The 55th anniversary of the liberation of those who assaulted the Moncada barracks is during the middle of this month. The “live forces” mobilized public opinion and obtained amnesty from the tyrant Batista. Those young men dressed in war gear assaulted the barracks of Santiago and Bayamo the morning after a Carnival. The event resulted in lots of deaths on both sides, and the group which was captured and spared (others were assassinated quickly after they were caught), was condemned to sentences of up to 15 years. It was around 1953. The young assaulters completed less than 2 years of their sentences. And as it has been said, it was an fecund prison: they organized an academy in which they elevated their cultural and political levels, played sports, and even learned how to cook certain foods that they craved.
But that was 55 years ago. Many of those young men have grown old while governing my country. That past punishment has led them to suppose that once reaching power, the enemy should never have an opportunity, because then what happened to Batista would occur. For that reason, peaceful dissidents do not recognize the conditions of their political adversaries. Those terrorists of words must serve long sentences under the labels of common delinquents, simply because they write their ideas. They are dispersed in jails throughout the country in order to avoid any “focal points”. They are not granted general amnesties, not even the prisoners who appeal to personalities like Danielle Mitterrand or Jesse Jackson. The Committees for the Defense of the Revolution are our modern day “live forces.”
And let’s not talk about the cooking.
Translated by Raul G.