"Working together for a free Cuba"




Blind Cuban lawyer and activist in the island, Juan Carlos Leiva, makes an urgent plea for international solidarity.

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 prison rights.

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.

Source: www.netforcuba.org
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 Avila, Cuba.
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: Joseito76@aol.com