An open letter from Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet from the Kilo 5.5 Prison in Pinar del Rio Cuba
To my fellow Cubans, wherever you find yourselves, whether in our enslaved island, or in exile in any part of the world. I include also those descendents of Cubans born in other lands. To all of you I send my warmest and sincere greetings.
Our efforts to achieve the unconditional liberty of our nation will soon become reality. I do not need to reveal details to communicate what among Cubans is common knowledge. We suffer not from division or fragmentation in our principles, but rather in which methods to use. We do not lack unity in ideals, but only in the methods to be applied to obtain our liberty. Unfortunately, these insignificant differences of opinion have given room for division among exile leaders and dissidents inside Cuba. These differences have given oxygen to the flames of the most recent and dangerous obstacle that we confront.
I refer to the movement for complacency. A movement that intends to make Cubans—faithful lovers of liberty—believe that they should applaud and be content to receive only small doses of liberty. A movement that suggests that Cubans do not deserve full liberty, but only small dosages of it. This movement of low expectations unites with speculation that other fragments of liberty and democracy will automatically follow. This thoughtless movement does not claim for Cubans internationally recognized basic human rights, it only suggests them. It does not claim the democratic rights of the violated Constitution of 1940, but opts instead for the framework of the illegitimate Communist constitution of 1976. That constitution is nothing more than an instrument of oppression, a malevolent document whose only purpose is to justify the totalitarian and ill-formulated state. It is an illegal aberration that has permitted and even encouraged the imprisonment, torture and execution of political opponents without even the minimal legal rights or a defense. An atheist abomination that has only served those who enslave our nation.
To those who feel exhausted after more than 40 years of constant oppression and of unfruitful efforts. To those whose frustrations and discontent have caused them to lose their moral compass. To those who have concluded that we must appease the oppressor. To them I ask:
Is it acceptable to the memory of the thousands of young Cubans, our best sons, who were executed by firing squads for the simple crime of defending our right to full liberty, to now accept complacency? Do those tens of thousands of compatriots who spent decades in prison, and who are still in a prison system whose horrors we can only imagine, deserve only partial liberty? Do those countless families who were separated from their loved ones and destroyed in the process, or those who have perished at sea, or who have died in exile dreaming of returning to their country, deserve that we now accept the crumbs that we are being offered? Shall we accept defeat after nearly a half a century of patriotic heroism in search of liberty and democracy, or shall we show the world that the most brutal and longest lasting dictatorship in our time could not extinguish the unbreakable spirit of liberty of the Cubans?
I must tell you that we have reached a crossroad in our history. Nearly a half a century ago we as a nation confronted a similar historical decision. In those days many accepted the fateful words that circulate again today: “anything would be better than what we already have.” They were mistaken then and they are mistaken now. Tragically, more than forty years of our national nightmare have elapsed to find ourselves again with the same question, and with the opportunity to correct our mistakes and make ourselves truly the owners of our own destiny.
I call for the unity of all my compatriots. There exists only one path before us. A path that unites us and includes all Cubans inside and outside the island of Cuba. A path that claims the rights of the citizenry in its entirety. A path that demands full democracy and the unconditional freedom of the Cuban people under a multiparty system of government, democratically elected through free general elections. A path where the Rule of Law is established and which guarantees equality under the law, without distinction of races, sex or religious creed. A path that brings about an unconditional and immediate amnesty to all political prisoners.
Fellow Cubans, let us take a step forward and let us do it in a clear and decisive manner. The work awaiting us is difficult but not impossible. Together we can achieve for our country the genuine democracy deserved by Cuba’s citizens.
Finally, to the leaders of the democratic states of the world, to the American people, and in particular to the President of the United States, George W. Bush, we ask only one simple commitment: do not support or promote any solution or accord regarding the future of the Cuban nation that you would not consider acceptable for your own country.
May God illuminate us in our path for the liberty of Cuba.
Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet
(Dr. Biscet communicated the above to his wife from his cell in the 5 ½ Km prison, in Pinar de Rio, Cuba, stating that he is a believer in liberty and Democracy and that he wished for those who collaborate with him on the road to freedom to have the opportunity to elaborate this document in his name, based on his principles and declarations. His wife, Elsa Morejon Hernandez, resident of Lawton, Havana, Cuba, is witness to this.)