Dec 10, 2007

Human Rights Day in Northern Colorado

It's 11:15 a.m. in colorful Colorado, and since 9 a.m. Mountain Time I've been praying for the fate of those Cubans facing the monster of Castro's repression.

Over here, Cubans in the Rockies are having some sort of mixed feeling.

We are just too far from Los Angeles, New York, Miami, Madrid, Sevilla, Puerto Rico and Venezuela, where fellow Cubans and others have organized pacific demonstrations in solidarity with Dr. Darsi Ferrer's call to end the Cuban apartheid.

Haven't got any news from the demonstration in Calzada, just what happened yesterday while the Ladies in White did a demonstration in front of the Asamblea Nacional.
(English version here; see more photos here).

Everytime I visualize a thug from the CDR, las Brigadas de Respuesta Rápida and the rest, I can feel the beating in my own body.

However, over here, no nos quedamos con los brazos cruzados.
On Friday, I sent a Letter to the Editor of The Greeley Tribune. They've told me Monday's page was full, but they published on Saturday.

For some reason that I don't know, the letter it's not available in the Opinion window of the paper's website yet. But here, I have the original draft:

“Let’s send a prayer to the Caribbean’s gulag”

On Monday, while reading this paper and sipping a coffee to kick off the morning, some of us will be giving thanks to God for living in a country where our human rights ought to be respected, and where we have the choice to fight for them.

Monday is Human Rights Day, and at the same pace that your coffee is getting down in your mug, fighters for human rights will be beaten and dragged through the streets of Cuba.

On Monday they are supposed to be doing a peaceful and silent walk around a park in the Vedado neighborhood, in Havana. Besides honoring human’s rights, they will be calling for an end to the Cuban apartheid.

One of the organizers, Dr. Darsi Ferrer, is the Cuban doctor who managed to film and send out of the island the unauthorized footage of the hospitals for Cubans in the so-called “health care paradise.”

Well, there are not many Cubans in northern Colorado, one could say, But here is where the tradition of solidarity always kicks in for the American people.

Only by spreading the word about Monday’s demonstration in Havana will the rest of the world be able to do something to protect the lives of these men and women in Cuba who have been receiving death threats from the state security forces, and whose only sin is daring to ask for democracy.

Reports from independent journalists (mostly published on the Internet) said the Cuban repression forces have gone into panic mode, desecrating churches, kicking students off the universities and performing “preventive arrests” to block the demonstration.

In the distance, the only thing they are asking form us is our solidarity, our support and spreading the word. You won’t find much about it in the mainstream media; I guess this not the apartheid of South Africa, is it?

But Cubans around the world — through blogs and organizations such are Bloggers United for Cuban Liberty (BUCL), Plantados, Cuba Democracia !Ya!, Babalublog, The Real Cuba and many others — are spreading the word through the Internet. Peaceful demonstrations have been organized in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Madrid, Sevilla and Puerto Rico. Another one is being called in Venezuela, in front of the Cuban embassy.

For those of us who are too far from those demonstrations, praying and speaking out is the only choice.

Wearing the cambio (“change”) white bracelets, the same ones that lead to the arrest of several Cuban students when they wore them in public to protest against the masquerade of elections.

Thinking of those who dared to wear the sticker “I don’t cooperate with the dictatorship,” of the university students who collected signatures to propose the university’s autonomy, and of the political prisoners who are dying in Castro’s gulag.

To them, my prayers will go out this Monday.
To them, my hat goes off.
Every. Single. Day.

Same letter was sent to The Denver Post, The Rocky Mountain News, The Fort Collins Coloradoan, The Windsor Tribune and Fort Collins Now. Only this morning The Denver Post got back to me. Still don't know if they finally will publish it but, no hay peor gestión que la no se hace.

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