Sunday, June 7, 2015

More than 70 activists violently arrested in Cuba today and why you should care

"There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest." - Elie Wiesel, Nobel Lecture 1986

Lady in White Ada María López Canino badly beaten today
 More than 70 dissidents were violently arrested today in Cuba. Strangle holds were used against nonviolent activists. Lady in White Ada María López Canino was so badly beaten during her arrest by state security that they knocked out one of her teeth. She is a mother of three boys and two girls. The artist, Tania Bruguera, who was accompanying the Ladies in White on their Sunday march was also roughed up during her detention and the marks are visible in the photo below.

Tania Bruguera left bruised by state security
Yesterday, hundreds of Cuban exiles and friends of freedom came out to show their support for Cuba's democratic resistance and opposition to Obama's disastrous Cuba policy in a freedom caravan. Some may question the strategic effectiveness of protesting after 56 years, but they should ask themselves the question: "What is the alternative? Silence?"

Elie Wiesel in his 1986 Nobel Peace Prize Lecture made the case that one cannot remain silent before injustice, and that it is necessary to protest. The Nobel Laureate continued the logic of this line of reasoning:
We may be powerless to open all the jails and free all the prisoners, but by declaring our solidarity with one prisoner, we indict all jailers. None of us is in a position to eliminate war, but it is our obligation to denounce it and expose it in all its hideousness. 
Fifty six years is a long time to protest, and that can be tiring and frustrating but the alternative which is to remain silent before injustice would be terrible. The words of a great Cuban writer and poet speaks to those who would remain silent from across the span of more than a century: "To see a crime calmly is to commit it."

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