"Nobody is in agreement…It’s that, no one says it and no one takes the risk to say it, to speak the truth. That’s what is happening. In other words, one of the foundations, of what are the regimes in the entire world, in all of history, has been fear and lies. In other words, once you are in fear that's when you don’t take a risk, where you collect yourself and don’t unite…understood? To be in fear is not to offer help to anyone because that signifies risk." -Gorki Águila Carrasco, lead singer, guitarist of the music group Porno Para Ricardo and political prisoner
"Socialist ideology, like so many others, has two main dangers. One stems from confused and incomplete readings of foreign texts, and the other from the arrogance and hidden rage of those who, in order to climb up in the world, pretend to be frantic defenders of the helpless so as to have shoulders on which to stand." --Jose Marti

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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Guantánamo, Cuba. May 20, 2008. Cuban Democratic Directorate. Political prisoner José Daniel Ferrer García, held at Guantánamo Provincial Prison, was attacked by guards as he attempted to give a firsthand report on prison conditions to activist Juan Carlos González Leiva. The guard attempted to cut the prisoner’s telephone connection, producing a confrontation during which Ferrer shouted slogans against the dictatorship and in favor of freedom for Cuba. The connection cut off abruptly.

Ferrer García subsequently managed to reestablish communication and explained what had happened: “They took the telephone from my arms by force, they started to twist my arms around to my back. They twisted them in such a way that my wrists are… and great pain in my shoulders. They nearly stuck my twisted arms to the nape of my neck. Then they threw me to the ground and dragged me all along the ground in that position. I do not know how my arms did not break.”

Ferrer García added that they had taken him to the prison’s command office, and that he was subsequently able to return to the telephone. Just as he was explaining this to González Leiva, he was once again interrupted by the same guard, who abruptly cut the connection. Before they drew him away from the telephone, Ferrer García said that if he were not allowed to use the telephone, he would become plantado, or assume a rebellious and absolutely uncooperative attitude in protest.

"If there is another issue with the telephone, there will be no understanding. I will begin my protest anew then. Juan Carlos, are you listening to me? I will call you in 10 minutes. If I do not call you, José Daniel is in solitary confinement or José Daniel was beaten to death, because as long as José Daniel has his way of thinking, no one will violate his rights.”

González Leiva, who transmitted the dramatic recording abroad, stated that “it is necessary… that this recording be spread around the whole world. These are the changes that the Cuban government is carrying out.”

González Leiva added that “the European Union [and] the international community have meetings coming up, and the measures imposed against Fidel Castro’s dictatorship, in this case the Castro brothers’, Raul Castro’s, should not be suspended, should not be removed. This is what is happening: repression of freedom of expression, repression of the right of Cubans to express themselves both in a prison, and on the outside, the largest prison of all.”

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