The Speech Cuba's Regime Didn't Want You to Hear

Thursday, September 18, 2014
Below are this week's remarks by blind lawyer, Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva, at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva.

As we previously posted, the Castro regime's delegation interrupted Gonzalez Leiva three times and became threatening.

Item 3
United Nations Human Rights Council
September 15, 2014

My name is Juan Carlos González Leiva. I've spent 20 years as a blind lawyer defending human rights, suffering beatings, arbitrary arrests and organized mobs. From March 4, 2002 to April 26, 2004, I was detained in the Police Center of Pedernales, Holguín, without trial, for celebrating a congress about human rights. There, they systematically sprayed chemical substances over me that burned my skin and occasioned hallucinations, strong headaches and allergies.

I was confined without access to the press, telephone, correspondence, or religious assistance. Murderous prisoners threatened me and prevented me from sleeping night and day. In my cell were left exposed electric cables with current.

Human rights defenders in my country are victims of a constant policy of repression.

For example: In 2014 I was beaten together with 10 activists in the street. Agents dislocated my left leg and right shoulder and I lost consciousness when they applied a choke hold. Jorge Luis García Pérez “Antúnez”and his wife Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera were arrested, beaten and transferred to the local police headquarters where Antúnez was placed in a choke hold losing consciousness several times and was injected by state security agents with an unknown substance. His home was invaded and sacked.

Other activists arbitrarily detained and beaten were: José Daniel Ferrer García, Yusmila Reina Ferrera, Geobanis Izaguirre Hernández and Ernesto Ortiz Betancourt.

I ask the United Nations protection for me and all the activists inside Cuba because soon I will return to my country to continue defending human rights.

(Courtesy of the Cuban Democratic Directorate.)