Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Interview - Mother of Cuban Political Prisoner Pedro Luis Boitel

Pedro Luis Boitel died in 1973 while on hunger strike in a Castro Prison. It is said that just like Orlando Zapata Tamayo, his water was taken away. His mother who pleaded to anyone that would listened, could not help him. No one cared to hear her. He was one of 12 documented prisoners who died during a hunger strike.

His tortures never imagined that his death would resonate decades later. His memory is revered by the opposition. In fact a baby that was just assaulted by Cuban police a few weeks ago, when his mother and two others including Jorge Luis Perez Antunez were being arrested, was named after him.

Boitel was allowed to die of hunger and thirst, then his body buried in darkness in an unmarked grave, so that even in death they could humiliate him. To this day acts of civil resistance are performed in front of his tomb and honors are given in his name.

His mother who fought against Batista, and recalls her house being searched often by Bastista's police, lived to see the Castro Revolution devour her own son.

She said that at least with Batista, there was always a loop hole, an open door, but with Castro there was no bargaining. She knew that man like her son could not live long. His cellmates remember a man who retained his dignity till the end.

Pedro Luis Boitel died at a time when even those of us who lived in Cuba, didn't find out what was happening in Castros dungeons.. A time when torture and murder happened in darkness while the world played footsies with a genocidal murderer.

His legacy will be that of a man who never abandoned the cause of freedom even when he was stripped of everything that he held dear. Pedro and so may others will be the ones who history will absolve. Man like Castro will join the ranks of Hitler and Stalin and their name will forever be recalled in shame.

A Revolution betrayed that swallowed our innocence and stained our soil with the blood of so many of our sons and daughters. Those of you who danced with the devil will have your own special place as accomplices to Genocine and torture.