When the authors of this blog called Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez” this past Tuesday, August 30th, to record some declarations about the savage beating carried out against a dissident- Yoan David Gonzalez Milanes- the voice emanating from the other line was not what was expected. As it turns out, the Cuban political police, bent on silencing and humiliating any person who opposes them, has applied another form of censorship- manipulating voices coming out of cell phones. Antunez condemned that, this time, the repressive apparatus of the Cuban tyranny, in all its desperation, worked together with the Cuban phone company ETECSA to distort his voice, making it difficult to understand, attempting to make recorded declarations less credible and to make fun of him.
We had to call the cell phone of Yris Tamara, wife of Antunez, in order to better communicate and record his message. We were able to record his normal voice, from his wife’s phone, and his distorted phone on his cell phone. Here are the recordings. The first half is his regular voice, the second is the work of the Cuban political police:
On that same Tuesday, various reports were detailing that the telephone lines of many dissidents had been blocked by the Cuban regime. Many have suggested that this increased censorship is because dissidents have been constantly reporting all the atrocities being committed against them and everyday citizens on the island, specifically the savage beatings of the Ladies in White and other activists. Recently, dissident blogger Luis Felipe Rojas reported that he too was facing harsh censorship as he traveled miles in an attempt to access the internet, which as it turns out was restricted. Antunez classifies all these restrictions and all the beatings against dissidents as “brutal and cowardly acts of repression employed by the Castro-communist tyranny throughout the entire island, especially in Eastern Cuba“.
“This violence seen all over the country proves the desperation and rage of the regime“, stated Antunez, “they do not want to accept all the success being achieved by the Cuban resistance, which despite beatings and prison threats is still taking to the streets“.
The dissident from Placetas also declared that the manipulation of his voice, just like all other forms of censorship practiced against dissidents, is attributed to the fact that members of the resistance have been using their phones and Twitter messages to report and record many public protests which have been occurring throughout the island, like the recent street protests in Havana (members of the Rosa Parks movement in the Havana Capitol building, public protest in the Cuatro Caminos Market, family of imprisoned dissident protests in a Havana street August 30th). According to Antunez, those who take to the street are the ones that “fight in the most difficult and important scenario“.
Dissident Yoan David Gonzalez Milanes Beaten by Political Police
Antunez also expressed concern for the health of the young dissident Yoan David Gonzalez Milanes who is handicapped, as he is missing a leg. “Just a few hours ago“, Antunez explained, “he denounced that he had just been beaten by an instigator of the political. Crutches and all, he was beaten and injured“. Antunez considers Yoan David to be a dignified representative of the Cuban resistance and he is calling on the international community to intercede for him. He also expressed worry for Raul Risco Perez, a dissident and member of the Orlando Zapata National Front from Pinar del Rio. Just a few days ago, Risco suffered a severe beating and arrest at the hands of the political police while he carried out a peaceful street protest. As of yet, he is still missing.
Despite the fact that the dictatorship’s forces seek to impede information from leaving Cuba, dissidents always find a way to express their opinions and to denounce all the crimes committed daily against those who do not agree with the government. They may distort the voice of Antunez, but he will continue protesting and joining in solidarity with other brave dissidents in the island. “Our utmost respect and admiration for Raul Risco, for the brave women of the Rosa Parks Movement, for the Ladies in White, for that giant of the Cuban resistance- Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia- who carries out an important role in the East of Cuba, fore the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Front, for Sara Marta Fonseca, and for all Cubans who fight for freedom in or out of the island“. He also acknowledged and thanked the Assembly of the Resistance, an umbrella group which includes more than 60 dissident groups both in and out of the country.
“Our brothers everywhere must know that in Cuba there is a wave of dissidents formed by young members, blacks, whites, country people, and all sorts of Cubans, and they are at the forefront of the struggle and that should be followed closely. My Cuban brothers, and all friends of Cuba, freedom is near“.