martes, 31 de octubre de 2017

I was at Sierra Maestra with Commanders Camilo Cienfuegos and Huber Matos

Raúl Ponce Suñol

Holguín, October 27, 2017

To: Asociación de Combatientes de la provincia de Holguín (Combatants  Association of the province of Holguín)

From: Raúl Ponce Suñol, resident at calle Miró entre Areas y Libertad, identity card 31110983620

My name is Raúl Ponce Suñol, I am 86 years old and live in the area of San José and Las Flores parks, here in the city of Holguín. I am writing once more, since several years ago I tried to approach the Asociación de Combatientes (Combatants’ Association) and was not accepted. Now I write hoping this letter will be received and fairly analyzed.

When I was young, I headed for Sierra Maestra, where I fought in the Ejército Rebelde (Rebel Army) reaching the rank of captain. There, I accompanied commanders Camilo Cienfuegos and Huber Matos, which to me was an honor and something I do not regret.


But after the victory of the Revolution, precisely in the year 1961, I was stripped of my rank as captain, because I always differed with communism, since just as Commander Huber Matos, I fought for a free Cuba, where democracy would be respected, true democracy, something that did not happen. When the Revolution won in the year 1959, the first thing Fidel Castro did was to impose communism, something many of us rebels who fought at Sierra Maestra did not want.

Although I was more fortunate than commander Huber Matos, who served 20 years in unfair imprisonment for not sharing the Castro’s ruthless ideas of communism, they stripped me of my captain’s rank and the government abandoned me. And although they did not jail me, and according to them I remained free, I always lived as a prisoner in the big jail this island has turned into. They not only reviled me as a fighter and as a person but they took everything from me and my family, including property such as the building which today is called Teatro Eddy Suñol, which belonged to our family.

It was then that I crashed against the raw and very hard reality of  Castro’s communism, a synonym of poverty. A struggle began then against hunger and hardship. All this led me to presently live on the streets where I sleep, eat with the cents some people give me, or whatever I find in the trash.

This government never recognized my fighting and the risks I ran at Sierra Maestra, and left me on the street because of disagreeing with its communism, although I was always clear that I was fighting for a Cuba where democracy and human rights would be respected, something that was never enforced by the Castro government.

Since I was abandoned and thrown on the street, today I approach the true fighters, members of CID, for the world to know how this government treats former combatants who do not accept their communist ideas. I hope that on this occasion this letter will be accepted by the Asociación de Combatientes and they take me off the streets, and that all I did for this country is recognized.

Work done by defensores del pueblo (People’s| Defenders) Yadiraydis Lacoste Duquesne and Pedro Pablo Celestrín Reina, CID delegation in Holguín.

By the People’s Defense (Defensoría del Pueblo), Yadiraydis Lacoste Duquesne and Pedro Pablo Clestrín Reina, Defensoría del Pueblo Coordinator for Eastern Cuba, Holguín delegation.

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