Hunger striker Jorge Luis Artiles Montiel, who has been on hunger (and thirst) strike since May 9th and whose health has slowly worsened recently penned this letter directed to dictator Raul Castro, demanding that there be some sort of justice on the island for the death of Juan Wilfredo Soto Garcia and that the repression against peaceful dissidents in the streets of Cuba come to an end.
(Published in Cubanacan Press’ blog/ My Translation):
Letter from Hunger Striker to Raul Castro
President of the State Council and of the Ministry of the Republic of Cuba, General Raul Castro Ruz:
General, my brother in struggle and ideas besides having been a companion of mine within the prisons of your regime, has been assassinated by your repressive henchmen. On that painful 5th of May 2011, he was beaten by members of the National Revolutionary Police.
This Cuban citizen was called Juan Wilfredo Soto Garcia and he was 46 years old. He had spent thirty years combating what your brother Fidel Castro Ruz represents. With barely 16 years of age he was jailed under the crime of “Damages to Socialist Property” and he served 4 years.
Years later, in 1987, he stood on the roof of the home of his former wife (mother of his children) to scream slogans against the government which is now headed by you. After being kicked around, he was sentenced to 5 years in prison for other transgressions against State Security. In this case, for “Oral Enemy Propaganda” and “Public Scandal”.
In 2004, he committed another common crime, due to the fact that his sister, Rosa Soto Garcia (who has been a psychiatric patient since the age of 16) used the ashes of their deceased father to carry out an African Santeria ritual. Juan Wilfredo snatched the vase, which contained the remains of their father, from her hand and threw it out of the apartment window.
As a consequence, the thrown remains accidentally impacted a passerby who had to be hospitalized. Because of this, he was sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment under charges of Grave Injuries which Unintentionally Endangered a Life. However, under that sentence he was classified as a member of the “Pedro Luis Boitel Imprisonment” group.
With this preamble, I explain to you who my friend Soto Garcia really was and disproves the news report made by your government this past May 9th where a Cuban patriot who fought against totalitarianism is defamed. At the same time, I think it is also a Psychiatric Abuse to use his sick sister to publish an article on Granma.
However, if we take into account that you yourself, during the closing discourse in the recent VI Communist Party Congress of Cuba, gave permission to your most aggressive followers to beat us, your nonviolent dissidents, on the streets of Cuba. In the plazas and in the avenues, which in fact, belong to all Cubans.
And that is why I am demanding two things:
1) Give orders to investigate, prosecute, and sentence the assassin police officers who killed Juan Wilfredo Soto Garcia.
2) That you publicly pronounce yourself so that we, your opponents, are no longer beaten and confronted in the streets during peaceful protests.
Until you execute these two petitions, I declare myself on Hunger and Thirst Strike until the final consequences and you, and your government, will be the only ones responsible for my death.
If I carry out this sacrifice, I have done it so that there will be JUSTICE, and thus avoiding a cruel CIVIL WAR between fellow countrymen.
Awaiting a quick response from you,
Jorge Luis Artiles Montiel
Peaceful Dissident and Former Political Prisoner on 4 Occasions