When the Congressional Black Caucus took its junket to Cuba earlier this year, they were criticised by Conservative pundits for failing to include a visit to the prison cell of Oscar Elias Biscet in their itinerary. The Capos in Havana are quite good at hiding the true face of their regime from the rest of the world. The case of Dr. Biscet, however, is one that speaks volumes about the true nature of their crimes.
Jailed as a threat to the government, sentenced to 25 years in a hell hole, Biscet's crime was to believe in the dignity of the human being and to demand that the government respect that dignity. For this crime, he has been jailed since 2003. Recently, Rudy Mayor over at The Politics of Freedom has posted some of a letter written by Dr. Biscet. Those words speak volumes about the man:
"Today, on the eve of my 48th birthday, I write these lines from prison cell #1232. If this testimony from the box where I have been unjustly forced to live for almost 10 years now is of some interest to mankind, then publish it.
When I began advocating the philosophies of Gandhi and Thoreau, I remember those who commented that I would soon begin walking through the streets of Havana in a loincloth like Gandhi. Upon hearing these insults, I'd simply smile, as surely I would soon be subjected to this condition -- not in the streets of Havana, but in the indefinite confinement that I would face for such advocacy. Those that resorted to such insults, seeking to humiliate me, would not be mistaken after all, but it is through the humiliation of a man in loincloth that human dignity is reflected over barbarism.
When you ask me how I am doing, and I tell you that I am resisting, it is because the environment I find myself in is too brutal for any civilized man imprisoned for promoting ideas of love, the respect for human rights and the defense of life. Yet, I thank God as I awake every day, for in this dark and lonely cell, I know He is with me."
- Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, Cuban pro-democracy leader and Amnesty International prisoner of conscience serving a 25-year sentence, in a letter to his wife and the world.
Tomorrow students in Washington DC will be doing their part to help. Read about it here.
h/t Jose at Cubanology