Thursday, November 29, 2018

Cuban prisoner of conscience Eduardo Cardet will mark two years of unearned suffering in prison tomorrow

"I have lived these last few years with the conviction that unearned suffering is redemptive." - Martin Luther King Jr.,  Suffering and Faith,"April 27, 1960

Jailed Cuban pro-democracy leader Eduardo Cardet
Eduardo Cardet is a Cuban prisoner of conscience and the Christian Liberation Movement's imprisoned leader. November 30, 2018 will mark two years in prison. He doesn't belong there. He is an innocent man. Amnesty International has recognized him as a prisoner of conscience. He is jailed for speaking his mind and advocating for an end to dictatorship and the restoration of democracy in Cuba. He has been beaten and arrested by the secret police in front of his wife and two young children. He has been subjected to a political show trial. He has been denied family visits in order to attempt to silence his families protestations demanding his freedom. He has been attacked and stabbed in prison, and nearly died.

Wife and husband: Yaimaris Vecino and Eduardo Cardet
 Imagine for a moment two years in prison. 730 days passing by in a cell, surrounded by those who wish to do you harm.  17,520 hours to ponder the nature of the government that has imprisoned you. 1,051,200 minutes to feel the absence of family and friends. 63,072.000 seconds that have passed and will never be regained separated from your wife and children.

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. observed in 1960 that "unearned suffering is redemptive." This observation is not a cliche but a profound insight that should be placed into fuller context.
My personal trials have also taught me the value of unmerited suffering. As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways that I could respond to my situation: either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course. Recognizing the necessity for suffering I have tried to make of it a virtue. If only to save myself from bitterness, I have attempted to see my personal ordeals as an opportunity to transform myself and heal the people involved in the tragic situation which now obtains. I have lived these last few years with the conviction that unearned suffering is redemptive.
There are some who still find the cross a stumbling block, and others consider it foolishness, but I am more convinced than ever before that it is the power of God unto social and individual salvation. So like the Apostle Paul I can now humbly yet proudly say, “I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.”
Eduardo Cardet is also a Christian man of faith, and he too understands the "scandal of the cross" cited by St. Paul. It is the ultimate example of unearned suffering which is Jesus being without sin crucified to redeem the world.

Eduardo Cardet's children received Patmos award for their dad.
The struggle for human freedom and dignity is not just a physical but a moral and spiritual struggle as well. It would be well for activists to remember this as we observe this unjust anniversary visited on the Cardet family.

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