Though I’m several days behind, I get to access my blog to publicly thank all friends and the media who remained attentive and concerned for us during the repressive raid of the final days of 2014.
My son, Victor Ariel González, freelance journalist and 14ymedio.com reporter, was arrested around noon on the 30th, as he left his building to come to our home for lunch, just when his father and I came by to pick him up. Thanks to that strange coincidence, he was the only one of dozens of detainees whose whereabouts was known, since we got in the police car with him, which took all three of us to the Guanabacoa police station, where he remained under arrest until December 31st, when he was freed in the afternoon hours while we stayed outside the station.
During the 25 and one-half hours that he was held there, we received dozens of calls from friends inside and outside Cuba: Yoani Sánchez, who was kept informed of the entire situation through social networks; my friends and colleagues at Cubanet, who also reported every detail and the names of the detainees; Elizardo Sánchez of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights; Laritza Diversent of Cubalex, who kept in touch with us, advising us of the law and whose directions were very significant to put pressure, according to the rights validated by law, for the release of Victor Ariel. Luzbely Escobar and countless colleagues and fellow travelers were in constant contact with us.
I don’t want to ignore the messages and calls of support I received from different parts of Cuba and abroad: friends from the Coexistence group; Henry Constantin from Camagüey; my friend Frank from Guanabo; of Marta and Eugenio, my essential and everlasting friends from Kendall; my dear cousin from Hialeah, and many others I will not mention because I prefer not to expose them, as they live in Cuba and are valuable anonymous activists.
I assure you that solidarity and strength all of you offered me were crucial to overcome the difficult hours of helplessness, powerlessness and worry about the fate of our son. However, I experienced the satisfaction of confronting at least three of the hired guns with my truths.
I never thought that another individual’s hatred towards me would be capable of making me so strong and of provoking such a comforting feeling. That’s what they are, mere instruments of hatred of a regime that is more brutal the more it is feared.
It makes an impression to see these young lackeys, blind and submissive at the service of a dictatorship which they will outlive. If I didn’t despise them so much, I think I would feel sorry for them.
Both the minions of the political police and the uniformed police, cohorts in the outrage, were nervous. It is absurd to see how fearful they become in the face of the simple possibility that we Cubans may express ourselves freely. An artist barely announces a performance and the terrors of the regime are unleashed, sending its dogs to lock up even people who did not have the least intention to participate in the event.
Also because of fear, they made efforts to get my husband and me to leave the police station. Relatives of those detained for common crimes stared at us curiously, but also with respect, listening attentively at our every word.
“I recommend you go home. Victor Ariel will remain under investigation for a minimum of 24 hours”, said a young clown (from counterintelligence) dressed in plainclothes, who — among other cute remarks — threatened to arrest me “for contempt.”
“If it’s 24 months, I will not move from this spot until you free him. I don’t know if you were born of a woman, but the one you have locked up there, with no reason and violating his rights, is my son. Lock me up if you feel like you must.” That etcetera left, very upset.
Meanwhile, many friends were getting ready to join us to gather in front of the police station and demand the release of Victor Ariel, if he remained imprisoned for more than a day. I had told this to the police, and I’m sure they were anxious that their bosses would free my son soon.
Finally they took him to the back of the building, secretly, to avoid celebratory scenes in front of their little prison, and returned him in a patrol car to his home. His father and I were informed of this by a uniformed individual, and we anticipated his arrival to greet him on the first floor of his building, where they left him.
I also want to share with readers the pride I feel for my son’s straightforward attitude, who returned with an ever-wide smile and in very high spirits. Around the time he was imprisoned, he refused to take food or water, in protest against the arbitrary detention.
Not for a moment did I doubt his fortitude, despite the threat of the instructor at Villa Marista, who assured him “if you keep doing what you are doing we are going prosecute you legally. Let that be a warning to you.” Victor Ariel did not sign the official warning or the detention documents, but simply replied to that executioner, “I will keep on writing.”
I will too. And I will be with him in all circumstances for certain, however difficult it may be. I know that there are difficult times ahead, but I also know that I will be able to count on you. We will not be lacking in the faith and confidence that you have shown us.
Again, all of you, thank you!
Translated by Norma Whiting
5 January 2015