Thursday, March 7, 2013

Saving Yris: Time to Make Constructive Noise

Day before International Women's Day in Cuba women are brutally beaten by government agents leaving one woman hospitalized due to attack's severity.
Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera
 Felix Reyes Gutierrez reported over twitter this morning at 8:36am that "Yris Perez , Damarys Moya ,Yanisbel Valido, Natividad Blanco and Ramona Garcia were beaten and arrested in Santa Clara for marching."  At 8:43am learned from the same source that "Yris Perez Aguilera had been admitted to the XX Anniversary clinic in Santa Clara for the beating suffered on Prolongacion de Marta Abreu Street of the city.

Cuban human rights defender Librado Linares reported at 8:55am over twitter that Yris Tamara (wife of Jorge Garcia Perez Antunez ) had been brutally beaten by the State Security official who identifies himself as "Erik." At 9:03am Felix Reyes Gutierrez reported that "Yris Perez Aguilera transferred and admitted to the hospital of Sta Clara Arnaldo Milian as a result of a beating."   At 10:36am, her husband, Jorge Garcia Perez "Antunez" tweeted: In a grave state and unconscious in Santa Clara provincial hospital Yris Perez Aguilera from blow to head by Police. Fear for her ..." then at 12:45pm Antunez reported that "political police had ejected Yris Perez from the hospital in a semi-invalid state after she regained consciousness."

Antunez and Yris: husband and wife
Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera has been the target of a slow motion assassination attempt by Cuban State Security. She has been the target of several brutal attacks by state security agents who time and time again have hit her in the head repeatedly to the point of unconsciousness then blocked her from receiving adequate medical care. She has a large cyst in the back of her head, a product of the beatings, and other symptoms that are the result of years of abuse at the hands of the regime's agents.

Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera showing cyst
At the same time the international media have not reported on these attacks and the UN has organized activities on the status of women in Cuba and failed to even mention the violence visited upon Cuban dissidents who happen to be women.

Human rights defenders the world over, understand a very basic equation that holds true everywhere: Silence = Death but there is another equation that is implicitly understood but rarely voice Constructive Noise = Life. Not just any noise but constructive noise that seeks out the facts and attempts to ascertain the truth of a situation and report it to others.

If the international press and other institutions do not report on this ongoing atrocity, then the regime in Cuba will claim another victim. Elie Wiesel in his 1986 Nobel Prize lecture explained the moral imperative of not remaining silent: "There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest."

The best way to save Yris and many others like her in Cuba is to break the wall of silence that is also a wall of impunity and hold the regime in Cuba and its agents accountable for their actions. This leads to two expanded equations:

Silence = Impunity = Death

Constructive Noise = Accountability = Life

Women and men are being beaten, mutilated and killed in Cuba for dissenting with the regime there. Will you speak for them?

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