Former Cuban politicians Ángel Francisco de Fana and Luis Zúñiga warned this Monday that the repression of the
“There will be repression (…) it will be much more intense,” said De Fana, who focused on the fact that, in contrast to the July 11 demonstration, which “surprised” the authorities, they were once “ready” are. “
In an interview with Europa Press, Zúñiga said that the Cuban authorities had “shown paramilitary groups” armed with “wooden clubs” on television, “saying that we will beat those who come out to protest on November 15th” . In addition, according to the Political Express, they have also “warned those who dare to peacefully express their views with sentences of 10 or 15 years’ imprisonment.”
With this in mind, he warned that the Cuban executive “will prevent journalists from entering, they may militarize the streets, they will cut off Internet services”. “All of this is to be expected because this was the dictatorship’s usual behavior against its people,” he added.
The July demonstrations in Cuba brought together thousands of people protesting against the lack of medicine, food and for freedoms. Recent data from the Cuban Observatory for Human Rights (OCDH) shows that at least 579 repressive actions took place in Cuba in October, of which 80 were arbitrary arrests. The most common attacks against activists, independent journalists and artists include house sieges, police summons, harassment and threats.
Both agree on the power of Cuban youth to oppose the government of Miguel Díaz-Canel, some young people who want “freedom”, “live in democracy” and “live with the opportunity to work and live thanks to their work.” to be successful, “in De Fana, who stressed that” the leadership of the opposition in Cuba is within the island, not Miami or Spain. “
De Fana could not, however, specify whether the 15th end of the tyranny. “
In his opinion, the leadership of the regime he accuses of “being involved in drug trafficking, abuse and attempts to build the power of the left in the world” is “discredited”. “The President-elect (Díaz-Canel) has no authority, he is a puppet of Raúl Castro and the rest of the Communist Party Central Committee,” he added.
Both look to the future of Cuba with “hope” and have recognized that the protests of July 11th brought the situation of the island back into the public eye. “The attention to the Cuban question has given rise to a certain rebirth,” admitted De Fana, emphasizing that the attention “encourages” her. For his part, Zúñiga believes it is “healthy” and “fair” that the international community “shows a little solidarity with the young Cubans who take this risk out on the streets out of love for freedom”.
De Fana and Zúñiga are in Spain to present the film ‘Plantados’, a story about prisoners imprisoned at the beginning of the dictatorship of Fidel Castro, directed by Lilo Vilaplana. They refused to undergo a re-education plan in exchange for lowering their sentences, for which they were harassed and tortured.
The first of them was sentenced to 20 years in prison in September 1962. He was released in 1983, seven months after serving his sentence, as was the case with those who refused to work and wear the uniform of ordinary inmates. He traveled to Venezuela and seven months later to Miami.
Zúñiga was arrested in 1969. He fled in 1973 and escaped from Cuba by crossing the minefields around the US naval base at Guantánamo. In 1974 the boat’s engine broke during an infiltration from Miami to Cuba. He was arrested again and sentenced to another 25 years in prison. He was released in November 1988 thanks to the efforts of the New York Cardinal.
De Fana told Europa Press that he “cried” with the film. For his part, Zúñiga has recognized the importance of the feature film for its “historical value” so that stories like this “never repeat themselves”. “Unfortunately, there is a real danger that communist regimes will come to power and establish dictatorships, and that is the result of a communist dictatorship,” he complained. The promises in these processes are “a lie”.
“What they want is to hold on to power, and when the ruled try to change, reform, humanize you, they beat you, arrest you, put you in jail,” he continued. “‘Planted’ is what happens in the political prisons of communist regimes,” he summarized.
The former politicians have reported that their detention conditions were “appalling”, including a hunger strike. “We had to go on hunger strike to the death so that the tyranny would understand that at that time it was not convenient for political prisoners to die on hunger strike because many died,” said De Fana, emphasizing that the mission of the “Planted” was “to remain firm, to withstand all attempts at harassment”. “If they did it to us, we knew that they were committing crimes against the entire Cuban people,” he said.
“(In Cuba) It’s not like any country in the world where a political prisoner is jailed and already isolated from society. No. Communist regimes, since you’ve had the boldness to face yourself, you have to destroy yourself. ” added Zúñiga, who stated that the aim of the re-education plans was firstly for the prisoner to recognize his mistake in confronting the regime and, secondly, to humiliate him by wearing the uniform of an ordinary prisoner.
Life in a Cuban prison was based on “poor nutrition, lack of adequate medical care, locked up in walled cells where the sun cannot penetrate,” said De Fana, who is also fearful of “constant beatings, forced labor, and staying with the people “to be murdered” and tiny cells in which one had to take turns sleeping.
For his part, Zúñiga has pointed out that “there are still closed cells” and has also alluded to “electronic noise” to drive the prisoners “insane”. “Many have died,” De Fana concludes.