Havana Cuba. — As fate would have it, on consecutive days of this month of May, we Cubans commemorate two events in our history, both relevant, but with diametrically opposite signs: On the 19th, the fall in 1895, in his only combat, of the greatest of our compatriots, Jose Marti (which the Castro propaganda, to avoid comparisons in which its adored “Commander in Chief” comes out badly, prefers to call “the most universal”). And on the 20th, the establishment of the Republic of Cubain 1902, as an internationally recognized independent state.
This last date was the most important of the national calendar; and to such a great extent, that the name of that day became, par excellence, synonymous with a famous event of great impact: “That was on May 20!”, it was said. This, of course, until “the Commander arrived and ordered them to stop.” As of 1959, the recognition of Cuban independence became a minor event, and the rise to power (January First) and the fratricidal massacre of July 26 were established as national holidays.
I have had to recall the consecutive anniversaries of May because, just a few hours ago, the first of the two served as the framework for a new act of repression directed against who is —no doubt about it— the most prominent opposition leader who is currently facing the streets to the Castro regime: the brave Santa Clara graduate Guillermo Fariñas Hernández, or simply “Coco” for his countrymen and friends.
But it is convenient that, before delving into this recent event, I allude to another that served as a kind of prologue. I am referring to the arrest and interrogation to which the sociologist and politician from Villa Clara was subjected a little over a week ago —on the 10th, to be precise—, as a result of arriving in Havana after several weeks traveling through Europe and USA.
On that date, when leaving the airport Jose Marti, Fariñas was taken to an “operational house” of the so-called “Department 21” (from “Confrontation to Enemy Subversive Activity”) located in the Siboney neighborhood. There he was “attended” by a colonel who said his name was “Arturo” and claimed to be the Executive Assistant to the Head of Counterintelligence of the MININT (Ministry of the Interior). As they explained to “Coco”, he escaped being interrogated by this last repressor due to the fact that the investigation into the explosion of the Hotel “Saratoga” was underway.
They told the opponent from Santa Clara that, on his trip, “unacceptable” events had occurred for the government in Havana. The first of these was the challenge posed by him (and also by Berta Soler, undisputed leader of the worthy Ladies in White) in the sense of giving up Sakharov Prize if the European Union (EU) did not position itself clearly against the Castro regime. According to his interrogators, this had led to “a very aggressive pronouncement towards the Cuban Revolution” by Joseph Borrell, in charge of EU Foreign Relations.
Second, they criticized him for having manipulated the Cuban-American senator “Bob” Menéndez so that he would use his known ascendancy over President Biden with a view to guaranteeing the non-invitation of Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua to the Summit of the Americas, scheduled to be held soon in the American city of Los Angeles.
As the last “sin”, they attributed to Fariñas having achieved the support of different generations of anti-Castro exiles. This included a group of prosperous Cuban-American businessmen between the ages of 40 and 50, previously uninterested in the island’s politics, but whom “El Coco” convinced to support the anti-Castro struggle within Cuba. To this was added the fact of having left all those mentioned working in an organized manner in various areas of the planet.
As “punishment” for all of the above, they told him, the regime had decided to adopt various measures. The first and most important of them would be to not allow him to leave the municipality of Santa Clara. This new arbitrariness —as he was told— would extend both to new hypothetical trips abroad and to visits to other areas of the Republic, including “the capital of all Cubans.”
I think that this interview deserves a comment: Although “Arturo” did not use as few words as this journalist, there is no doubt that what he said constitutes an acknowledgment —no matter how embarrassing— of the effectiveness of the often silent work, but almost always broad and effective, carried out by anti-Castro opponents (in this case, Mr. Fariñas Hernández).
To that repressive act of ten days ago is added the additional arrest that Fariñas has just suffered on Thursday. Her “crime” of him? Going to bring a wreath to the Apostle on the anniversary of his heroic immolation. I believe that the mere statement of this embarrassing reality is enough for any impartial observer to understand the extremes of the anti-Cuban essence of the Castro regime, which intends to deny those who oppose it even the right to honor the martyr of Dos Ríos.
This is how things go on this little island that was once “the Pearl of the Antilles”. The dictatorial regime, terrified by citizen discontent that is becoming deeper, more generalized and evident every day, sinks our country deeper and deeper into the current disaster, while insisting on the only thing it knows how to do with some efficiency: repress.
The opinions expressed in this article are the sole responsibility of the issuer and do not necessarily represent the opinion of CubaNet.
Receive information from CubaNet on your cell phone through WhatsApp. Send us a message with the word “CUBA” on the phone +1 (786) 316-2072, You can also subscribe to our electronic newsletter by giving click here.