Remembering Boitel on the 49th anniversary of his departure

Remembering Boitel

Remembering Boitel on the 49th anniversary of his departure. In tribute to Pedro Luis Boitel on a new anniversary of the death in prison of the leader and anti-Castro fighter who preferred to die free than to live as a slave of a tyrant. A crime of Castroism that will not go unpunished. His sacrifice and his example are an incentive not to give up the struggle and to nail to the public pillory the traitors and merchants who want to make a pact with tyranny by stepping over the pools of blood of our dead brothers. 

We present the video in "Homage to Pedro Luis Boitel" (Video Source "Me es muy difícil perdonar" - Mother of Pedro Luis Boitel by Karel Becerra) and an article by Martha Pardiño published in Nuevo Acción with Fragments from the diary of a fellow prisoner of the martyr Pedro Luis Boitel

EDITION DEDICATED TO THE MEMORY OF PEDRO LUIS BOITEL
Posted on May 25, 2007 by Nuevo Accion
Today, on the anniversary of the death in prison of student leader Pedro Luis Boitel, Nuevo Accion pays tribute to his memory and respect for his imperishable memory, hoping that one day justice and freedom will reign in our homeland, for which that skinny man with the courage to give, dreamed and dedicated his life.

A crime of Castroism that will not go unpunished. His sacrifice and his example are an incentive not to give up the struggle and to nail to the public pillory those traitors and merchants who want to make a pact with tyranny by stepping over the pools of blood of our dead brothers.

PEDRO LUIS BOITEL 1931-1972

By Martha Pardiño

On May 25, 1972, after 53 days on hunger strike, Pedro Luis Boitel surrendered his soul to the Creator.  That young man full of ideals, catholic, clinging to his values as a Cuban who honored his homeland, who died while imprisoned in the jails of the tyrant who suffocates our homeland.

His inseparable companion, Cautivo, who took care of him throughout his agony and who was with him until the last moment, wrote a diary in which he recounts everything that happened in those sad 53 days, from the beginning of the hunger strike on April 2, until May 25 when Boitel died.

This diary is shocking as it recounts the days of prayers, sufferings and conversations with his friend.  He tells that one day, seeing Pedro Luis so skinny and impoverished that he could hardly speak, Cautivo, in a fit of despair, told him: "Don't go on with this strike; don't you realize that they want to kill you?", to which Pedro Luis, drawing strength from his soul and almost out of breath, answered: "They can kill my body, but not my spirit!

That is why on this day that marks one more year of your death, I want to tell you on behalf of all the worthy Cubans who love Cuba, that we will never forget you Pedro Luis; we will never forget your struggle as an upright man full of ideals; we will never forget your young life immolated for the sake of the freedom of your homeland. Young martyr that the homeland mourns.

Just as we will never forget your mother, that white-haired woman who, with her eyes full of tears, when she came face to face with those guilty of the death of her son, shouted murderers at them.

May Pedro Luis Boitel rest in peace, he already has a place next to the Father in the heavenly homeland.

Fragments from the diary of a fellow prisoner of the martyr Pedro Luis Boitel.

DAY 51

Monday, May 22, 1972 - He spent the whole morning sleeping or rather in a semi-conscious state. At about 10 a.m. several flies persisted in landing on his lips and open mouth. I set about the task of killing them. I kept on throwing fresh air at him for a long time. Then I was replaced by Miguel and Jorgito. It is 11:25 A.M. The colleagues are a bit agitated about what is going on. Some think we should call, others that it will be worse, others that he doesn't want to. Nobody gives a solution, because there really isn't one, and if there is one I don't know what it is.

4:10 P.M. He woke up moving slowly. He opened his mouth as if to speak, I put my ear to his lips, he said nothing. His breathing was slow. I put the small pitcher in his mouth and pushed some water into his mouth. He rinsed his mouth because he threw it away. He didn't drink yesterday and didn't pee all day. He didn't do it today either. I turned him, grabbed the can, lifted the sheet and put him to urinate, but nothing. His left eye patch fell off. He looked at me with straying eyes, until at last he fixed me with his gaze. It was a plea. His sick eye, it seemed, was no longer irritated. I interpreted his plea as a cigarette. I lit it and put it in his mouth. He sucked in the smoke slightly. He took three or four puffs, and then he waved it away. I put it out.

He fell asleep again but first, I put another patch back on.

