reflect our
dismal reality. I have no memory, during my forty years of life; of
witnessing the brutality we are currently experiencing.
The Cuban government has crossed the confines of politics and has
penetrated into the dark path of vandalism, organizing violent mobs of
hundreds of armed people carrying metal rods and other weapons, who
suddenly barge inside homes, even breaking into the bedrooms. Activists
are attacked and are threatened with “being torn to pieces”; thus
spreading panic amongst their family members and neighbors. An extensive
report is needed to document the long list of victims of these acts.
The regime’s own unjust law, less respected with time, is being snatched
from its pedestal and thrown into a dark pit of political murk by those
who brandish it. Impunity is further revolutionizing Cuba’s machinery of
terror accelerated by a government afraid of loosing its power.
On October 14, 2005, in the city of Santa Clara, 800 paramilitary groups
carrying sticks, metal rods, and other weapons attacked thirty-one
peaceful dissidents. Amongst the injured are: Jesús Eloy Alberto
Gutierrez, member of the Democracy Movement, who was kicked around so
brutally that he received a severe trauma in one of his kidneys and had
to be taken unconscious to the hospital. Both, Yunieski García López,
and Jordis Tápanes García, suffered fractured clavicles. Guillermo
Fariñas Hernández, a prominent opposition activist and independent
journalist, is recuperating from bruises and throbbing pain all over his
body as well as from a hematoma above one of his eyes. Alfredo Domínguez
Batista, one of the prisoners of conscience of the “Group of the 75” and
a profound Christian, was coerced by the prevailing violence of the
military personnel at the Provincial Prison of Holguín, to nail his hand
on to the wood wall of his cell on October 17, 2005.
The deliberate distribution of large amounts of psychotropic
antidepressants led the lawyer and prisoner of the “Group of the 75”,
Mario Enrique Mayo, to attempt suicide twice, in the past weeks, in the
Prison of Kilo 7 in Camagüey, and to use a blade to carve on his skin,
including his face, signs that read I’M INNOCENT and FREEDOM. Thirty
prison guards dealt a horrendous beating to thirty-four year old
political prisoner, Virgilio Mantilla Arango, of the black race. His
face was smashed in; he suffered a fractured shoulder bone and hematomas
all over his body, as well as a foot laceration. This occurred in the
Prison of Kilo 9 in Camagüey on October 14, 2005, when Mantilla Arango
placed anti-governmental signs on his bed denouncing the violations of
Penal authorities have exposed death-row detainee, Héctor Santana Vega,
an invalid prisoner, whose access to a wheel chair has been denied, to
three mock executions in the yard of the maximum-security prison Kilo 8
in Camagüey in the last few months.
The Cuban government’s irrational politics has lost track of its own
laws and is penetrating into the dangerous realm of crime and barbarity.
HUMANITY IS OBLIGED TO EXTEND ITS COMPASSIONATE HAND TO MY PEOPLE, ALSO
PART OF MANKIND.
Those governments and institutions who are indifferent, cowardly, and
accomplices to these crimes, will have to respond before international
forums and to their own peoples, and assume their degree of lesser or
greater responsibility for those crimes that Fidel Castro’s regime
commits daily in Cuba.
Juan Carlos González Leiva.
Blind lawyer and President of the Cuban Foundation for Human Rights
under house arrest.
Collaboration: Laida Carro
Testimony given via telephone from Cuba
by Juan Carlos González Leiva
Address: Honorato del Castillo # 154, entre República y Cuba, Ciego de
Tel: + 53 33 222235
Recorded, transcribed, and translated to English. Coalition of
Cuban-American Women/ LAIDA CARRO
Tel: 305-662-5947 Fax: 305-740-7323. Dirección Electrónica: