“A mi hijo no me lo quitarán”: padre cubano contra el servicio militar

“They will not take my son away from me”: Cuban father against military service

CDMX, Mexico.- The Cuban father Leo P. Garcés denounced on social networks who opposes his son being drafted for military service and putting him in danger. The publication was shared after they went to her house to enroll him in the army.

Garcés, who is an opponent of the Cuban dictatorship, warned that he will not remain calm seeing how they take him by force.

“I will only say that, if to defend my rights, I have left my fate in the hands of God and I have assumed the risks without worrying about my life, how much more do you think I would do for my son?” warned the Holguín resident.

According to the national defense law, in Decree-Law 224, male citizens between the ages of seventeen and twenty-eight must complete Active Military Service for a period of two years. In the case of those who reached university places, this period is reduced by half, but it is still forced.


In his publication, Leo tells that he has raised his son teaching him to be free and to think for himself, beyond the propaganda of the educational system and society in general.

“I have never wanted my son to be like a zombie, who does not live, does not think, does not speak, does not question, does not dream; just as I see what every young person becomes, whom this society absorbs with that imposed criminal ideology”.

“The dictatorship has taken many things from me, but my son will not be taken from me. They will not use it like the poor inexperienced boys that they sacrificed in the Matanzas fire ”, he concluded. Garces refers to recruits who died in August at the supertanker base, where they were sent to put out an unprecedented fire.

Military service has been compulsory in Cuba since June 1963, as a response, according to the government, to a possible US invasion that has never occurred.

Instead, what does happen every year is that thousands of young people, some minors, leave their homes for military or work units that operate despotic and imposing command structures. In these spaces the boys are not only exposed to degrading treatment that can affect them irreversibly, but also lead to fatal outcomes

Due to the lack of transparency on the subject and the absence of systematized information, CubaNet has built a database where we record the deaths of young people while they were fulfilling Active Military Service. You can consult it in this link.

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