Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Antonio Rodiles, Nonviolence and the Solidarity of the Shaken

"Now we must continue, of course, with greater strength. The moral is that things have to change and the violence has to end."- Antonio Rodiles

 "Until the day Cubans unite to impede that another is repressed, until that day they will continue to repress us. It is that day, this is already the day." - Father. Jose Conrado

Antonio Rodiles released from prison today (photo Yoani Sanchez)
 Antonio Rodiles was arrested on November 7, 2012 for inquiring about a colleague, independent lawyer and journalist Yaremis Flores, who had been imprisoned earlier that same day. He was beaten up, given a black eye and bruised all over he was then charged with "resisting authority" and threatened with remaining in his cell until the show trial ( in which it is understood that sentence is dictated by the dictatorship prior to the start of the trial). Thirty seven activists in total would be arrested over the course of November 7 and 8th, 2012. Yesterday afternoon we learned that Antonio Rodiles, the last of the 37 detained in the crackdown, had been freed after 19 days in a prison cell.

Picture smuggled out of detention of Antonio Rodiles
 There had been a national and international campaign for this activist's release and Amnesty International had issued a timely urgent action. Pictures had been smuggled out of the prison showing the black eye before it had completely healed. One of the reasons Rodiles was held for all this time was for the bruises and damage done by the beating to heal and not have is bloodied, bruised visage broadcast all over the world.

In addition to the important program of interviews he has conducted called State of SATS the testimony he offers in the Al Jazeera program People and Power below on the Cuban reality is powerful and accurate. It is this type of truth telling that unnerves totalitarian regimes.

Thankfully for the time being the solidarity of the shaken has been sufficient to free this courageous person.

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