In two recent columns — published Wednesday and today — I have written about Antúnez, the Cuban democracy leader. (He is known by just the one name.) He has spearheaded a petition urging the United States not to drop sanctions against the Cuban dictatorship. It has been signed by more than 800 of his fellow Cuban democrats. This is remarkable in light of the fact that an expression of support for sanctions is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Today’s column includes the following information: On Friday, Antúnez and his wife, Yris, were arrested, as they have been repeatedly over many years. Once more, they were brutalized. It seems I have been writing about them, and the beatings they endure, forever. They refuse to die, and they refuse to quit. On Friday, Antúnez was strangled and lost consciousness twice. He was also injected with an unknown substance. (This is a common practice against dissidents.) Before they released him, state security warned Antúnez that he was at greater risk than ever.
I type this blogpost now simply to say that, today, Antúnez and Yris were again arrested. They will be tried (in the usual Castroite fashion). People who care about freedom, human rights, and simple decency ought to keep an eye on them, and their fellows. An expression of concern from the White House would be especially helpful. People in free countries have an obligation to people in unfree countries. Most often, they cannot speak for themselves.