|QUESTIONS ON CUBA
By Ernesto Cardenal
Who can deny that there are a great number of prisoners in Cuba
suffering the most severe jail condition existing in today's world? For
them there is neither day nor night because they are blindfolded and in
complete darkness. Their ears are also plugged and they remain in
complete silence. They are deprived of all tactile sensations because
their hands are covered with a kind of gloves. There are hundreds of
prisoners whose names have not been published and nobody knows what they
are accused of. They have not been put on trial much less sentenced.
Furthermore, they have no attorney and are serving limitless terms.
These are prisoners in Cuba who are not in jail because of Fidel Castro
but are instead prisoners of President Bush in Guantanamo (US Naval
Base). They are in individual cells and dressed with red suits that we
have all seen, but we know no more about them. Since they are Bush's
prisoners and not Fidel Castro's, the US press says nothing about them.
And I ask if the European Union has protested on behalf of these people
imprisoned in Cuba. Has the European Union demanded the US release them,
as it has demanded Cuba immediately release 75 prisoners?
Another question I ask is if Terrorism is protected in Cuba and I answer
it saying by all means. Terrorism is protected in Cuba by President Bush
through the Cuban Adjustment Act that it is not Cuban but North American
and is only implemented on Cuba and not any other country. According to
the law, those who arrive to the US after having hijacked a Cuban plane
or ship are immediately given the right to residency and receive
immediate employment. The Cuban people do not receive visas to enter the
US normally but if they do it illegally they are awarded a prize.
Doesn't this promote terrorism in Cuba? However, Bush and not Fidel is
the one to promote it. Those who reach the US to live from any part of
the world are called immigrants, but those who come from Cuba are called
exiles. There are no Cuban immigrants in the United States. If they are
from somewhere else they would be immigrants but all Cubans in the
United States are exiles.
A common practice of the US is to falsify the language. Fabricate words,
changing one name for another. It is in fact to lie openly. For example,
instead of using the word conquer they use the word to liberate. Now
they have invented a new word used in relation to Cuba, the word
"dissident." The real sense of this word is to disagree, to think
differently. But the word is used for those involved in conspiracies,
which promote subversion and try to overthrow the Cuban regime. "To
promote transition" is another way to say it. I ask: Who protests when
in another country (not Cuba) those who want to overthrow the regime are
put in prison?
A short time ago, I read in the newspaper that six people were condemned
to death in Guatemala and it was a very small 6 column inch article and
after that news appeared there was no protest in that newspaper nor in
any other. My other question is the following: To what extent is the
opposition to the death penalty sincere if six people were shot by
firing squad in Guatemala and nobody says anything, but if three people
are shot in Cuba, there is a worldwide scandal of incredible
proportions? Maybe the world press is not mobilized against the death
penalty but against Cuba and Fidel Castro? And what about the
intellectuals who should be aware, don't they realize it?
According to the 2002 Amnesty International report, death sentences last
year totaled 1,560 worldwide. None of them was in Cuba. How many
protests took place because of those 1,560 executions? Now that there
were three in Cuba there was an avalanche of protest. Haven't those
intellectuals realized they were used by the anti-Cuban campaign? The
three executions in Cuba and the arrest of 75 persons happened in
special circumstances and honest people could not ignore them. We are
talking about a country on full alert and facing the danger of being
invaded. At the moment in which the US was carrying out the war in Iraq,
the Bush government declared that Cuba is on the list of military
objectives for possible invasion and mass destruction. Meanwhile, the
anti-Castro Cubans in the United States launched the slogan "Iraq today,
Cuba Tomorrow." Those accusing Cuba of human rights violations were the
ones committing in Iraq the greatest violation of human rights that the
world has seen since the times of Hitler. And those who condemned Cuba
for shooting three people by firing squad were destroying Baghdad in a
way that had not occurred since the thirteenth century when the Mongols
invaded. Besides, they also declared that they were willing to do the
same in other countries including Cuba. My questions are merely those of
a newspaper reader.
(Taken from El Nuevo Diario newspaper, Nicaragua)