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Response to Castroism's reaction to the film Plantados

Response to Castroism's reaction to the film Plantados

Response to Castroism's reaction to the film Plantados. Only an ignorant person of the Cuban reality can deny the content of the film Plantados.

They have been so annoyed by the impact of the film and the fact that it is already being seen in Cuba, that they felt obliged to throw the usual mud at it.

On Thursday, March 18, the Castroist newspaper Granma published an article under the byline of Rolando Perez Betancourt, criticizing the film "Plantados" by director Lilo Vilaplana. The first indication of the displeasure (and evidently, the anger) of the Castro gerontocracy is the article itself. They have been so annoyed by the impact caused by the film and that, in addition, some are already watching it in Cuba, that they felt obliged to throw the usual mud at it. The dictatorship does not quite understand that the Cuban people know them very well and know that if the regime criticizes or attacks something, it is because that something is effective. That was Fidel Castro's tactic: he criticized, but did not allow the people to see or read the object of criticism. The old ostrich stupidity. But, this time they have not been able to hide the cause of their anger. 

No criminal likes to be reminded of the crime scene, much less shown the victims. In the courtrooms, criminals lower their heads and remain silent.

The second important indication is: Why have they used a "nobody" to write about the film and its content instead of one of the experts on the subject (and responsible) for a bloody and criminal history of the dictatorship? What does the author of the article know about Castro's political prisons? I assure you that he knows nothing. In mid 1987 the regime brought to the Combinado del Este Prison a couple of Portuguese journalists who wanted to interview several political prisoners. The purpose of the "interview" we learned later when they published a pack of lies that sought to wash the face of the dictatorship in Geneva where the regime had been condemned for violation of human rights.

Accompanying the journalists came a daughter of Rear Admiral Aldo Santamaría who identified herself as a psychologist. Very annoyed when I told the journalists that she had spent long years in walled cells, she dared to deny me and told the journalist that "those were the usual slanders we used to defame the Revolution". With great patience I called a lieutenant who was nearby and who had served for many years as a key-holder in the prisons and I asked him in front of her: "Lieutenant, have we been interned in walled cells, or not? The inevitable answer was: Yes, of course. I asked her again: How long have we been in them? Well, as far as I know for many years. The lieutenant said it with his head down, embarrassed before the strangers, and the young lady, who had been in a defiant attitude, shrank back so much that I thought she was going to fall out of her chair. She didn't say another word.

A second experience, worth mentioning in this context, occurred in 1988, prior to the visit of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights to Cuba. On that occasion, a delegation from Amnesty International visited the prison, but under the condition that they could not speak to any prisoner. Shortly before, we had been taken out of the walled cells of Boniatico in Santiago de Cuba and placed in a pavilion of the Combinado del Este that had been renovated, painted and the walled cells had been removed. A "showcase" prepared for this visit. Unfortunately for the regime, the common prisoners who used blowtorches to remove the iron plates from the doors forgot to remove them from a cell next to the staircase at the back of the building and we were able to show Amnesty Secretary General Ian Martin and the president, Marian Murshruns, a bricked up cell. When she entered the cell and noticed that her hands were not visible, Ms. Murshruns began to cry and repeat incessantly: I cannot believe it. A year later, upon my release from prison, I learned that Amnesty never mentioned the walled cells in its report on the Cuba visit. That is how hypocritical and lying many have been to the Cuban cause.

In February 1989 I had the opportunity to show at the United Nations in Geneva a photograph of the walled cells and to describe the horrors of Castro's prisons. Therefore, trying to distort the criminal history of the dictatorship is useless.

The history of crimes, beatings, inhuman, cruel and degrading treatment in Cuban prisons is very extensive and is also known by tens of thousands of prisoners for common causes who saw those horrors from their wards, galleys and cells. Still standing today is the "Boniatico" Pavilion in Boniato Prison as a testimony that the regime neither repents nor renounces its hatred and criminality against political prisoners.

Many people do not understand why so much cruelty. The answer lies in the ideology they profess. Karl Marx created the communist philosophy, but the one who put it into practice was Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov (Lenin) in the Soviet Union. Lenin established a principle that said: "Re-educate the enemy, and if he does not re-educate himself, destroy him".

Under this maxim, the communist regimes created systems of political re-education in prisons with the objective that, first, political prisoners would repent for having rebelled against the Communist State; second, that they would recognize that they were wrong and that they would never again confront the "people"; and third, that re-education included work as compensation for their mistakes.

Also in keeping with Lenin's dogma, those who rejected re-education had to be destroyed. Destruction was implemented in two directions: affective and physical. For affective destruction, family visits were limited or prohibited for long periods. They destroyed family correspondence to create in the prisoner the idea that his family had abandoned him or had forgotten him. They sent agents to romance the young wives of prisoners. They moved the prisoners to places as far away as possible from their families.

For their physical destruction, they subjected them to forced labor plans, to constant requizas (searches of their cells), searches that were preceded by an avalanche of guards armed with bayonets and scissors who came in and struck blows "right and left", creating in the prisoners a state of permanent fear awaiting the next requiza. The system of permanent starvation provided very poor and scarce food. The usual diet was spaghetti without any seasoning and a ladle of water called "soup". In Boniato Prison, several political prisoners died of scurvy in the 1970s from prolonged lack of vegetables or fruit.

Other components of the scheme of physical destruction were the permanent lack of medical assistance, the internment in walled cells where the mind and rationality of the prisoner was affected, locked in a minimum space where the width did not allow him to extend his arms and where he lived in constant darkness during the day and severe darkness at night. In addition to the mosquitoes and insects that accompanied him, encouraged by the lack of cleanliness.

This reality, which with certain variations has not ceased to exist in Castro's prisons, has been a fundamental strategy to dissuade many Cubans from confronting the dictatorship. Trying to hide or misrepresent that criminality against political prisoners in Cuba is ridiculous and only a person who blindly follows the dictates of the political commissars and who has never been interested in knowing the truth dares to do so.

Source: Publication of "Diario Las Américas"


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