On the 20th Anniversary Of UNPACU Founder Fights From Prison
The UNPACU is part of a process that led to the July 11 protest, when the Cuban people took to the streets en masse to demand freedom, Mr José Daniel Ferrer emphasised.
Twenty years ago, Mr. Ferrer left prison as one of the last of seventy-five political prisoners released as a result of the deal between Catholic church and the Cuban Communist regime. The regime unjustly sentenced him and his colleagues, the so-called the 75, to twenty-five years in prison in 2003 on the trumped up charges of the plot with the United States to subvert the Cuban state. He rejected an offer of freedom in exchange for forced immigration to Cuba. I want to see a free people, and the best place to fight is here inside, he explained.
The regime targeted Mr. Ferrer, an energetic member of Christian Liberation Movement founded by the Cuban leader Oswaldo Payá, since he successfully coordinated the Valera Project, advocating for democratic political reforms within Cuba, in the southern provinces.
After his release, together with other senior opposition member Guillermo Farina, Mr. Ferrer established The Patriotic Union of Cuba, UNPACU, on August 25, 2011.
Today, the tyranny imposes a new version of the undemocratic constitution, increases the repression against peaceful opponents, independent journalists, human rights defenders, the self-employed, and all the people. Therefore Cubans who live inside and outside of Cuba must unite and redouble their efforts to end oppression, Mr. Ferrer emphasised in the UNPACU program.
The Umbrella group for Cubans seeking freedom
The Patriotic Union of Cuba, its Founder explained, was an umbrella organisation for all Cubans interested in the freedom, sovereignty, and prosperity of the nation. The program discussed property, workers' rights, free trade unions, freedom of the press, and universal suffrage. It also focused on the problems of everyday Cuban like food, wages, health, racism, and even sport and leisure.
The idea is that nonviolent struggle is the path to Cuba’s democratisation, Mr. Ferrer emphasised.
The new idea of UNPACU leader that turned to be a success was promotion of the freedom ideas through the program for youth and children as the founder explained.
In 2012, the regime, with plenty of resources in its hands, wanted to compete always using repression, with the children’s and youth activities organised by the UNPACU, Mr. Ferrer told Editor of the Perth Heral Tribune, the predecessor of TheOwner. On several occasions, many children and young people that had taken part in the activities organized by the regime decided to come to us, he added.
A new Cuban opposition movement perceived itself as a continuation of the anti-Communism battle of the opposition in Central Europe, especially in Poland.
The UNPACU recognises in the long struggle of the Polish people against communism a unique source of inspiration and hope because we have to face the same type of adversary. And because their struggle opened the way to democracy for all of Eastern Europe, despite the harsh economic crisis and Soviet military threat, Mr. Ferrer emphasised.
Cuban Communist party could probably tolerate a discussion group, even a political group with a nil impact on society. But the energetic and influential group of Cubans who dedicated their lives to offer help to others was a severe threat to the regimes' strategy for atomisation and isolation of its citizens.
The regime punished UNPACU activists for help to the victims of hurricanes
There is a new wave of repression that exceeds with its magnitude the so-called Black Spring of 2003 when 75 dissidents were sentenced to long prison terms, informed in the interview with the Editor of Perth Herald Tribune. Mr. Ferrer explained Raul Castro intensified control, harassment, and other repressions of dissidents to prevent mass protests. At that time, the police surveillance was more pervasive, the harassment more frequent, and the likelihood of imprisonment of opposition much higher than it was months before Fidel Castro's death.
Mr. Ferrer indicated that the West's indifference to the inhumane policies of Communist Cuba's regime was the reason for a new wave of persecutions.
I want to emphasise something, the Cuban opposition leader told PH-Tribune. Since the Castro received concessions from the West, which closed eyes on the regime's crimes against its citizens, we can tell without a doubt that Raúl's behaviour became much more aggressive and repressive than Fidel, Cuban opposition leader explained.
The regime perceived the UNPACU's involvement in humanitarian aid and education as a threat. The movement offered great help to Cubans when the Communist regime, as usual, closed its eyes on suffering.
After Hurricane Sandy hit the eastern provinces in October 2012, the UNPACU helped hundreds of victims. Thanks to the material support from Cubans in exile, the movement assisted discretely in avoiding persecutions. When Hurricane Matthew landed in October 2016, the regime persecuted UNPACU when it tried to help victims.
The secret police arrested and even imprisoned activists. The vandals broke into homes and tried to prevent other activists from helping the victims of the disaster in the Guantanamo province.
The UNPACU Founder unjustly imprisoned
On the tenth anniversary of UNPACU, the regime has again unjustly imprisoned the Founder.
After nearly three weeks silence on whereabouts of Cuban opposition UNPACU leader Mr. Jose Daniel Ferrer regime sent a document to his wife. The document said that the judge reversed a house arrest for Mr. Ferrer to real imprisonment. He has now serve 4 years in prison.
Two years ago, the Communist court unjustly imposed on the Cuban leader a limitation of freedom. At that time, he stated he would not comply because he had not committed a crime. The accusation and the so-called trial were fabricated to make it impossible for him to move through the city.
He stated he would continue to demonstrate, organising, fight against tyranny until Cuba is free. On July 11, he kept his word and left the house to join the peaceful anti-Communist Uprising. But the secret police illegally arrested him and his son near his house.