Ladies in White

The Harvest of the Sowing of Violence / Cubanet, Rafael Alcides
Posted on May 16, 2015

Cubanet, Rafael Alcides, Havana, 13 May 2015 – Extremely worried,
doctoral candidate in physics Antonio Rodiles and his wife the actress
and political activist Ailer Gonzalez, in their home, related to me two
events that I have prayed over, that those events that started with the
blood of Moncada wouldn’t end up being a circular story. Ailer and
Antonio spoke of the increased police repression after December 17, most
particularly of the brutality with which the oppressors are being

On Sunday the 26th of last month, with their trucks crammed with martial
arts experts at the end of the usual parade of the Ladies in White,
Carlitos, the son of Jesus Menendez, an elderly diabetic with heart
problems, was grabbed, dragged and thrown in the back of the truck like
a sack of potatoes. Yury, Blas Roca’s grandson, was put in plastic
handcuffs so tightly that his hands turned black and they didn’t cut
them off. Up Calabazar, the truck with the prisoners inside was left in
the sun to bake them a little. They grabbed Antonio among the many
present and pushed him with blows to the back before throwing him
headfirst into the truck. An endless number of books could be written
about the mistreatment and repression of the Ladies in White, apparently
excluded from government’s media campaign to end violence against women.

There has been no lack of repression since 1959. Nor cruelty. In the
Canary Islands, during a tribute to the poet Manuel Díaz Martínez, Raúl
Rivero talked to me about a blind dissident attorney on the outskirts of
Ciego Avila who for a time took lottery bets from the area’s cops. They
detained him and when night came they left him in the boondocks. The cop
won a bet on what time the blind guy would be seen groping his way into
the village using a stalk of sugar cane or a bare branch.

Amazed at not having seen him for a long time, at the Cuban Writers and
Artists Union (UNEAC) I met the Galician Regueral, now in his 60s, a
Spanish journalist who has lived in Cuba since the 40s. “I was
imprisoned for a year in Villa Marista,” he told me. “Why?” “I asked
them that when they let me go. ‘Get out of here you Galician, go! Go!’
was the response. They never interrogated me.”

But it couldn’t be pinned on the political police. Kidnapped, homes
invaded at midnight and turned upside down, and struggling, taking down
the opponent by force, but it can’t be pinned on them. Or not exposed.
For this they use the supposed “outraged people,” a mob disguised by its
sheer numbers.

On the other hand, this is the least likely moment to make a show of
brutality. They’re expecting investors in the Port of Mariel project
(although those in the know say with so little bait they’re not going to
catch big fish) There are also the American government authorities
frequently visiting the Island, and behind them, or in front or them,
are those who come to check out the part where they would like to stay,
the government and entrepreneurs are expecting four million American
tourists who speak of the myth. And in September Pope Francis will come.
It is, I insist, the least likely moment to step up the heat.

After the first years of the Revolution, there were no more firecrackers
going off, no place for sabotage, or attacks or an uprising to happen.
Those methods of fighting, traditional on the Island in and those that
in the 26th of July Movement were considered excellent, disappeared. The
dissidence, in that regard, has been more peaceful than plaster saints.
But violence often engenders violence.

I remember a boy from those times of Aguirre Park who didn’t want to get
involved in anything. Seeing him appear, the group changed the subject.
“Hush,” they said. It scared him. “I’m getting cold,” he complained. One
night he came close to tears, but was determined. “Gentlemen, count me
in on whatever,” he said. A cop whose girlfriend he’d offended had
punched him. Then, from what I learned after 1959, he became the best at
planting bombs.

A man without a job in dangerous, but a man with a policeman’s hand over
him could be the beginning of civil war. I understand Army General Raul
Castro. If he allows the demonstrations of the Ladies in White, he would
have to allow others and all the rest, but if he doesn’t allow them, he
will have to continue to use brutality and then he has crossed the line
than can’t be crossed. He’s caught in a lose-lose situation. All that’s
left is to open the game. Inaugurate democracy. His time has run out.

Source: The Harvest of the Sowing of Violence / Cubanet, Rafael Alcides
| Translating Cuba –

Tags: , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Posts
We run various sites in defense of human rights and need support with paying for servers. Thank you.
  • An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.