Justice for Rolando / Yamil Dominguez
Translator: Unstated, Yamil Domínguez
Rolando is a great man, father, brother and friend. His incarceration
just as he was prepared to bring people, including his family,but he was
not willing to sacrifice one life when the Cuban border guard charged
him with their ships. He could have run with the chance to escape and
those in his boat were screaming at him to keep going, the desire of
those people was above all to escape the regime of the island.
But even so he voluntarily stopped his boat because he knew that the
military regime were willing to sink it. He then told people that he was
not a murderer like the military regime and could not continue to risk
their lives. He followed the orders screamed from the soldiers of the
other vessel, saying to them, "I will not be complicit in a slaughter
that you are looking for, I am not the murderer, the murderers are you."
Anyone who has lived similar experience knows that this happens for
service members of the Cuban coast guard, they ram their boats against
those carrying people who want desperately to escape the tyrannical
regime. Rolando was sentenced to 25 years in jail. I wonder where in the
world this case would result in 25 years, and knew this regime and that
the best witnesses to are inside the prisons, because there no one has
anything to hide and you say what you did and didn't do. The phrase, "I
did this, but I didn't do what they made up," is common among the
punished, and that's how the Cuban judicial system works.
I knew guys who went to get their families and the coast guard
criminally rammed their boat running the risk that the families hadn't
boarded yet, among them children, because they would have been dead.
What happened to the tugboat 13 de Marzo? They sank it without scruples,
and even with so much popular discontent that followed, Fidel Castro in
one of his rhetorical speeches supported those who perpetrated such an
act that cost so many lives, claiming they were workers from another
ship protecting the tools of their trade. That was done only on orders
from of his government. That's exactly what the Cuban regime's military
has most of the time, the advantage and no witnesses.
Those who should have to serve a 25 or 30 year sentence or those who by
order of the tyranny are willing to sacrifice the lives of civilians who
have committed the crime of loving freedom. Rolando committed his crime
and no one denies it, but he has already been in prison 10 years, 9 of
those in Combinado del Este, the most inhuman in its conditions, and it
now up to the parole law and his application under Resolution 9 of the
Since 2006, a military medical team rules that he should not have to
complete his sentence because of his deplorable state of health, but
Cuban State Security reached out their dark hand and denied his parole
saying he could finish his sentence in a hospital. None of this happened.
Rolando was like Julio Mesa, me, and others treated as CRs
(counter-revolutionary), in my opinion for being a Cuban resident in the
United States or having acquired the citizenship of the United States.
Nonetheless Rolando has remained bravely fighting for his rights. When I
entered the military hospital in the State Security wing and he was
transferred due to his poor health to the next room, only a wall divided
us; he was also there for 16 months with the subcontractor Adam Gross as
Finally his hope was that they would give him his freedom for having
served half of the sanction imposed, but it was not to be, he was
transferred to the prison of Guanajay where against the repression he
declared a hunger strike. I always knew that this was the last thing
that would do because of his poor health, mostly his heart. But guess
that's what they are able to drive him to do, those thugs who are unable
to respect a man who has spent 10 years imprisoned and rightfully plays
His family and friends have opened a blog, desperately looking for
justice and demanding his rights, and trying to ease the repression on
the part of the guards at Guanajay prison, while his health continues to
deteriorate after 10 long years. The blog, Justice for Rolando, is here.
He is one of many men who have served more than his share, and who are
still suffering the relentless punishment without limit of a regime that
has no mercy.
March 26 2012