Yesterday a special Mass at la Ermita de la Caridad was held in remembrance of Gloria Amaya Gonzalez, the matriarch of a family of Cuban activists who have steadfastly stood up to the brutality of the totalitarian regime in Cuba.
Gloria was 81 years old at the time of her passing and had suffered numerous physical beatings at the hands of Cuban State Security and the psychological torture of having two of her sons Ariel and Guido imprisoned in the Cuban black spring of March 2003 and tortured for their activism. A third son, Miguel, a former political prisoner, had gone into exile after long years of activism and civic resistance. They have been recognized as prisoners of conscience by Amnesty International.
Prior to her death she had been campaigning for her sons' release and was extremely concerned about Ariel, and with just reason he has suffered at the hands of the dictatorship and is today a skeletal shadow of his former self due to the regime's policy of denying medical attention to political prisoners:
Miguel Sigler Amaya also spoke out on behalf of his brothers calling for the world to demonstrate its solidarity with Ariel because like his mother he fears for his brother's life.
She along with her sons have lived in freedom in a country where freedom was exiled in 1959 and they have been willing to pay the high price of liberty in the face of tyranny and in the process returned liberty to small piece of the Cuban national territory. In their activism we see an example of the rebuilding of civil society from the ground up and in the face of great adversity.