"Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable... Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals." - Martin Luther King, Jr.
A medical doctor, a disciple of the apostles of non-violence, and a prisoner of conscience Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet has suffered beatings, cigarette burns from state security agents, and has spent more than a decade behind bars for his non-violent defense of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The dictatorship in Cuba has now offered him to complete the 25-year prison sentence, he is currently serving, or go into exile. He has chosen to remain in Cuba. Much has been written about him, and justifiably so, but it is best to let Dr. Biscet's words speak for him.
“To love one's neighbor is also to love one's enemy. Although in reality that qualifier-'enemy' does not exist in my vocabulary. I recognize that I only have adversaries and I have acquired the capacity to love them because in this way we do away with violence, wrath, vengeance, hatred and substitute them with justice and forgiveness.” - Oscar Elias Biscet, July 16, 1999
Dr Biscet Speaks by Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet González (Audio only in Spanish)
My inspiration is alive: God and the great teachers of nonviolence, present today now more than ever. As Martin Luther King said: "If a people can find among their ranks a 5% of men willing to voluntarily go to prison for a cause they consider just then there is no obstacle that can stop them." - Oscar Elias Biscet, June 1, 2003
"The people of Cuba have been suffering the scorn of a totalitarian tyranny, Communism, throughout four decades. Due to this inhumane treatment whereby the decorum of a people is violated, many Cubans are indignant and have risen up to pray and fast, beseeching the God of the Bible…we must expedite the achievement of these basic rights through civil disobedience and by putting into practice all methods to obtain our humanitarian aim. Here, in this dark jail where they force me to live, I will be resisting until the freedom of my people is obtained." - Oscar Elias Biscet, August 25, 2006
"I remember when I started preaching about Gandhi and Thoreau some said I would walk through the streets of Havana with a loin cloth like Gandhi. When I learned of these words spoken about me in a derogatory manner I just smiled because I knew I would be in these conditions but not in the streets of Havana. Rather in the infinite captivity that I would have through suffering. They had not been mistaken those who had made the joke to humiliate me. Because from the humiliation of a man in loincloth highlights the reflection of human dignity over barbarism." - Oscar Elias Biscet, July 15, 2009
The dictatorship in Cuba has equated Cuban dissidents like Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet with the Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo attacking both. The attacks are libelous nonsense but the observation that they are equivalent is spot on.
Liu Xiaobo on December 23, 2009 made his final statement at the trial that would condemn him to 11 years in prison for exercising his freedom of expression stating: “I have no enemies and no hatred. None of the police who monitored, arrested, and interrogated me, none of the prosecutors who indicted me, and none of the judges who judged me are my enemies.” It is a statement that shares the same principles stated by Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet throughout this posting.
Please sign the petition launched by Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet's daughter Winnie Biscet and help spread the word that this man has spent all but 36 days in prison since November 1999 and is an Amnesty International prisoner of conscience and a non-violent disciple of Gandhi and King. At the same time please sign the petition for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Liu Xiaobo sentenced to 11 years in prison on December 25, 2009 for his nonviolent defense of human rights and advocacy for democracy in China.