How 17-year political prisoners resisted the persecution of communist Cuba

After 17 years of political persecution and imprisonment by the Cuban communist regime, and finally finding a haven in the United States, Jorge Luis Borges learned very much about what he learned and his life. I looked back on what helped me to resist the difficult times.

It was March 15, 1990. Lewis was 25 years old. He and many others were enthusiastic about the reforms and events in Eastern Europe at the time that suggested the collapse of communism, such as the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the imminent complete collapse of the Soviet Union.

That day, Lewis recalled that he was in a public place where a broadcast was underway showing that Cuban dictator Raul Castro was addressing the next fourth convention of the Communist Party of Cuba.

“I had the opportunity to openly declare myself as a political opponent,” Lewis told The Epoch Times “Crossroad” program in Spanish.

Since Fidel Castro came to power in Cuba in 1959, citizens have been systematically denied basic freedoms of speech, association and assembly, movement, due process and privacy. By 1990 Nothing has changed— Repressed civil and political rights were still imaginative.

“At that time, there were no opposition activists, no human rights groups, no independent journalists, so it was a real rebellion of the administration,” Lewis explained. “And there I started shouting slogans for change, for democracy, and for respect for human rights. I was brutally beaten and charged with” verbal enemy propaganda “and imprisoned. I was sentenced to imprisonment. “

He said the “verbal enemy propaganda” was the criminal accusation and legal expertise used to sentence those who expressed opposition to the Castro administration in writing or verbally.

Imprisoned for criticism

The 17 years that followed for Lewis were characterized by immense suffering. He was sentenced many times and served in more than 10 prisons throughout Cuba.

“During those years, I suffered from torture, beatings, and a lot of ill-treatment,” Lewis recalled. “I still have scars and traces of this torture on my body where the dog bit me.”

“Cuban prisons are laboratories of torture and death. Political prisoners must endure the most sophisticated mechanisms of torture and harassment. There are beatings, you are denied treatment, and hunger and illness. there is.”

He states: “We were exposed to terrible atrocities by the dictatorship. I was a victim and a witness to the most horrific acts. I literally saw guards breaking the prisoner’s head. “

“I’ve never had food before I went to jail. I’ve never been beaten before I went to jail. I’ve never been on a hunger strike. I’ve been thrown down the stairs. I didn’t expect to be tied to bed for days and they didn’t expect to rob me of drinking water, or they would put on their boots and jump over my head I wonder. “

There was also emotional suffering. “It was very hard to see the days go by, 17 years, the end of 17 years, 17 Mother’s Day, 17 Christmas, etc. And I lose my loved one I could never see again That’s what he said.

Dignity, determination

Despite the difficulties, Lewis described his experience as “the most prosperous and most fruitful.”

“If I were born again, I wouldn’t hesitate to follow the same path that I had reached the 17-year prison,” he added. Its. “

Sometimes Lewis didn’t know how he made it. “In many cases I thought I would die in jail, but I thought there were far more important principles and goals than I did, and I think it was worth it.”

He felt that the resistance of him and other prisoners played a role in “paving the way for freedom” by exposing the cruel situation carried out by the Cuban Communist regime.

“When I first became a prisoner, the world was virtually unheard of, many mainstream media were silent, and many foreign ministry ignored the situation in Cuba,” Lewis said. “The satisfaction I have now is what the people in front of me and others are doing now, thanks to the efforts we have made. The world is now in this difficult situation, a political prisoner in Cuba. Know how they are and about these malice and torture. Brave men and women submit. “

“We keep our faith and beliefs, [the] I believed that the ideal stability we were fighting was worth the sacrifice and people would appreciate that freedom, “he said.

Lewis described the prison as both a civilian battlefield and a school. “A school where I learned to understand humanity and the value of friendship and loyalty,” he recalled. He met and learned from political prisoners who were motivated and did not give up on their principles.

In his own experience, he said he learned to overcome fear. “I learned that the pain of torture is not the end of everything,” he said.

“There is currently no word to explain why I endured, but I believe it is attributed to two words: dignity and righteousness,” Lewis recalled. “I think it’s the best way to defeat your enemies, wickedness, and hatred. It’s just belief and determination.”

“The enemy hates you and looks down on you,” he continued. “Despite his enthusiasm, he always thought he needed to know that you were right and dignified.” … I haven’t achieved the goals I fought yet. , At least I’m happy they couldn’t beat me. “

Like others who have experienced life under communist Cuba, he may be attracted to the ideals of socialism and communism, what communist countries like Cuba and Venezuela do to Americans. Warned to learn about what they experienced.

“Communism has a clear definition. As writer Eudocio Ravines defined,” communism is a fraud, “Lewis quoted Peruvian journalists and politicians. “But it’s more than fraud, lies, deception, mobs. It’s manipulation, monopoly, and complete control over people’s lives.”

He urged Americans to defend their freedom while they still had a chance.

“To the American people, the young Americans, I say, defend democracy and protect your freedom, because when they are at stake, it will take years to recover them. “

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