Dissidents in Cuba
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The ashes of a dissident and of a minister

Editorial: The ashes of a dissident and of a minister
DDC | Madrid | 13 de Enero de 2017 – 11:31 CET.

Félix Bonne Carcassés and Carlos Fernández Gondín died at the end of
last week, just a few hours apart, in Havana. The former was a
professor at the University of Havana for 20 years, ousted for his
political views and imprisoned for “sedition and actions against the
security of the Cuban state.” The latter, a division general, had been
Interior Minister since 2015. Both were cremated.

The funerary honors for Fernández Gondín featured all the due pomp and
circumstance: an urn exhibited at the Pantheon of Veterans at Columbus
Cemetery, prior to their burial in the Mausoleum of the Second Front.
The ashes of Bonne Carcasses, in contrast, were to be scattered at sea,
in a quiet corner of the Malecón. But such a simple ceremony was
prohibited by authorities at the ministry which Fernandez Gondín headed
until his death, which arrested friends and colleagues who came to pay
their final tribute to Bonne Carcassés.

There is widespread fear among the Cuban regime’s elite, which
recommends the cremation of every deceased leader’s body. This fear
spurs the regime to pursue and repress a simple ceremony involving the
ashes of a dissident. It is fear of the future. Fear of the desecration
of corpses, and fear of ending up as a corpse.

This is the reason for the simultaneous police arrests and searches and
threats around the country. And this is the reason for the escalation
of repression against dissidents. It is not, as one might think, a
product of the tension generated by Donald Trump, the naming of Cuban
Americans to his transition team and the rethinking of Washington’s
policies towards Cuba promised by soon-to-be Secretary of State Rex
Tillerson.

“The increase in repression in Cuba began, not a few days ago, and not
motivated by statements by Trump or his team, but during the Obama
Administration.” And it was Minister Fernández Gondín who was behind it.
Tracing the origin of repression in Cuba to recent external threats is a
subterfuge. The origin of repression is firmly within the regime: the
fear of the future its leaders feel, their fear of being cadavers, and
receiving a dreaded punishment –even after their deaths.

Source: Editorial: The ashes of a dissident and of a minister | Diario
de Cuba – www.diariodecuba.com/cuba/1484303471_28097.html

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