Preparing the Next Scene

Last night I left my house to visit a friend, and on the way, I observed cars in the streets, and faces that called for some attention,  because in addition to being unknown, they showed themselves to be very indiscreet and restless.

On my return, I took a different route by other streets to see if I could learn what was going on. Nearing Placensia Street, I noticed a group of people who were there. From afar, they seemed to be a gathering, I thought about the elections, but my curiosity wanted to know more and I approached them.

On the walls were posters, uncommon in the streets for their quality, with photos of Che Guevara, Raul, Fidel. I thought that they had printed the album for a special occasion.

I see the television cameras and all of the ‘players’, as they are called. They are no more than neighbors from the vicinity obliged by their behavior so they do not have a choice, retirees from the Ministry of the Interior (MINIT). At last I was able to see and recognize a group that on several occasions during my husband’s unjust jailing, had perpetrated acts of repudiation against me, which had so affected my daughters.

Walking by that street corner, which was almost always deserted, the microphones screeched with interference. It was as if my body on its own emitted all of the energy caused by my feelings at seeing such a horrific lie, such a hypocritical scene. We all know in the end that these scenes are mere lies and montages for those they wish to deceive.

Translated by: Amante de una Cuba Libre, Lover a Free Cuba, and by Ricote

At the Feet of the Caridad del Cobre, Executive Board of MAR por CUBA

Photo of MAR por CUBA on the altar of offerings in el Cobre.

(MAR por CUBA = Mothers and Women Anti-Repression for Cuba)

The director of the library, Marisol Torañ, on a visit she made to el Cobre, left at the National Sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity, the only patron saint of Cuba, a plaque with a photo of the executive Board of MAR por Cuba, on the morning of Sunday, March 14.

It was an emotional moment when she presented, at the feet of the Virgin, the plaque with the photo of the executive board of Women and Mothers Anti-Repression for Cuba, and sister Martha Lee (congregation of the Social Sisters) and P. Ricardo Santiago Medina Salabarria(ex-political prisoner) and my husband paused to pray for freedom for all the political prisoners, for the health of Guillermo Fariñas, for the designs of the nation, and the unity of all Cubans in whatever place in the globe they are to be found, closing with a prayer for the soul of Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

With tears in our eyes and a reaffirming hug we left, depositing the plaque along with the stamps of the 75 political prisoners of the Black Spring of 2003 on the altar of promises, and a painting detailing the political prisoner in Cuba.

Published in: on March 17, 2010 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Reply to Reflections of the Ex-president Fidel Castro

Distinguished Gentleman:

To read the 2nd part of your reflection “The last encounter with Lula” of the 1st of March, 2010, I could read one of the final paragraphs “Lula knows from many years ago, that in our country nobody is ever tortured, never is an an assassination ordered of an adversary, never are the people lied to.”  Understanding this, by the situation generated by the government of Cuba, before the death of the Prisoner of Conscience, Orlando Zapata Tamayo (recognized as such by Amnesty International).


In a process devoid of legal guarantees I was arrested July 22, 2005 and was punched, as were my wife Katia Sonia Martín Véliz and my two little daughters (identical twins) that hadn’t yet reached 2 years of life;  I was in prison for 15 months and 3 days, and I never appeared before a court, moreover I was denied all of of the resources presented by my defense. In my journey through the police stations, Department of Investigation at 100 and Aldabo, Pinar del Rio provincial prison and Taco-Taco Prison, San Cristobal municipality, Pinar del Rio province (in the period of May 17, 2006 to October 25, 2006) I was a witness to two (2) beatings of which Orlando Zapata Tamayo was the object, these beatings were ordered by Mayor Juan Ramon Castillo Sanchez, prison warden of Taco-Taco and with the complete knowledge of the Lieutenant Colonel Abel Santovenia Po, Provincial Director of Jails and Prisons.  On two other occasions Zapata Tamayo was chained and handcuffed for more than 12 hours.  I was a witness.  For complaining we were punched and accused by four common prisoners.