10:25 PM. We took turns with Jorgito, Miguel and I to give him fresh water. I tried to give him water, I didn't see him swallow, but it's possible that something got into him. He can't hold the water in his mouth and vomits it up. His breathing is very slow. I think it's all over at any moment. My God, this has to be a nightmare. It can't be true, how is it possible that a human being can live so long without food!

Today he has been on strike for 51 days. Tomorrow he begins his 52nd; I see him in a very bad way.

DAY 52

Tuesday, May 23, 1972 - 5:30 A. M. I didn't sleep thinking that some saving idea would come up. I can't think of anything. The situation is difficult and distressing. He is dying and something must be done for him. I make a decision. The communists are not going to come, they are going to let him die here in our hands. And they are Pedro's murderers. They are letting a comrade die claiming his rights. They don't want to give him medical assistance so he can die. This is how they kill Pedro Luis. A fighter who is in their way, who overshadows them. They can very well give him medical assistance, even if they do not resolve his requests; but they can give him assistance so that he does not die. They can feed him through a tube, they can feed him through a hose, as they have done before. But now they do not want to do it because they know that Pedro Luis is a man who does not know how to retreat, and precisely because they know it, they want to kill him. Murderers!

10:20 A.M. I just spoke with the colleague who is in charge of the galley as the person responsible for it. I explained to him to communicate to Valdés, even though Pedro did not want to. Under my responsibility, that there is a comatose colleague here and that it is their obligation to assist him. That whatever happened was the total and absolute responsibility of Valdés and the leaders of the Ministry. Sergio del Valle, O'Farrill and others. I consulted with Jorgito and Miguel, they agreed with my decision. These two companions were appointed with me by Pedro to help him in his needs). The galley leader immediately called the galley mates together and explained what we had said. At the end of the meeting, the sergeant who was on post was called immediately and told that it was extremely urgent that Valdes be present as soon as possible. A few minutes later the post announced that he would be here within the hour. When the sergeant went in to open the yard gate at 11:55 A.M., he came to the bed of the patient. M. he came to Pedro's bed. When he saw this, he opened his eyes in fright and stepped backwards. He quickly headed for the exit. Pedro's head is thrown back and his mouth is open. Besides, it's a skeleton and not a body in his bed... He hasn't woken up yet, he woke up twice in the early morning but fell asleep right away. At about two o'clock he started moaning. It wasn't a moan of pain or suffering. It was like the whimpering of a child. It was more like pretending to talk. It wasn't. It was spaced out and not continuous. It was spaced out and not continuous.

12:10 P.M. A Sergeant, Valdes' second in command, just came in, approached Pedro's bed, looked at him, saw him breathing. He asked the Chief of the galley; why is Boitel's eye covered? The Chief of the galley told him that he did not know. He asked him, why had they sent for him? He told him that he needed to talk to Valdes as soon as possible. He left. Pedro is still in a very bad way.

12:40 P.M. Valdes and the sergeant came. They asked the galley chief. He told him in front of Miguel, Jorgito, other comrades and me, the conditions Pedro was in, that he was dying and that whatever happened to Boitel was their responsibility. I told him that he did not have 48 hours to live. Valdes approached Boitel's bed, he saw him. At his request, I lifted the sheet, when he saw that, his eyes opened and he pouted with his mouth. He called out to him, Pedro... Pedro... But Pedro did not answer. His face was serene and his eye was closed, although his hands were moving. I lifted the sheet again and he said, "Stop it, stop it, I saw him." He left the side of the bed and stood by the exit door and said, "Indeed, he is very serious. I have seen him. I will report that it is very bad. That he is in a serious condition, you can see it with the naked eye. Now, we are tired of Pedo Luis Boitel and his strikes... We are not going to give him what he is asking for. If it were up to me, he would die right there. But as I do not decide in this matter and this is a case from "above", I will inform the Minister and I will explain to him the conditions in which he is and let him decide. But take the impression that he is going to get screwed... Valdés told the Chief of the galley. Having said this, he left.

It seems that Pedro's death sentence has already been signed. His fate had long since been decided by the "Ministry."

4:25 P.M. There is a deep silence in the galley. Our food has arrived. I'm not in the mood to eat, haven't eaten in practically 4 or 5 days. It doesn't happen to me. He keeps getting fresh. He still does not move, breathing is slow. The flies insist again. He has wiped twice around his bed.

