EspañolOn July 26, 1953, Fidel Castro attacked the Moncada barracks with the intention of overthrowing one dictatorship to replace it with another, his own. The streets of Cuba were cleared of dissidents, because in Cuba there is only room for those who support the regime. And though this proves true throughout the island, it was especially true in Pinar del Rio when Raúl Castro paid a visit there during an anniversary celebration late last month.
Apparently, Castro has no intention of cleaning up his image before “delegating” the presidency to someone else. This is a very intelligent and coherent approach, because he knows well that his skin, his soul and his imprint on history is marked with indelible evidence of crimes and injustices committed against his people. In general the president knows very well that neither the people of Cuba nor history will absolve him or Fidel Castro of what they have done.
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An example of this was the huge operation that took place recently in the province of Pinar del Río, where human rights defender Omar Flores Campos was arrested, mistreated and assaulted at his residence.
It turns out that on July 24, Flores Campos, along with other defenders of freedom, exercising their legitimate right to freedom of expression, distributed banners and bulletins among the people of Pinar del Rio that urged them to advocate for a government that respects their freedom and dignity. This occurred amid discussions about the state-controlled media, which glorifies the country’s undemocratic electoral system.
Unfortunately, his civic act coincided with a presidential visit to the province of Pinar del Río by the Cuban dictator, who was celebrating the bloody July 26 anniversary. These demonstrations were reason enough for the illegitimate president to demand a huge operation, carried out by state security agents, to repress all protests — but Omar Flores Campos happened to be there too. He was arrested and taken to a prison in Pinar del Río.
As I said before, Omar was mistreated, threatened and nearly blamed for a store fire that took place days earlier in the province that would have led to accusations of terrorism. Details can be found in the audio, in Spanish, below. Despite everything that happened, Campos said nothing will make him abandon the struggle for peace.
The incoherence and irony of Castro’s way of thinking reminds me of the words of his brother, the fomer Cuban dictator Major Commander Fidel Castro Ruz to an NBC reporter in 1988: “The whole world has been stricter in respecting human rights than our country.”
Raul Castro is going to end his tenure like the tyrant and dictator that he is, despite knowing that more Cubans are aware of his plans all the time, and that, like Omar, they are willing to offer their lives for the freedom of Cuba.