Cuban Ex-Political Prisoners: "Sanders Should Apologize for Praising Castro"
"We are not the only hurt by Sanders’ words", the former political prisoners said on an Open Letter to the Democrat Party. "We would like to hear his apology, but do not expect it. Socialists are usually arrogant"
 

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ADN Cuba publishes an open letter sent by former Cuban political prisoners to the Chairman of the Democratic National Committee in response to Bernie Sanders’  remarks on Cuba.


Mr. Tom Perez
Chairman, Democratic National Committee

Dear Mr. Perez:

As former political prisoners who served many year in Fidel Castro’s prisons, enduring tortures, beatings, years of solitary confinement, and inhuman treatment, we are offended that a presidential candidate of your party dared to praise a tyrant who shed so much blood of innocent Cubans, deprived all people of its basic rights, divided most families, confiscated all properties and businesses, forced to exile over 10% of the population and impoverished the country to levels of subsistence. After 61 years of socialism, the average income in Cuba is $20 a month, well below the $1 a day set by the World Bank as the lowest level of subsistence.

Mr. Sanders either lies or ignores the events in Cuba. Socialism is the worst political system any country may go through. In 1959, at the advent of Castro’s revolution, Cuba was in its way to development. Cuba was the first world exporter of sugar; the second largest exporter of tobacco; the fifth largest exporter of nickel and cobalt; and was self-sufficient in produce and meat. Cuba exported shoes to Italy and beef to the United Kingdom. Cuba had the third highest income per capita in Latin America and the 40th of the world. As a contrasting data, Cuba, today, has to import 82% of the food it consumes.

Cuba had 12 universities and 87% of literacy. Cuba did not need Castro’s “literacy program”. What the tyrant did, in fact, was a “political indoctrination program” to deceive innocent peasants. Even today, if you take a reading book of elementary education, you verify that indoctrination is at the core of the educational system imposed by the Castro regime. Mr. Sanders praises the Education and Healthcare systems in the island, but may it be good that besides mandatory indoctrination, only students who are members of the political organizations of the regime are allowed access to higher education? Does Mr. Sanders know that Special Rapporteurs of United Nations have sent letters to the Cuban regime complaining that Cuban doctors have become modern slaves? The regime sends doctors to work at other countries and keeps from 75% to 90% of the doctors’ wages. Besides, their passports are removed and keep them all under close surveillance to prevent any “desertion.”
 

Luis Zuñiga Former Cuban political prisoner 19 years in prison

 

Mr. Sanders is also wrong if he thinks that Cubans did not rebel against Castro’s socialist revolution. In the first 24 months, Castro executed over two thousand people. Soon after, he began to execute most of his former revolutionary palls who rejected the socialist dictatorship. In 1962, just 3 years after Castro’s takeover, there were rebels fighting his tyranny in almost every hill of the country.

In 1962, there were over 100,000 political prisoners. Does Mr. Sanders know about the forced labor programs (Cuban Gulags) his beloved Fidel Castro ordered to “re-educate” the political prisoners, where beatings were brutal and starvation a norm?

In his first 4 years of socialist rule, he imposed a state of terror in the island that lasts until today. People, just for sending medicines to the rebels in the mountains, were sentenced to death. The simple mentioning of the words “firing squads” sends a DC Hill along the spine of most Cubans.
 

Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez” Former Cuban political prisoner 17 years in prison

 

Mr. Perez, the suffering of the Cuban people under the socialist regime of the Castro brothers has been so intense and long, that the least remedy for Mr. Sanders’ indolence is a public apology.

The best evidence of what the Cuban people would have done in a free and democratic Cuba if the socialist dictatorship had not existed is Miami. Cuban Americans have attained magnificent successes in practically all fields.

In politics: Two Cuban Americans have been Lieutenant Governors of the State of Florida. Of the 100 Senators of the US, three are Cuban Americans. Fifteen Cuban Americans have been ambassadors of the US around the world. Tenths of Cuban Americans have been and are mayors in cities, not just of Florida, but also of cities like Wichita, in Kansas, and West New York, in New Jersey. A Cuban American is a Federal Congressman for West Virginia and another for New Jersey. In science: The President of the American Chemistry Society is a Cuban American. A Cuban American is the Director of Space Craft Launching at John F. Kennedy Space Center. A Cuban American presided the Regulatory Commission of Nuclear Energy of the US. In the military: A Cuban American woman was Rear Admiral of the Navy and Under Secretary of Health. A Cuban American is General of the Air Force. Three have been generals of the US Army and over 10 have been Colonels. In Business: numerous Cuban Americans have lead blue chip corporations like Coca Cola, Kellogg, AT&T, Pizza Hot, Mc Donald, Perry Ellis, and so forth.  After so many successes, where are the praises of Mr. Sanders for the Cuban American community?
 

Ernesto Diaz Former Cuban political prisoner- 23 years in prison

 

Mr. Bernie Sanders has all the right to profess any political ideology he likes, but no right at all to lie about the crimes and wrong policies Fidel Castro, his brother and their political system have caused to millions of Cubans, most of them now US citizens.

We are not the only hurt by Sanders’ words, the Democrat Party that you preside, is also hurt when truth is distorted so blatantly as Mr. Sanders, a presidential candidate of you party, did. We would like to hear his apology, but do not expect it. Socialists are usually arrogant.

Sincerely,
 

Angel de Fana
Former Cuban political prisoner – 22 years in prison
 
Ernesto Diaz
Former Cuban political prisoner- 23 years in prison
 
Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez”
Former Cuban political prisoner
17 years in prison
 
Luis Zuñiga
Former Cuban political prisoner
19 years in prison
 
Basilio Guzmán
Former Cuban Political Prisoner
22 years in prison
 
Roberto Pizano
Former Cuban Political Prisoner
18 years in prison

Angel de Fana Former Cuban political prisoner – 22 years in prison