4:45 PM. Pedro is complaining. I called him, he didn't answer. I called him again. I yelled at him, he finally opened his eye. He looks at me. I tell him: Don't you know me... I am Captive... He shakes his head back and forth. I insist. "Pedro... Boitel... listen to me, you have to drink water and urinate... do you hear me? He makes a supreme effort to speak, the only thing that comes out is a guttural sound. Nothing can be understood. His breathing becomes rapid, he opens his eye and closes it again. I put him to urinate. Nothing comes out. He hasn't had any water or urine for two days. Miguel and Jorgito continue to give him fresh water.

5:10 P.M. He fell asleep again. He is already in coma sleep. Covered his legs with the sheet, and I put his head on the pillow.

11:20 P.M. He has been moaning for ten minutes. I can't explain what the moaning sounds like, it's more like a sigh, yes that's it; a loud sigh. He has not lost consciousness and although he cannot speak, it is possible that he hears everything we talk about. What I point out to him he tries to do. These people have not answered anything. What are they waiting for, damn them!... The news of his death. It is early in the morning, he keeps on moaning. Day 52 of the strike is over.

DAY 53

Wednesday, May 24, 1972 - 6:10 A.M. I haven't slept all morning; so have other comrades.

Groaned in unconsciousness all night. He has immense stamina; I never thought he would last so long a human being without feeding. Pedro is the skinniest of all and with stomach ailments left over from his previous strikes. What keeps him going is his spirit as always, even in his last moments, he is putting up a tremendous fight. His weapons: Morality, reason and justice. He is teaching us the ultimate behavior of an idealist in the face of death. Undoubtedly he is a giant.

8:25 A.M. His moaning has gradually faded. It is now imperceptible, but he is still moving. He has just woken up. Today is the third day without drinking water or urinating. This is the end.

9:10 A.M. In the galley there is a respectful silence. We are watching a fellow worker die. Perhaps the saddest "starvation" death, a slow death, of hours, days and months with full awareness of what is going on around him. I called Edgar to throw some fresh air on him, while I ran a cotton swab dipped in water over his dry lips. Feeling the moisture it was as if life was coming back to him. He calmed down. A minute later he brought his fingers laboriously to his mouth. She wanted me again to run the wet cotton across her lips. I do it. Her face reflects something I can't explain.

Now she brings her right hand to her thigh. She does this operation several times. She wants to tell me something with that, but I don't know what it is. He makes other signs but I don't understand them. I want to speak or say something by gestures. I call Alonso to see if he can understand something from the movements of his right hand. I put him to urinate. Nothing. It is hopeless. There are two colleagues fanning him. I take a good look at him. It's practically a corpse lying on the bed, a small lump full of bones.

Talking to two colleagues, I showed them what was left of Pedro, I lifted the sheet and they were astonished. One commented, "He's a wreck," his body totally consumed. He barely has any movement. He weighs about 78 pounds or so.

10:03 A.M. He woke up again. He moved his right hand but no longer has coordination. He brings his right hand to his eye and it goes to the top of his head, on a second attempt he touches his forehead and from there, feeling with his fingertips, he finally reaches his eye and opens it. He looked and closed it. It seemed that he wanted to see with anxiety everything that was happening around him as if he wanted to see as much as possible in his last glance. His mouth was open and upwards as if he wanted to catch the air that refused to enter his lungs. His breathing was slow, yearning and hoarse like that of the dying. He is agonizing with absolute awareness of his cruel situation and deep resignation of his death. He suffered quietly. I waited patiently...

I could not stand it any longer. I asked the Chief of the galley to call Valdes urgently, that he was being murdered! Immediately the Sergeant on post was asked to call Valdés, Pedro is dying.

1:15 P.M. Valdes arrived. It was explained to him that Pedro was dying and that they had to take him away. He was demanded. Valdes, without looking at Pedro, said that he already had the order to take him out.

At last! She was pleased, in half an hour the stretcher bearers would come for him. And he withdrew... There is hope, there is hope! some of us said.

4:40 P.M. They just took Pedro out. Three sergeants came with a stretcher. Between Miguel and myself we carried Pedro and placed him gently, with mattress and quilt on the stretcher. Alonso, moments before, had placed a medal of the Sacred Heart under his pillow.

His eye was closed, but still alive. He was breathing. As long as there is life there is hope. Besides, he could not die now. The companions stood to the sides in the corridor, they wanted to see him, to say goodbye in their own way. I put my hand on his head as an encouragement or a hope.

