Desde Dentro de Cuba.
Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org
02 de Febrero del 2000
THE ODYSSEY OF A PACIFIST DISSIDENT WITH PRINCIPLES AND VALOR.
(Editor's Note: Following is the report made to Cuba Free Press by Mrs. Migdalia Rosado of the Tamarindo 34 Human Rights Group in Havana. She tells of events over several years which led to the situation in which she finds herself today, awaiting a trial in a case that was apparently closed a year ago. In the time when she supposedly was at liberty, Migdalia was detained from Dec. 23 until Jan. 3, allegedly to prevent her from taking part in a church march - about which she says she knew nothing. Meanwhile, police had also posted an operative in front of her home on Nov. 10, and on Dec. 10 - human rights day - and again on Dec. 17, the anniversary of the feast of St. Lazarus. Migdalia's freedom is at stake. Below are the words of an extra-ordinarily brave and worthy daughter of a nation that suffers.)
On Feb. 22 1999 as a member of the Lawton Human Rights Foundation I joined with Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet in a small civic protest at the Daughters of Galicia Maternity Hospital. We carried posters which said, "No to the Death Penalty" and "No to Abortion" and "Abortion: Murder of Children." We also carried a photo of the four Brothers-to-the-Rescue pilots whose lives were violently taken away several years ago. Ours is an organization that struggles in favor of life.
Shortly after we arrived, paramilitary squads quickly mustered near us. Some physicians in their doctors' uniforms also gathered. Communist party militants from the Rapid Response Brigades and some of the doctors began to beat both of us.
That caused a crowd to gather, possibly as many as 200 or more, many of whom shouted at those beating us, "Abusers! What they are asking for is justice!" and things like that.
Then some of the doctors and many militants started to shout, "Down with human rights!" And we responded, "Long live human rights!" They came back "Down with the worms!" And we again, "Long live human rights!" After awhile we headed for our homes. Some hours later the police picked each of us up at our homes and took us to the Investigation Center at 100th and Aldabo Sts. in Boyeros. They kept us there in walled cells for 16 days.
The government was going to try us at the Vibora Court. The prosecutor demanded three years in prison for us. The trial was scheduled for March 10, 1999. On March 9 they took us from the Investigation Center to a house on the city's outskirts. It was their largest "Atensio," as the agents of the Office of State Security call it. They told us the prosecution had petitioned for three years' prison.
But then they showed us a letter of discharge and said they were going to let us go but "not for being good." I responded that I knew THEY were not good. They asked me to sign the letter freeing us. I saw that it said they should immediately set us free and stated the conclusions of the prosecutor.
The agents did set us free that night at 9 p.m. On the morning of March 10, Dr. Biscet jointly with his attorney closed the case in the court. The case remained closed until now that they have opened it up again.
This year on Jan. 29 they sent me the conclusions from that 1999 trial in which they had asked for two years in prison and a fine of 1,500 pesos for the crime of "public disorder" even though they had caused the public disorder. We had only stood there with posters because that is a Maternity Hospital where abortions are carried out.
We are fighters for life and we included the four Brothers-to-the-Rescue pilots because no one has the right to take away life. Now the government is asking for three years in prison for both of us and a 5,000 peso fine for Dr. Biscet. We are awaiting trial.
In the document that refers to our case are a series of lies that have astounded me. The first says I was expelled from my center of work at a grocery store. That's untrue. I did work in a grocery store. They say that in 1994 the store manager expelled me because I had taken merchandise, and after that I joined "counterrevolutionary groups."
It is important that the truth be known. The truth is that I worked in a grocery store in Tamarindo from Nov. 23, 1970 until 1994.
Meanwhile, in 1990 I also joined and began working as a member of the National Civic Union - which opposes the current government - with Dr. Omar del Pozo Marrero who today is in Canada. I also told Jose Eduardo Ortega Ortiz who now is also outside Cuba that I had joined the civic union. He has helped some people leave Cuba. Then, since I was an opponent of the government, life in the grocery store gradually became impossible for me.
If a sack of white sugar arrived with dirt in it, for example, at most Cuban grocery stores, nothing would happen. But at the store where I worked, when some dirty sugar arrived, agents of the Office of State Security (OSS) came as did members of the Party and legislators from the People's Power assembly. They came and took a sample of the sugar to analyze it.
Then on Aug. 10 1994 I was warned by friends that the agents were preparing what we call in Cuba "a bed" (meaning a trap). So on that same day I resigned the job. But I had been in the opposition for four years and nobody had said or done anything until 1994. Now the prosecutor says that I was penalized in my job. That was not so; there was never any of that.
The workers who know me understand that much that is written about me in the charges is a lie. They have known me my entire life. And some tell me (anonymously), "These people are awful." It's absurd that the agents tell all these lies. That's why many people live with what are called "double morals" because as soon as you are upright and honest, you run the risk of being charged with something.
I haven't done anything wrong. God knows that. I chose to struggle and I've told God that if my children have to pay for what I've chosen to do, that pains me but I have to accept it. The government agents have families. I would never do to them or to their children what they're doing to me and my family.
I will take as many years as they hand me, in whatever place that I may have to be, even if I have to die in prison. I say sincerely, looking up to heaven which keeps me here in front, that God knows that I have full faith in Him. If what I am going through is my destiny, I accept it with my faith in Him.
They told me to appoint an attorney, so now I'm doing that. They gave me five days from Jan. 29 to appoint an attorney and afterwards five more days for the attorney to review my file of papers. That indicates the trial will begin near the end of this month. I expect the worst. Nothing good can be expected from a closed case that has been re-opened.
End of statement by Migdalia Rosado of the Tamarindo 34 Human Rights Group for Cuba Free Press.
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