By Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello (Café Fuerte)
HAVANA TIMES — The political police in the town of Manzanillo, Granma province, have not allowed dissident Tania de la Torre Montesino to travel to Havana on two occasions since November 27th. She even lost the money of her ticket which cost 250 Cuban pesos, the equivalent of 10 USD, the second time.
Even though we all know that the rule of law doesn’t exist in Cuba, she was advised to make use of the legal channels she has within her reach to report this injustice, given the fact that she hadn’t committed any kind of crime and didn’t have a hearing coming up either. She was advised to present a complaint at the Municipal District Attorney’s Office and insist that individuals and organizations which represent the population in a civil process do so for damages and losses.
On December 14, she went to the District Attorney’s Office with a document she drew up about this situation (handwritten). She handed in a copy of this document which was registered into a book by the secretary, with the No. 4, and was seen by lawyer Ariuska Parra.
District Attorney surprised and evasive
According to Tania’s story, when the District Attorney read the document, she opened her eyes wide and said “wait for me a second.” She left them sitting in the office for about half an hour and when she returned, she told them that she had been told to send the document to the Military Prosecutor, as they wouldn’t have to give any answers. She refused to give the name of the person who told her to do this, and to give them any kind of certifying document saying that they had presented a complaint, and she didn’t want to disclose her second surname even though she was a public servant. From the moment she returned to the office, she treated Tania very badly. She asked for Tania’s phone number so that she could call her and give her the answer, as the Military Prosecutor was in Bayamo, which is the capital of this province.
With this experience behind her, Tania went to present her complaint at the Legal Office, to ask for the services of a lawyer in order to carry out the second recommendation she had been given, to file a civil complaint. Lawyer Lourdes Torres saw her there and explained that she couldn’t take on the case, because it wasn’t a civil complaint and that Tania would have to go to the Military Prosecutor’s Office.
Tania was turned down legal assistance in spite of what has been established in Resolution No. 142 Law about the exercise of law and the national organization of Legal Offices which in Article 50 specifies the reasons for which lawyers from can excuse themselves from or not give attention to a given subject; and the fact that this is a civil complaint isn’t even taken into consideration.
Tied by her hands and her feet
We can then draw the conclusion that Tania has had her hands and feet tied, unable to use the so-called “Socialist rule of law,” because State Security has decided to overpower the Cuban’s right to travel freely across the country, in true arbitrary fashion.
It must also be added that in front of her house, during the entire day, there are repressive forces watching her, although there are also people who volunteer to do this, such is the case with citizen Alberto Duruty, who watches and follows her wherever she goes. This man, who is famous for being aggressive, has a pizza business near her home.
While it is true that the government doesn’t comply with the rule of law it established itself, something that can be verified across the country, in towns which aren’t the provincial capital and in smaller rural towns its worse, as everything is subject to how the local authorities interpret the established laws, leaving all citizens helpless.
As you can see from the District Attorney’s attitude as well as from the Legal Assistance Office, the absence of signatures, documents, records, names, etc. is a way for people on the dicatorship’s pay-roll to avoid leaving tracks.
There might be some people who think that we need to use the regime’s legal and police institutions more, but from the experience we’ve had over so many years, we’ve seen that nothing works for those who – according to the dictatorship – are the Empire’s mercenaries, terrorists, sell-outs, etc., etc.. However, to be fair, they don’t work for the rest of the Cuban people either. Cuba has become the kingdom of injustice.
Even though this is the classic case of the fly trapped in a milk glass, if you have any suggestions for Tania de la Torre, you can get in touch with her by phone 023-574953.
She continues to hope that they will let her leave her town one day.