The Cuban apostle Jose Marti wrote a letter to Jose Arturo Ulla on September 6, 1883, which stated: “political differences amongst courteous and loyal men do not give them the right to invent, indiscreetly administer, and/or voluntarily publish false news”. With any kind of paternalism aside, I consider Marti to have been one of the greatest thinkers in all America, for his political vision transcended all eras.
I have chatted with my friend and brother in the cause Oscar Espinosa Chepe. As always, he has kept me up-to-date with the latest news regarding Cuba and the world. For emotional reasons, I felt that my blood pressure skyrocketed to dangerous levels, but thanks to Captopril my body returned to its normal state.
My pressure shot up when he read me the latest statements made by the Brazilian president Luis Ignacio “Lula” da Silva. In all honesty, I consider him to be one of the most talented politicians in all America — a born optimist, and aware of all the responsibility his country has deposited in him.
Damn, Lula, I think you got a little out of hand! The fact that you admire and support a system that enslaves even its own supporters is normal, you have the right to formulate your own opinions without judgment, but we must remember that “it is not the same to play it on a guitar as on a violin”. I have never protested the fact that Lula visit Havana and even that he refuses to meet, because of evident pressures, with members of the peaceful opposition. The truth is that he has the right to choose his own method of carrying out his work. But now, a question without judgment: What motive has an indissoluble part of Cuban society given that he has compared us to the jailed bandits that reside in Sao Paolo?
It is crucial that Lula understand that the crime committed by us, the political prisoners of conscience, has been to love our country above and beyond any form of ideology or governing system. I am convinced that after analyzing this precept the South American giant would also be considered a criminal.
The hollow words spoken by the dignitary are very lamentable; it’s like discrediting the values of Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a martyr only 42 years of age, or those of Guillermo Farinas Hernandez, an independent journalist who is currently on hunger strike demanding freedom for all the prisoners of conscience, especially those who are in critical health conditions. Besides, their state of health is precarious.
Some friends have commented to me that other men have decided to go on hunger strikes of their own, following in the steps of Guillermo Farinas Hernandez, if he ends up dying. In fact, it is very possible that we, those jailed for 7 years since the Black Spring of 2003, will also join in the hunger strikes. I also don’t doubt that the nomenklatura that is in power will let us all die.
Today I have learned a lesson: power erodes the human conscience, to the point of humans becoming slaves to their own ideologies. Others end up worse, for they end up being orphans from themselves. I respect Lula for what he represents although I am now distant from believing in him as I once did, especially when it came to the matters of external politics. But it doesn’t matter, Jesus Christ also suffered deceptions. And I cannot finalize this entry without once again making reference to words written by Jose Marti: “Even in slander there is some sort of beauty and it is that of martyrdom of the noble man determined to fight for the good of his country upon challenging it.”
Pablo Pacheco Avila, prisoner of conscience.