Sunday, January 29, 2017

Prayers for Cuban dissident Harold Cepero on what should have been his 37th birthday

"Those who remove and crush freedom are the real slaves." - Harold Cepero Escalante (January 29, 1980 - July 22, 2012)

Harold Cepero (January 29, 1980 - July 22, 2012)
Over twitter today a young woman remembered a dear friend of hers extrajudicially executed by Castro regime agents on what would have been his 37th birthday. Below is  the actual tweet by Rosa María Payá:
It translates to English as follows: "Harold Cepero would have turned 37 years old today. His executioners do not know harm they have done to Cuba. Today even the gulls of the Ermita are cold." The dictatorship in Cuba has spent decades repeatedly murdering the future and they did this in the case of Harold Cepero Escalante who was killed along with Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas on July 22, 2012.

Harold Cepero was a youth leader in the Christian Liberation Movement founded by Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas and other lay catholics that embraces the ideas of  Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., and Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

Harold was a young man of exceptional conscience and courage who spoke out, took nonviolent action for a better Cuba and understood the importance of rejecting hatred:
"Under the pretext of defending freedom they are attacking itMartí would say it like this: 'The knife that is stabbed in the name of freedom is plunged into the chest of freedom.' They should think if at the bottom of this attitude there is a real respect for freedombecause to say freedom, to be free, is not to snatch the freedom of others." 

Fidel Castro is dead but his harmful legacy has robbed Cuba's future of young leaders such as Harold. Today we find the national leader of the Christian Liberation Movement still falsely imprisoned for speaking his mind when the old Cuban tyrant died in November of 2016.

Holocaust survivor  Elie Wiesel understood that we owe it to the victims of repression to remember because : "To forget the victims means to kill them a second time. So I couldn't prevent the first death. I surely must be capable of saving them from a second death." We also it to the living because in forgetting we invite more such crimes.

We must remember the victims of Castroism and pray for the dead and wounded while continuing to denounce these crimes and demand justice.

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