I’m Free after 3 More Days in Jail for My Articles

Osmel Ramírez Alvarez

HAVANA TIMES – At 3:30 in the afternoon of this Friday, June 22, I was released. I was imprisoned for three days in a cell at the Mayari police station. On this occasion I wasn’t taken to the Pedernales State Security facility known as the “Place where everybody sings” where I was confined the previous time, in November of 2017.

Including my last arrest, I’ve spent six days in political prison, because even though I am only a journalist, State Security treats me as it does dissidents, as an intolerable political issue. According to what they told me in front of my family and then alone, I would have no more peace. I will be detained every time I write an article. I do not know if any writing, like this one that I will now publish informing on what happened to me, or if they refer to those that normally bother them the most.

They threatened to stop me if they see me surfing at the WIFI hotspot and even closing my account on the internet. They assure that they’re making a case file on me and that after several arrests they will have sufficient material to take me to a tribunal and imprison me for a longer time. I suppose it will be for the catch-all accusation “Pre-criminal social danger”, because until today neither they nor the Prosecutor’s Office have been able to tell me what law I violate with my writings.

The 7.5 m2 cell for 4 people was an oven. All the time one is bathed in sweat. The bed is made of cement, without sheets and only in the night an unlined mattress, full of sweat, and God knows what else, of all the prisoners who have gone before. Horrible food, I did not even eat it, just coffee, a piece of mortadella the second day and water. That’s why I lost 6 pounds.

The articles that bothered them the most were: one published in Diario de Cuba about the detention of an important pig breeder and one in Havana Times on corruption. According to the State Security, I have no right to publish about the work of the MININT (the Ministry of Interior which they are a part of) or to comment on issues that discredit the country. That is what they call “playing the enemy”, “counterrevolution” and called me a “mercenary”.

They also attributed to me an article I didn’t even write with the opinion of the sister of prisoner scientist Ariel, (Two siblings fight against a lethal disease: “criticize the Cuban government”) about the intellectual capacity of security agents. It’s the last straw, maybe it was a mistake or maybe intentional, I don’t know. But they were angry about an opinion that was not even in a work of my authorship.

It did not help me to explain to them that I am not a mercenary because I do not work for anyone and that I have my own ideals that move my actions. They don’t understand another way of serving their country other than blindly following the leaders. They locked me up for a crime totally unrelated to what I do: something related to perjury in a judicial process. Of course, I did not sign it.

These three days were a punishment for my daring to be an independent journalist in Mayarí, where apparently intolerance is greater than in the rest of the island. I have already been detained twice, they searched my home, they seized property and forbade me to travel abroad as of seven months ago. According to what they assure me, “they will never allow me again” because they see me as a “potential politician” that can be recruited abroad to “manufacture a counterrevolutionary project.”

Evidently they do not know me. Make me! – I am already made and I only owe my country. They do not mentally accept that a foreigner may be helping in a Cuban cause. They believe that in such a case it is the Cuban who helps or is recruited as a mercenary at the service of the foreigner. Apparently, they believe us incapable of having our own ideals if they are discordant with the official project. A very wrong and obtuse vision of the national situation, denigrating Cubans. Overcoming it is undoubtedly an imperative for them to change.

According to my captors if I continue writing, making independent citizen journalism, I can fall prisoner again shortly, be tried and that they will confiscate any possessions that I have left, assuming for no reason that “they were bought by the empire”.

Not even a single person representing the “empire” has given me a single dollar. My goods are very few and I have sweated them. My family suffers all this, my sick parents, my children and my brave wife. My friends and neighbors would like to shout “free Osmel,” but fear only allows them to murmur.

Well, for now I’m free, and I hope my freedom lasts.

Osmel Ramirez

I'm from Mayari, a little village in Holguín. I was born on the same day that the Vietnam War ended on April 30, 1975. A good omen, since I identify myself as a pacifist. I am a biologist but I am passionate about politics, history and political philosophy. Writing about these topics, I got to journalism, precisely here on Havana Times. I consider myself a democratic socialist and my main motivation is to try to be useful to the positive change that Cuba needs.

4 thoughts on “I’m Free after 3 More Days in Jail for My Articles

  • The gutless swine who continue to shill for this despicable regime by commenting in support of a failed dictatorship will be absent in commenting here. Where are you claims that the Castros are a light to the world? Where is your charge that Imperialismo is to blame for all that ails Cuba? What has been done to Osmel is a crime against humanity. Your silence is compliance with this miscarriage of justice.

    Reply
    • My apologies to you, Moses, for offending you in the very beginning when we first communicated with each other. You have been right all along due to your experience living and working in Cuba; thus, you indeed live up to the ideals of Frederick Douglass who experienced similar situations in his life time! This blog has been an eye opener for me and what it is like living under a communist regime which the people never elected. Thanks again for sharing your experiences on this blog; there is nothing positive from a totalitarian regime, communist and non-communist. Kudos to Osmel for his bravery!

      Reply
      • It takes a marked degree of courage Hans Frankfort to apologize as you did. We who enjoy the freedoms of the capitalist societies (with all their faults) only fully realize the reality of communist dictatorship and its affects upon the very soul of people like Osmel Ramirez by living under the system.
        I am regularly criticized in these pages by people like Nick and Dani, for saying that dictatorship of both left and right are evil. But the system attacks the very essence of humanity.

        “For the people of Cuba there remains only that faint hope which they have tenaciously clung onto for so many long years. Hope for the younger generations that they may yet know freedom and opportunity to live in their beautiful country free of repression, with freedom of expression, freedom of the media and freedom to vote for political parties of choice. Cubans deserve no less, for only then will they become members of an open society in a free world that waits to welcome them with open arms. Liberty and that poignant for freedom beckon and humanity demands.”

        Final paragraph: ‘Cuba Lifting the Veil’

        Here in the pages of Havana Times, you see recorded Hans the pain suffered and the punishments applied to those who seek to be free from the communist yoke of Cuba. This is not Marxist theory, this is hard reality!

        Reply
    • Some ten days have passed Moses without a single one of the “gutless swine” making comment upon the plight of Osmel Ramirez. You are absolutely correct also in saying that by their silence they are compliant with the regime – but there is nothing new in that! Those who sit on the fence and fail to criticize the Castro totalitarian regime or dictatorship are in reality acquiescing to it. The refusal to accept that communism in practice is evil and counter to freedom of the human spirit demonstrates a form of contempt for humanity.

      Reply

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