Jorge Luis García Pérez "Antúnez"
AfroCuban Antúnez is heralded by dissidents for his
refusal to yield to State Security, though he is largely unknown in Cuba
and his support network, including his sister Berta, is aligned with such
pillars of the extreme right as the Directorio Democrático Cubano (DDC)
and the U.S.-Cuba Democracy Political Action Committee, which lobbies to
maintain the embargo, an anathema to most dissidents on the island.
"Jorge Luis García Pérez (known as Antúnez) is a well-known human right and democracy activist in Cuba.
Antúnez was a jailed for 17 years from 1990 to 2007. Other dissidents have referred to Antúnez as Cuba's Nelson Mandela.
During a demonstration in March 1990 State Security heard him saying that communism is an error and a utopia; he was sentenced to five years in prison. In prison, he refused to wear the uniform and participate in "communist re-education", which meant a violent beating, nine months in solitary confinement and more years in prison. He escaped from prison to see his sick mother, but could not find her and was free only for a day. His mother died a month later. He was found guilty of "attempted sabotage". The Communist regime also found him guilty of failing to respect the Cuban leader, Fidel Castro.
Antúnez continued nonviolent resistance in prison, where he gave birth to a political prisoner group named after Pedro Luis Boitel, an imprisoned dissident who died in a hunger strike in 1972. His courage received worldwide attention. Pope John II, when visiting Cuba in 1998, asked the regime to release him.
Antúnez was released in 2007, ahead of talks on European Union sanctions, after being imprisoned for 17 years and 34 days.
Antúnez, his wife Iris, and Diosiris Santana Pérez launched a hunger strike in 2009. Several leaders from Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Argentina declared their support for Antúnez. Police threatened Antúnez with eviction from his house and "disobedience" charges for hosting three other dissident thinkers (Osiris Santana Pérez, Ernesto Mederos Arrozarena and Carlos Michael Morales Rodríguez) in his home in April 2009."
Antúnez's wife, Iris Perez Aguilera, heads up the
"Movimiento Feminista por los Derechos Civiles Rosa Parks."
Cuban former political prisoner Jorge Luis García Perez
Antúnez: I felt death was very close several times, 5/07, El Mercurio, Chile
Marc Masferrer, great
nephew of El Tigre Masferrer,
carries a page on Antúnez in his blog: http://marcmasferrer.typepad.com/uncommon_sense/2007/04/jorge_luis_garc.html
El Tigre was a notorious Miami terrorist/freedom
fighter who spent time in a federal prison for trying to take over Haiti in
order to retake Cuba. He thereby reversed the usual plantocracy bugaboo
about Haitians inciting rebellions in Cuba.
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