BLIND LAWYER, DEFENDER OF HUMAN RIGHTS,
MILITARILY HARRASSED IN HIS HOME SINCE JANUARY 12TH
January 14, 2006
I am Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva, president of the Cuban Foundation of Human Rights. Since January 12th, I have been the victim of psychological torture whose objective is to pressure me by force to go into exile from Cuba since my sentence of house arrest ends March 4, 2006.
My house has been under military harassment, and I am the victim of acts of repudiation, lead and controlled by military officials of the State Security from Ciego de Avila province where I live and by the Cuban government. They prevent me from leaving my house, and I am without food, drinking water, and electricity. We are suffocating from the heat. On occasion, they randomly restore my telephone, but most of the time, I remain unable to make contact with the outside world. Tania Maseda Guerra, activist in the Cuban Foundation of Human Rights, and Luis Esteban Espinosa, an independent journalist, are with me in my home.
Those surrounding my home pound on my windows and my doors, and they have placed loudspeakers outside with blaring music 24 hours a day that prevents us from sleeping or resting. The mobs that surround my house range from criminals to university students that are brought to shout governmental slogans in aggressive language and obscene words through microphones. These people shout threats at us, saying that they are going to enter the house with military tanks, that they are going to burn all of us up, and that we are antisocial persons at the service of imperialism, among other things.
They have pushed and savagely beaten many activists, friends, and my family members that have entered, tried to enter, or left my house in our defense. Among the names that I can identify are: Yodalis Calderin Nuñez, my wife’s niece, independent journalist, Luis Esteban Espinosa, and psychologist, Antonio, Legon Mendoza. The Cuban government has my father, Agustin Gonzalez, hostage and does not let him leave the country, in spite of the fact that he has a visa to travel to the United States. This is a tactic used to pressure me so that I leave the country as well.
Mobs of 100-400 people begin these vandalistic acts at dawn and continue until 11:00 at night. At that time, police and State Security agents surround my house. This is repeated daily to the rhythm of deafening music.
It is important for the accredited international press in Havana to come to Ciego de Avila so that the world can see the true face of the Cuban government with its own eyes.
I’m not afraid at all. These people threaten that they are going to enter my home, but they will have to take me by force. If I withstood 26 months in prison under daily torture by Cuban military officials, harassed, beaten up, and poisoned by chemical substances from which I still suffer, then I will withstand inside my house for 26 months more.
I thank the Cuban people for their gestures of solidarity and my neighbors who have intervened and defended me. To all of them, I say that we have hope that there will be a change in Cuba. This struggle demonstrates that the government is falling apart. I thank human rights organizations and the international press for all they have done for me and for their support of the struggle of the Cuban people.
Jesus Christ is with us; he is accompanying us, and he gives us victory and peace. We are not going to lift a finger against anyone nor are we going to commit any crime. Whatever happens here is the responsibility of State Security, Cuban military officials, and the Cuban government.
Testimony of Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva obtained from Cuba, taped, transcribed, and translated to English by the Coalition of Cuban-American Women in the United States.
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