Welcome to Placetas

Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Placetas is a city in the Villa Clara Province in the center of Cuba. Close towns include Zulueta (to the north), San Juan de los Remedios (to the northeast), Cabaiguán and Fomento (to the east), and Santa Clara and Camajuani (to the west). Placetas is also a municipio, one of 13 subdivisions of the Villa Clara Province. Cuba's geographical center, Guaracabuya, is located in this municipality.

In other words, not a beach-side resort frequented by Canadian and European tourists.

Placetas is also the home of Cuban political prisoner and pro-democracy leader, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez "Antunez."

On, March 15, 1990, a then 25-year old Antunez stood at the center square of Placetas, listening to the government’s official radio transmission calling for the IV Congress of the Communist Party. He spontaneously began to shout "what we want and we need reforms like the ones performed in Eastern Europe."

Immediately, he was beaten by State Security agents, charged with "oral enemy propaganda" and imprisoned. That would be the beginning of a 17-year prison term, almost half of his current life in prison.

Ant├║nez was not released until 2007. He is now 45 years old, with an entire life ahead of him.

The Castro regime would love for Antunez to leave the island permanently, but he refuses to do so. He has decided to stay in Cuba and demand that the human and civil rights of the Cuban people be respected. For this, he has been re-arrested over 30 times since 2007.

Last week, at that same center square in Placetas, Antunez and other local pro-democracy leaders gathered to honor Cuba's current political prisoners.

The video clip is below.

The names being called out are those of Cuban political prisoners.

NOTE to Senate Foreign Relations Chairman John Kerry and House Foreign Affairs Chairman Howard Berman:

Antunez and his colleagues were not "educated" on the importance of human rights and civil disobedience by foreign tourists.

Unwittingly though, foreign tourists have financed their repression.