Desde Dentro de Cuba.
Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org
November 11, 1998, Cuba Free Press.
RELEARNING MARTI'S LESSON FROM POLITICAL IMPRISONMENT By Efrén Martínez Pulgarón, Cuba Free Press.
HAVANA - History repeats itself. Jose Martí's lesson which many Cubans have learned by heart was, in his words: "Political imprisonment in Cuba teaches one to endure with dignity and to conquer evil with love, and it is yesterday's voice echoing today and forever."
The history of nations is like an undercurrent which brings back all it finds, being at times arbitrary, sometimes surfacing facts which will remain in people's hearts. History is un-restrainable.
Four people were jailed and four are the letters which spell Cuba. The sentences of the four would brand all those who have already broken silence.
They were thoroughly searched and a document in their possession would bring them to judgement. The process would finally generate a trial and a subsequent sentence, a year after the presumed crime.
After the arrest, a policeman realized the substance of the message and promoted a reaction against the author or authors of the document, whom he called "enemies."
The four were moved through various police stations and finally into the national jail to await trial and sentence. Jail is hard and wounds the dignity of a person when the only fault committed is that of being true to one's ideas.
During such hard times, new and evolving thoughts may in fact constitute the worst of dangers. The arraigned do not deny their thoughts. They know that those who hide their thoughts or do not dare to say what they think are, like Jose Marti said, dishonest persons.
Those were arbitrary times for Cuba, and the governor started to listen to the diatribes of the enemies of the Cubans who, as Father Varela said, were starting to think of thinking.
For all those who yearned for liberty, a leaflet was written in order to silence those Cubans. Many asked themselves: Who are these four Cubans? Are they infidels? Are they seditious?
The dictionary defines: "infidelity: unfaithful, disloyal" and "seditious: insubordinate, rebellious." Similar ideas: agitation, effervescence, undisciplined, insubordination, resistance, demonstration, disorder, restlessness.
Which of these qualified as applicable to the four Cubans? Were they really dangerous? If they fulfilled all the concepts in the dictionary, they were dangerous.
A terrible future awaits the "patria," fatherland of the four Cubans if all the peaceful demonstrations turn into useful demonstrations, stated the main idea of the accused. The document that was found and placed in the registry was addressed to a man whose last name was Castro, who was singled out as an apostate. He frequently harassed the detainees.
The document read as follows, "Mr. Carlos de Castro y de Castro, "Compañero, have you ever dreamed of the glory of the apostates? Do you know how the apostates were punished in the past?"
The four accused were to be processed by an extraordinary War Council. The people, attentive, would follow the trial in which so many personalities had expressed an interest.
Law suit 239 was opened on account of the crime of infidelity (Jorge Manach considered it an offence of considerable flexibility for the times), against the four Cubans who would be punished on the date reflected: "H.A. - March 31, 1870."
The accused: don Eusebio Valdés Domínguez, don Atanasio Fortier, don Fermín Valdés Domíngez, don José Martí y Pérez.
The trial was finished and the sentence was as follows: "Exile for Eusebio Valdés Domíngez and Atanasio Fortier, six months of major arrest for Fermín Valdés Domínguez and six years in jail for José Martí y Pérez."
History in its arbitrariness, compels us to defend dignity and to see with one's own light. It makes us ponder those words of Martí, "We are the brake to future despotism, and the only efficient and true adversary to the present despotism."
The Apostle talked about the present and the future of our "patria" as he wrote to his mother two days before going to jail: "La patria takes us there. To die for la patria is to enjoy it more."
The Teacher was confident that "la patria" is, and will always belong, to all Cubans. (Warning: Any likeness to any other reality is not pure coincidence.)
Efrén Martinez Pulgarón, Cuba Free Press.
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