"Working together for a free Cuba"




Oscar Elías Biscet: Unpublished documents on the beginning of his fight for Human rights in Cuba.

The documents that follow have never been published until today and have just recently left Cuba. They date back to 1998, nevertheless, they portray exactly the ideals, the unshakeable principles and courage of this Cuban citizen. A doctor, who today remains locked up in the jails of Castro among common delinquents. He was confined until a few days ago in a buried cell and in addition to the last sentence of 25 years of imprisonment; he now begins a new trial for "disrespecting" Fidel Castro.

The value of this documentation as a historical document and irrefutable testimony of the violation of the human rights in Cuba by the regime that has been subjugating it for more than 45 years cannot be estimated.

Also it is a test of courage of this Man, with capital letters, that become an unquestionable contemporary hero to the level of the great forefathers that knew how to forge, with their personal sacrifice and commitment, the greatness of the Cuban Nation.

The defense of human rights begins in Biscet from his own daily actions and in the scope of his profession: he is a doctor, sworn to defend human life and is ready to give his life because of that oath...

How many of us are ready to risk our professional position, our prestige, our labor source and even our own physical integrity and personal freedom for the defense of the values that we profess? ...

The reading of the speech of the Dr Biscet to his medical colleagues at the Hospital "Hijas de Galicia" on February 24, 1998 is exciting and by only imagining the scene we can feel great admiration for those that dare to defy a system that institutionalizes the death and uses force against the weakest of the weak, without becoming paralyzed by the fear of the consequences that that heroic act will bring to his race and to himself.

The Cuban Nation is already in debt to this man who chose to denounce and to offer pacifist resistance to the violation of the first human right to defend: the right to life. The opposition of Dr Biscet to abortion, the use of fetuses in laboratory investigations and to capital punishment, does not do but to grow even more his persona as a Cuban citizen, brave and committed to the defense of the first and fundamental dignity of the human person that it cannot nor it must be harmed by any human being in the name of any ideology, much less still by those whose vocation has called them to the defense and the care of the human life.

But not only the Cubans are in debt to Dr Biscet, each one of us feels like shouting loudly the call of the Dr Biscet in our consciences and our heart and we know that we cannot remain indifferent to his situation.

Dr Biscet has defended something that is incumbent on us all and he has paid with imprisonment, torture and isolation in infrahuman conditions for that. Let us not leave it at the mercy of a system that silences, locks up and tortures its pacifist opponents, to those who civilly resist the violence of a state that has lost all legitimacy because it has harmed repeatedly its fundamental duties: the care of the communal property and safeguard the rights of each one of its citizens.

Dr Biscet has refused "to participate in the execution of an injustice and this is not only a moral thing to do, but also a fundamental human right. If it was not so, a human being would be obliged to conduct an intrinsically incompatible battle with his dignity and with his own freedom, whose sense and authentic aim reside in the direction of the truth and the good, would be radically jeopardized." John Paul II stated in his "Evangelium Vitae" (1995), and continues: “What is at stake therefore is an essential right which, precisely as such, should be acknowledged and protected by civil law. In this sense, the opportunity to refuse to take part in the phases of consultation, preparation and execution of these acts against life should be guaranteed to physicians, health-care personnel, and directors of hospitals, clinics and convalescent facilities. Those who have recourse to conscientious objection must be protected not only from legal penalties but also from any negative effects on the legal, disciplinary, financial and professional plane."

To Dr Biscet his fundamental human rights have been harmed by defending the human rights of many innocents, by simply defending the equality before the law of those that do not have a voice, to appeal to the consciences of those who, like him, swore to defend life and have become accomplices of the murders of the defenseless. To defend the right to life of all the Cuban citizens they have sanctioned him with the "proposal of definitive separation of the National System of Health" (see: Res. N°9/98 de Ministerio de Salud Pública de Cuba).

The documents are very clear on the consequences: the regime starts by condemning him to "civil death"; in Cuba that means, by the state being the only employer, by being thrown out of work, therefore he loses the possibility of exerting his profession and of making his authentic vocation. (Resolution N° 9/98) But he is not intimidated; he signs the resolution of his "professional death" in disagreement, in open opposition and denunciation. He faces the acts of repudiation organized by the members of the Communist Party at his work center and he refuses to leave via the back door, peacefully leaves the place by the front door. The rest of the history we all know, last year soon after leaving jail, Dr Biscet after years of imprisonment, returned to be locked up a few days later, not willing to shut up and to become an accomplice to the aberrations committed by the totalitarianism in Cuba. They locked him up and sentence him to 25 years in prison. His activity continues being incessant, the documents that manage to leave the prison, where his Human rights are permanently violated, are more than eloquent and they show us his evolution and his political, personal and spiritual growth.

The denunciation and the commitment of all of us with his situation then becomes urgent:

To all who read this note and to all who find themselves alone in the tranquility of their surroundings with these documents that portray the beginning of this heroic and singular history, we summon you to denounce and reclaim the freedom and the life of this man with whom all of us that enjoy the freedom of our inalienable rights, are in debt to.

To all the Institutions and Organizations of Human rights, to those that make special emphasis in the defense of Life, to those that defend the right to Freedom of conscience in the face of totalitarianism, to the Medical Associations and Health Professionals, to the Mass media and Legislators, Parliamentarians and Government employees of the World that read these documents we ask for your intervention on behalf of this man, who sustains his ideal of Life and Freedom for his homeland and the world.

He depends on us. Let us be an untiring voice of reclamation for the Freedom of this man and the freedom of Cuba.

Gabriela de Sarduy
Press Director for a Cuban Movement for a Unified Democracy.
Buenos Aires - Argentina

Note: The documents that follow have been obtained through independent journalist Luis Lopez Prendes, currently in exile, a charter member of the Movement for Independent Journalism in the Island. The same have been provided to the MCUD by the ex--prisoner of conscience Cary Roque (16 years of political prison in Cuba) to whom we thank deeply for her confidence and collaboration.