Jorge Luis García Pérez

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Jorge Luis García Pérez
Spouse(s) Iris Pérez Aguilera[1]

Jorge Luis García Pérez (known as Antúnez, born 10 October 1964, Placetas, Cuba) is a human rights and democracy activist in Cuba.[2][3]

Dissident career[edit]

Antúnez was jailed for 17 years from 1990 to 2007. Other dissidents have referred to Antúnez as Cuba's Nelson Mandela.[4]

During a demonstration in March 1990 State Security heard him saying that communism is an error and a dystopia. Saying that was a crime and he was sentenced to five years in prison. In prison, he refused to wear the uniform and participate in "communist re-education", which meant a violent beating, nine months in solitary confinement and more years in prison.[5] He escaped from prison to see his sick mother, but could not find her and was free only for a day. His mother died a month later. He was found guilty of "attempted sabotage".[5] One of the charges was failure to respect the Cuban leader Fidel Castro.[3]

Antúnez continued nonviolent resistance in prison, where he gave birth to a political prisoner group named after Pedro Luis Boitel, an imprisoned dissident who died in a hunger strike in 1972.[4] His courage received worldwide attention. Pope John Paul II, when visiting Cuba in 1998, asked the regime to release him.[3]

Antúnez was released in 2007, ahead of talks on European Union sanctions, after being imprisoned for 17 years and 34 days.[3]

Antúnez, his wife Iris, and Diosiris Santana Pérez launched a hunger strike in 2009. Several leaders from Uruguay, Costa Rica, and Argentina declared their support for Antúnez.[6][7] Police threatened Antúnez with eviction from his house and "disobedience" charges for hosting three other dissident thinkers (Osiris Santana Pérez, Ernesto Mederos Arrozarena and Carlos Michael Morales Rodríguez) in his home in April 2009.[8]

Antúnez's wife founded the Rosa Parks Feminist Movement for Civil Rights.

When President Barack Obama announced a blueprint for normalizing relations with Cuba on December 17, 2014, Antunez assailed the normalization plan as a capitulation to the Cuban government, echoing the views of Berta Soler and Oscar Elias Biscet that the US should have demanded democratic reforms in Cuba before contemplating a change in US policy towards Cuba.[9][10][11]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, known as "Antunez," is one of the bravest and noblest Cuban dissidents". National Review.
  2. ^ "Amnesty International USA's Medical Action".
  3. ^ a b c d Usborne, David (26 April 2007). "Cuba frees political prisoners ahead of talks on EU sanctions". London: The Independent. Retrieved 7 May 2010.
  4. ^ a b "Castro opponent free after 17 years in jail". Reuters. 23 April 2007.
  5. ^ a b "Cuban former political prisoner Jorge Luis García Perez Antúnez: I felt death was very close several times". Archived from the original on 2009-04-29.
  6. ^ "Additional Latin American Leaders Join in Solidarity with Antúnez". Archived from the original on 2012-10-27.
  7. ^ "Young Uruguayans Support Antúnez, Cuban Political Prisoners". Archived from the original on 2012-10-27.
  8. ^ "Antúnez, bajo amenaza de desalojo".[permanent dead link]
  9. ^ "Protesters: 'It's not the time' for more Cuba ties".
  10. ^ "Cuban Dissident Calls New US-Cuba Relations a Fraud".
  11. ^ http://cqrcengage.com/nsca/app/document/6007286;jsessionid=GUjnTGhEKLiU-UsXFJCcVNQZ.undefined

External links[edit]