Ernesto Cardenal on Cuba (Prisoners, executions)

Eli Stephens elishastephens at
Wed Jul 30 17:29:34 MDT 2003

I thought I remembered someone posting part of this on the list earlier, but
a search of the archives under Cardenal turned up nothing. I just finished
reading this piece in Socialist Action, July 2003. I couldn't find it online
in English to cut and paste, but I did find it in Spanish here:

Interestingly enough, there are several translation sites on the Internet
but none of them will translate anywhere near this amount of text. However,
on Google itself, there is a "Translate this page" button, which, when hit,
produced the result below. I THINK it's a pretty decent translation although
of course those who read Spanish will undoubtedly prefer the original above.
Or, you can read a much better translation (done by humans!) in the print
edition of Socialist Action.


Source: New Newspaper, Managua, Nicaragua.

By Ernesto Cardinal, Priest and Nicaraguense Intellectual

Who can deny that in Cuba there is a great number of prisoners suffering the
prison conditions more rigorous than exist today in the world?

For them there is day nor no night, because they have them with the eyes
bandaged in complete tiniebla. Also the ears have covered them, and they
maintain sunk in perpetual silence. And they are private of all sensation
tactile, because they have the hands covered with a species of gloves. They
are hundreds of prisoners whose names have not been presented, and are not
known of what it is accused to them, and they have not been judged, and much
less condemning, and no they have defender, and they are fulfilling a
sentence infinite, because not him it has put term.

These are imprisoned in Cuba that are not in favor imprisoned of Fidel I
castrate, but they are the prisoners of president Bush, in Guantnamo. They
are in cages individual, and dressed in red suit that all we have seen, but
them it is not known more. As they are imprisoned of Bush, and of Fidel I do
not castrate, the press North American does not say anything of them. And I
ask if the European Union he will have protested by these prisoners in Cuba.
He has demanded fixedly a The United States that sets free them, since it
has demanded to Cuba the freedom immediate of 75 prisoners?

Another question that I do is if in Cuba the terrorism is protected, and I
answer yes saying that clear that. In Cuba the terrorism is protected by
president Bush, by means of a called law of Cuban Adjustment: a law that she
is not Cuban but North American, and is only applied to Cuba, and nona no
other country in the world. According to the law, at that arrives at the
United States having kidnapped to an airplane or a boat in Cuba, ipso is
granted to him facto right to residence, and employs immediately to him. To
the Cubans they do not give visa them to enter the United States normally,
but if they do it of illegal way that prize occurs them. He is not this to
promote the terrorism in Cuba? Although the one is not Fidel that promotes
but Bush.

And at that it gets from any other part of the world to live to States
United immigrant is called to him, but to which arrives from Cuba of she
calls to them exiliados. Cuban immigrants in the United States do not exist.
If they are of any other part of the world is immigrants, but all the Cubans
in The United States is exiliados.

A very common practice of the North American power is to falsear language.
It is to falsify the words, changing names by others. Of fact this is to lie
blatantly. Thus for example, instead of the word to conquer they use the
word to release. Now they finish removing a palabrita new to apply it to
Cuba, and she is the one of - dissident -. Of his the sense of this word is
the one to dissent, not to agree, to think otherwise. But this word applies
it to which they conspire, they promote the subversion, and they try the
overthrow of the Cuban regime. - To promote the transition is another way
that they have to say it. I ask: Who protest when in any other country (that
is not Cuba) is jailed to that they want to overthrow to the regime?

I recently read a critic that became to Cuba because two senators Chileans
wanted to arrive in official visit to meet there with - dissident -, and one
said to them that they could arrive like tourists, but not in he visits
official with that intention. And I ask: In the United States they would
give it sights to that it asked for it to meet with rebels?

Also I have read that to one of these 75 - dissident ones which they are
imprisoned in Cuba president Bush wrote a letter to him congratulating it by
his heroic actions. It is not a this confirmation of the subversion crime
imputed the Cuban criminal, when the maximum enemy of Cuba congratulates,
occupied as it were in the heat of war of Iraq? Another unusual thing in
this case he was that the North American president declared the Cuban
criminal to him who he and his he handcuffs remembered it in his orations. -
Laura and I continued praying by you -, it said to him.

