Cholera in Cuba
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“El Critico” will keep writing what comes from his heart

“El Critico” will keep writing what comes from his heart
REINALDO ESCOBAR, La Habana | Enero 13, 2015

Ángel Yunier Remón, El Crítico, releases, UNPACU, political prisoners
Given to putting rhymes to reality and signing to the rhythm of rap’s
social protest, Angel Yunier Remón, “ El Critico,” just got out of
prison where he spent the last two years due to his activism. In March
of 2013, Remón, who also coordinated the Patriotic Union of Cuba
(UNPACU) in Bayamo, was arrested for painting “Down with the
dictatorship!” on a wall in front of his house. He was sentenced to six
years for assault.

During the time he has been in prison, El Critico has suffered from
cholera, and carried out several hunger strikes. The campaign for his
release gained intensity on social networks, generated solidarity among
many other musicians in the world, and led to demand for his release by
numerous international organizations.

Less than 72 hours after his release, 14ymedio held a telephone
conversation with El Critico, already at home in Bayamo.

Question: Prison is hard for anyone. What did you experience in your
time behind bars?

Answer: As you know, I’ve been out three days and now I’m trying to
reintegrate myself into my family after spending one year, ten months
and fifteen days in prison. I want you to know that I was subjected to
physical and psychological torture there, meant to punish me for my
ideals, which are in sync with those held today by the majority of the
Cuban population. They are the same as the dreams of this people, which
has suffered sophism for more than 56 years and spent decades asking for
changes and justice.

Q: What is the situation of the other activists who are in the same prison?

A: I was in Las Mangas provincial prison, four miles from Bayamo. With
me, among other activists, were Rubisney Villavicencio Figueredo and
Alexander Otero Rodríguez, who are also home now.

Q: Can you tell us about the day you were released and give us some
details about your current legal situation?

A: They never explained to me that I was being released. I’d spent a
month in a punishment cell because of the disobedience I maintained. I
was in my underwear, because they had taken everything. Then the guards
came and returned the clothes they’d taken and ordered me to collect my
things. Everything indicated I was being transferred, but they didn’t
tell me anything. I left prison in a paddy wagon, accompanied by several
guards and other State Security personnel. When we were outside they let
me out, gave me a paper and left. On this paper there was a stamp and a
signature saying that I was on parole.

Q: Your case prompted a lot of solidarity around the world. Do you want
to say something to the people have demanded your release all this time?

A: I don’t know how to thank so much goodness and I want to at least
offer a fraternal embrace. Undoubtedly, these are people who sided with
the truth, whether from exile or from here. this shows that when voices
are raised, as they should be, they can make themselves heard. This we
must also do for a free Cuba, which is what so many of us want.

Q: What are you thinking of doing now? What are your plans?

A: I have a musical project I’ve fought hard for, so I am going to go
out and see the youth of my city, where there is a lot of talent. This
project is called “The children nobody wanted.*” So now I want to
dedicate myself to making music and rescuing the talent of all these
young people who want to be heard. For my part, I can assure you that El
Critico will continue writing what comes from my heart.

Q: How were you received in your neighborhood?

A: Here, right now, there is tremendous confusion, but great joy. One by
one almost all the neighbors have come by the house to offer their
support and their joy that I’m out. These are people who were witnesses
to the injustices committed in this neighborhood. Now they come to
embrace me and it is as if they had all been released along with me.

Q: Were you able to write any new songs while you were in prison?

A: I have documented everything that happened. They are experiences
acquired in a difficult situation and I want to reveal them in my songs,
because they are things that should be known.

*Translator’s note: Taken from the title of a novel (and also a blog) by
Angel Santiesteban, who remains in prison.

Source: “El Critico” will keep writing what comes from his heart –

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