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September 2013
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    Who Keeps Ernesto Borges Prisoner?

    Who Keeps Ernesto Borges Prisoner? / Lilianne Ruiz
    Posted on September 7, 2013

    I have lost my little scissors, the ones for cutting fingernails. For a
    moment I thought the world had ended because here things are very well
    kept. A lot has to change to find good scissors, especially with the
    characteristics of the ones I thought I had lost.

    I was still talking with a friend on the phone about that matter and
    Ernesto’s call came. He is the son of Raul Borges Alvarez, a well-known
    political dissident.

    Fifteen years ago he was imprisoned for political reasons. In 1998,
    being still a captain of counterintelligence and analyst in that
    department, he collected files with classified information about more
    than 20 baited agents prepared for international espionage, and he tried
    to get them to a US official based in Havana.

    The story was more or less this: He threw the files into the garden,
    near the front door. With a pole he managed to ring the bell but the
    door never opened. He was detained for a few hours, taken to Villa
    Marista and advised that the penalty was death. But that broke up the
    Wasp Network and the fact is that Ernesto thinks that is why they did
    not shoot him.

    Five years ago he should have been on parole according to the law.
    Because the prosecutor recognized the family on the day of the trial as
    being military and having no criminal background, having been judged by
    a military tribunal, he would only complete a third of the 30 years to
    which they sentenced him.

    But, although after two hunger strikes last year he received a visit
    from the Commission to examine his conditional release, he has received
    no answer. Until a few days ago he was called together with his father
    and brother to the office of the Combinado del Este prison, where he has
    spent recent years, and notified that his parole had to keep waiting.

    Among the arguments given by the military of Section 21, known also as
    “confronting counterrevolution,” was that his father Raul Borges Alvarez
    attended Santa Rita in order to march near the Ladies in White, which is
    the Movement that most effectivtely works to make visible the situation
    of Cuban political prisoners, and that continued its
    “counterrevolutionary” activities. Because father Borges is president of
    a Christian democratic party.

    The second argument brandished to refuse conditional release was that
    Ernesto Borges had carried out two hunger strikes.

    Some few have achieved their liberation with that recourse of the hunger
    strike, others like Zapata Tamayo and Villar Mendoza (recently, because
    history has more examples) have died because they have let them die.

    Ernesto ends the call reminding me of a quote from The Social Contract,
    by Rousseau, “When one man is above the law, the rights of others are in
    danger.” He also tells me that after the second hunger strike, last
    year, he received a visit from a general, Chief of jails and prisons,
    who told him that his case was not in his hands but at “the highest
    management level.” What do you think?

    Translated by mlk

    6 September 2013

    Source: “Who Keeps Ernesto Borges Prisoner? / Lilianne Ruiz |
    Translating Cuba” –

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