I felt an immense emptiness when he left, with him went something of mine. He told the sergeant that he had asked me - it was in previous days - to put on his shoes, his watch, his glasses and his cane. The watch is on his left wrist, the shoes, glasses and cane go on the stretcher. The sergeant asked me for the shoes and glasses to wear them himself. On his gaunt neck hung his gold chain with his medals, one of the Virgin, another of Saint Lazarus and a little sword. It was 1:40 in the afternoon of May 24. He completed his 53rd day of hunger strike. They took him out through the exit that leads to the street or to the entrance to the Pity Room of the Hospital here in Principe. I think he is going to the Military Hospital, where he spent almost three years the other time.

It's all over now. I feel a great emptiness inside me. Something of mine went with him. I am tired as hell. Fatigue invades my body and what I want is to rest. To close my eyes and when I open them I will know that Pedro is fine. I think there is nothing more to say. Time will tell the rest.

9:25 P.M. I thought this was over. I have been waiting to see if I would write or not. Then I meditated; I am writing again because it is related to Peter. About the time he was taken out, a Sergeant came and asked for his plate. I told him that I had kept it because it was not needed. Then he told me to give him another one or a vessel to take the food to him. That tells you only one thing. He is in the Pity ward of the Hospital here or elsewhere in the Prince. For what purpose? They will either go to give him assistance or leave him to die. All that remains is to wait and pray for his life.

Here is the signature of the prisoner who was with Pedro Luis Boitel until he was taken out of the cell.

ACCOUNT OF SOME PRISONERS WHO WITNESSED THE DEATH OF PEDRO LUIS BOITEL, IN THE "PITY FAJARDO" ROOM.

Pedro was brought in unconscious at 1:40 a.m. on May 24, he was almost cold and had been beaten, they did not give him medical assistance and he spent the whole night in the throes of agony. Every so often he was approached by a soldier; at about 3:00 a.m. a guard approached him and said: "Now! They kept him like this until 7:00 in the morning when Captain Lemus came in and gave the order to take him out.

There were other prisoners in the infirmary who witnessed this barbarism and said... They killed the untouchable, the reaction of all the prisons will be felt. What can we expect, in no way and under no circumstances will we allow the enemy to intimidate us, for every one who falls, 10 must rise up and inherit his spirit, death in our cases does not scare us, we face it every day, to die for what we call Homeland, any place is good.

"Pedro Luis Bitel, died beaten during a hunger strike at 53 days of age". For a newspaper headline it is priceless, for us, who saw him fading away little by little, like the candle of a cigarette, it seems to us a nightmare, he had perhaps the cruelest and most tormenting death that can exist, he was not given medical assistance!

We, the worthy Cubans, hold responsible: Fidel Castro, Raul Castro, Sergio del Valle, Minister of the Interior; Medardo Lemus, Chief of Jails and Prisons; Raul O'Farrill, Chief of National Reeducation; Valdes, Chief of Security of the Principe and Sanabria, Head of Section 6 of the Principe, for being the MURDERERS of Pedro Luis Boitel.

They have killed his body, his life that was so precious to us, but his spirit is immortal, it never buckles, during the 12 years of captivity and torture, and continues alive raising the flag of freedom and Cuban dignity.

On the 25th the security cars surround Clara Abraham's house, the anguished mother is detained and taken to the tragic G-2, and there, brutally, Lt. Abad tells her: "Pedro Luis Boitel is dead and buried, and don't scream, you are not in your house, you are detained in Security". He beat her three times, throwing her against a sofa. She is held there all day, and is told that she will not be able to return home.

When night falls, she is taken to the place where she lives, which is surrounded by State Security forces. Her telephone is cut off and she is completely cut off from communication. Members of the Defense Committee (neighborhood informers) come to her to tell her that she cannot scream; even crying for her son is denied!

But the news has already begun to leak out, and with the new day, relatives and friends begin to arrive at her house, still refusing to believe the horrible truth: "Pedro Luis Boitel is dead."

At approximately 4 o'clock in the afternoon of the 26th, the military again came to her house to inform her where he was buried, because... even that had been denied to her mother, to know where he was buried! She is authorized to go to the grave to her, to her mother, and when days later, on May 30, a group of friends and relatives accompany her to bring flowers, they are chased and surrounded in the cemetery by a mob of women and men ready to go as far as physical aggression, preventing them from saying a prayer.

Video Source "It is very difficult for me to forgive" - Mother of Pedro Luis Boitel. Karel Becerra. 

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