Former Cuban prisoner of conscience Normando Hernandez remembers his arrest during the Black Spring and urges the world to pay closer attention to recent events in Cuba and Venezuela.
Bolivian President Evo Morales stated that “from this summit will emerge more social policies for the liberation of our peoples.” Ironically, many of the most vocal Cuban activists on these issues were detained in the days leading up to the meeting.
Horacio and I were among the 75 nonviolent dissidents arrested in the notorious Black Spring crackdown. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison. Together we endured torture, malnutrition, and isolation from the rest of the world. He suffered serious health issues after years of appalling treatment while incarcerated in three of Cuba’s most notorious prisons.
The Castro brothers are still laughing at the world. On November 12, the United Nations General Assembly elected Cuba to its discredited Human Rights Council. Meanwhile, violations of basic human freedoms remain the norm on the island.
Cuban dissident Normando Hernández cautions us not to be fooled by superficial changes in Cuba as he explains why his homeland remains one of the world’s worst dictatorships.
In his book Cuba: Early Years of Independence (1911), Rafael Ortiz writes that on May 20th, 1902 in Cuba, “The joy was general and it was legitimate; Cubans were touching their dreams … all parties held up until ‘then’ had been pale compared to those celebrated on that memorable date.” Nothing else could be expected from Cubans after four centuries of Spanish colonization and three years of U.S. occupation.