– The February 24, 2006, for reading a statement, the prisoner Ariel Hernandez Paula, a resident of Cabaña, Mariel municipality, was hit and as a consequence of this beating he suffered detached kidneys; the Warden of the the Provincial Prison of Pinar del Rio, Mayor Jesus, denied this prisoner religious assistance in the convict waiting room of the Abel Santamaria Provincial Hospital.

– Also, I bear witness to the beatings of the Prisoners of Conscience Nelson Molinet Espino and Normando Hernandez Gonzalez who were dragged in the presence of the other common prisoners, in the month of April 2006, Pinar del Rio Provincial Prison, lead by Mayor Jesus.

– While president Lula was in Havana the February 24, Yoani Sanchez was hit, in the 4th unit of the PNR of the Cerro Municipality, located at Infanta and Amenidad; Samper Boss of Section 21 dismissed her moments later with unacceptable excuses, unhappily I was also an eyewitness.

With much respect, it is touching to say that Lula does not know if in Cuba one is tortured, one is mistreated or adversaries are harassed.

To me it appears so.

Ricardo Santiago Medina Salabarria

Ex-political prisoner

March 2, 2010


Translated by: BW

Published in: on March 5, 2010 at 12:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

The Fear of the Truth

The truth always prevails and even more so in the face of those who try to obscure the lives of valiant men such as Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

I spent several days attentively following the National News Broadcast on television, because I was certain they had to say something, lies, as usual, but surely they could not  keep quiet considering the tremendous impact the death of this young fighter had caused around the world.  By various means, numerous Cubans already  had some knowledge that the manipulative Government commentary left a lot unsaid. The government has no respect for a mother’s pain.  And furthermore, they lie, for instance stating that, “He wanted a refrigerator and a telephone in his cell.” That was not true!  He was only asking to be treated with the same rights given to  Fidel Castro when he was imprisoned for assaulting the Moncada Barracks in his fight against the dictator Fulgencio Batista.

Anyone who, like me, can understand Zapata, will know that his thoughts, his conviction to fight for the freedom of all political prisoners, for true equality, for fairness and the basic rights that are violated, is what distinguished this young man with dark skin, with only a bible for a pillow, wearing a brilliant smile despite the lack of food that was supporting his demands.

Later, when he was already jailed, I supported his mother, Reina Tamayo Danger, with the spreading of some news, some aid that I could give her and the affection and recognition as a woman and a brave mother.

During the imprisonment of my husband Ricardo Santiago Medina Salabarria, I was able to greet him in Taco-Taco prison, and on each visit we shared our food with him, so that he would not eat the food of the penitentiary regime, the same attitude of my husband.

The indomitable posture of this man is now collected in the history of this nation. Choosing justice caused him to receive many blows. Zapata did not walk inside the prison. The military had to throw him on a cart so he  could go for his visits, all dressed in white as a sign of his protest, and in order that he would have as little contact as possible with other prisoners, all the activities of the jail were paralyzed. But the cries of acclamation heard through the bars could not be delayed, they appeared majestically with the greatest of his attributes, his Cubanness and his love of justice.

Orlando Zapata Tamayo, today you are free from all bonds, now your physical body, full of wounds and scars from the beatings it took, is resting in peace and you are moving into the Eternal Sunrise together with your indelible clamour for the  Freedom of your comrades in the political prison, and for the Cuban people.

And the sole truth is that they always lie.

Translated by Ricote

Published in: on March 5, 2010 at 5:41 am  Leave a Comment  

Breaking News

In the Provincial Prison of Pinar del Rio (Kilo 5 1/2), the police carried out a brutal beating of the political prisoner Julio Santos Hernandez, a native of the Los Palacios municipality, Pinar del Rio, who is now in critical condition, with cerebral necrosis as a consequence of the barbaric act.

Julio Santos Hernandez is 31 years old and finds himself adapted, according to Diosdado Gonzalez Marrero, political prisoner of conscience from the Cause of the 75.

We raise our voices from within the island to the High Commission on Human Rights, to the European Parliament, and to every democratic organization and government of the world so that they come together in solidarity to condemn such acts that occur just one week after the death of Prisoner of Conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo.

This information was received a few minutes ago via SMS from the Western province of Pinar Del Rio.

Translated by Raul G.

Published in: on March 5, 2010 at 1:11 am  Leave a Comment