I wonder myself how would be seen if Fidel I castrate, whom was prisoner in
another country to conspire, wrote to him saying to him that he was praying
by him: My personal commentary is at least that, being oration, I it would
have more confidence in the orations of Fidel I castrate that in those of

As far as the ethical problem of the capital punishment, my first
observation is the following one: It is certain that in the Bible the rule
is written NO YOU KILLED. But also it is certain that in the same book of
the Bible in which it is that rule, is detailed how the death to which must
be applied it had broken the rule of not killing. I am of whom they are in
against of the capital punishment, or rather I am of which prefer that no he
is applied to nobody that pain. And Fidel is of whom thus they think, as he
said it in its speech of the 25 of April of this year, in which it explains
the reasons by that, in exceptional form, it had been applied in Cuba to
three now people.

And another question mine is the following one: If somebody (the same honest
intellectual who the European Union) protest by the execution of three
people in Cuba who tried a kidnapping would not have to still protest more
by the 165 executions had in Texas while Bush was governor of that state. He
is ethical that is protested so vehemently when one is Cuba, and not protest
nothing when one is The United States? With the aggravating one for the
United States of which the executed ones there they are in his great
majority black, and in many cases they are also smaller of mental age and

It does few days I until death saw in the newspaper the news of the sentence
of six people in Guatemala, and it was the pequeita news of 6 inches in
picture, and after it appeared that news I have seen no protest in that
newspaper nor in no other. And another one of my questions is the following
one: To what extent it is certain that one is against the capital punishment
when if nobody shoots to six in Guatemala says nothing, and if it is shot to
three in Cuba there is a world-wide scandal of incredible proportions? It
will be that it is not against the capital punishment that mobilizes the
world-wide press, but Cuba and Fidel I castrate? and the intellectuals, who
as intellectual had to be to less something intelligent, has not realized?

According to the report of Amnesty International the sentences until death
year last in the world they were 1560. No of those executions was in Cuba
and how many protests had by those 1560 executions? Since now there were
three in Cuba, has been that avalanche of protest. The intellectuals who
were used by the Cuban campaign they have not realized?

The three executions in Cuba and the take prisoner of 75 people have
happened in circumstance very special, and those that are honest not them
they can ignore. One is a country that is still on military, and before
danger to be invaded. The government of Bush, at the moment that took a end
the war with Iraq, has declared that Cuba was in the list of susceptible
military objectives of invasion and massive destruction. And Cuban
antiCastro in the United States they have sent the slogan of war - Iraq
today, Cuba tomorrow -.

Fidel in a speech explained widely to the town of Cuba and the world the
danger situation by which it was crossing Cuba, and which were the reasons
for which they had been forced to take measures drastic, like it was the
imprisonment of 75 conspiradores on salary of diplomatic representation of
the United States in Havana, and execution of three kidnappers who had been
encouraged by the law that it gives welcome them in the United States. I
wanted to listen to that speech in Managua, because still it did not know
the reasons for which Cuba had resorted so drastic measures, and I could not
listen to it, because the trasmitido speech via satellite from Havana it was
interfered. We can doubt what government he is the one that interfered with
that transmission via satellite? And he is not condemnable that a a person
whom she is blaming herself world-wide not allows his him defense in the
international radio? In addition to to have been a this violation to the
information right that we have all the Earth towns. This it only had to be
enough so that those that honestly were pronounced against Cuba they had
realized of which the opinion publishes this being manipulated, by such that
is it been manipulating against Cuba during decades. This has not been but a
deceit more. Fidel I castrate in its speech internationally censured it
explains that it is not in favor of application of the capital punishment,
and that from towards three years in Cuba not it applies, and that now this
time applied it by the threats military that it is having Cuba.

Such that condemns to Cuba by the lack of freedom of expression they are
those that prevented the diffusion via satellite of a speech of a head of
state. And such that accused Cuba of violation of the rights humans, were
those that were committing in Iraq at those moments violation to the human
rights greater than has been seen in the world from the times of Hitler. And
those that condemned to Cuba by three executions were making in Bagdad a
destruction that did not have had that city from century XIII, when the
invasion of mongoles. And in addition they declared that they were arranged
to do the same in other countries, including Cuba.

My questions are simply those of a newspaper reader.

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