Act of Repudiation
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    Cuba: Reason vs. Barbarism

    Cuba: Reason vs. Barbarism
    de Jorge Olivera Castillo Sindical Press
    Mari, 6 april 2010, 15:12

    The Cuban government has shown its true face to the world. However, what
    could be plainly seen was not an of goodness or sound
    judgment – what explanation could there be for a crowd attacking with
    impunity three or four dozen women dressed in white?

    I wonder what category of barbarism could be assigned to such crowds
    consisting of people blinded by hate and other dispositions springing
    from the darker side of the soul.

    These days, the dictatorship has put its machinery of terror into full
    operation. By exercising acts of meanness and abuse it is striving to
    put an end to the Ladies in White () movement. The
    expressions of the government’s anger range from smear campaigns and
    gross misrepresentations of the truth to indiscriminate use of brute force.

    Verbal harassment in form of unutterable obscenities and shameful
    allusions is no longer enough: crowds of people assembled with the aim
    to intimidate and offend have recently started to punch, push and kick.

    Thus they act without a slightest trace of humanity, resembling wild
    beasts in the full of their wild instincts. They scream, pounce and
    jump, enjoying the opportunity to abuse their victims. There’s no room
    for sensitivity during these “acts of repudiation”, which could be also
    seen as a rehearsal for lynching.

    On Wednesday March 17, such cruelty materialized at the exit of the
    Church of Santa Barbara in the Havana municipality of Arroyo Naranjo.

    A peaceful march of about 40 women members of the Ladies in White
    citizen organization was severely attacked by Interior Ministry troops
    and vigilante groups.

    All the women were beaten and dragged into a . Several were in need
    of medical attention, including Laura Pollan and ,
    mother of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, who recently
    died in a prolonged hunger strike. She participated in the march in
    protest against the inhuman treatment that her son had regularly
    suffered from the hands of his jailers.

    In a series of 7 marches taking place between March 15 and 21 in
    commemoration of the 7 years of imprisonment of members of the famous
    Group of 75, the Ladies in White have endured such degree of
    victimization by perpetrators protected by a high level of impunity as
    well as by creatures fully prepared to use all their wickedness, that we
    are compelled to think about a bloody outcome.

    On Thursday 18, on their way back to the Church of Our Lady of Mercy in
    the municipality of Old Havana, the Ladies in White were once and again
    harassed by a mob composed of about 300 people.

    This time, the crowd shouting pro-government slogans only jeered at them
    and jostled them.

    Nevertheless, the demands of of the approximately 50 women
    marching in two parallel rows down the middle of the street could be
    heard in spite of the thunderous clamour of the mob.

    The Ladies in White insist that they will not cease their efforts; that
    they will continue to demand the unconditional release of their relatives.

    Fighting for their cause, they are not afraid to die or go to jail.
    Against such determination – a proof of their moral height – their
    executioners and their assistants are as small as Lilliputians.

    Their honesty shines between the shadows of the regime that has lost
    both the sense of decency and the map of virtue.

    They are not daunted by infinite abuse. They go straight ahead in
    silence, holding high their gladioli. I could see them on that Thursday,
    March 18, amid the crowd of crooks.
    Despite death threats, obscenities and all the shamelessness displayed
    by the large crowd that surrounded them there was no trace of fear in
    their faces.

    Once again I realized that their courage is genuine, it’s not blotted or
    Their convictions are like steps on the staircase leading to the door of

    About the author: Cuban poet and Jorge Olivera was sentenced
    to 18 years in for giving the true information about the real
    Cuba. He was arrested together with other 28 independent journalists
    during the so called Cuban Black Spring in 2003, when there was a
    crackdown on the Cuban opposition. He was sentenced in 24 hours without
    the possibility to talk to his defender. In December 2004 he was
    released on medical parole – he almost lost his sight and his
    conditions were rapidly worsening. Now, Jorge Olivera Castillo is a head
    of unofficial PEN Club Cuba.

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