Jorge Amado Robert Vera

* 1965

  • “I think that the political system in Cuba will change only if the people change. The first thing we must do, is to change ourselves internally, so that any change could happen. At what level of consciousness? What is stopping us? How long will you endure this dictatorship? This change must come already, let me say, to recap ourselves internally. People must be aware about the alternatives, not only what the system claims. Firstly, this change must happen inside the society, it does not matter from where we are from - from the East, from the West or from the Centre of the country. But I think that the change must start inside the Cuban society, so that the change happens. Deeper social change.”

  • “The image that has been sold to the Cubans is that the East represents, let me say, a revolutionary centre [in a favour of the Cuban communist regime]. According to the Government, in the eastern region of the country, more people are identified with the process of spreading communism, the process that we have been experiencing for already six decades. They are insisting, that the people here in the East feel identified with this process, an increasing number of people! But I think it might be questionable. Let me explain myself because it is something discursive. There lives a thousand of other Cubans, a growing number also, who are not identified with communist regime. The state manipulates and occults the real numbers. I am referring to the Cuban state. The Government has sold this nice speech to the Orientals, that they are more tough, obviously, in order to gain a sympathy with the communism.”

  • “I think that there exists something spontaneous, in these protests against protests [protests against the Cuban Government], but I do not want to justify, not everybody shares the same ideology or reasons why to demonstrate. We must add to all this a fear and a little bit of apathy too, I would say. Well, a lot of apathy. There are many Cubans, who probably do not even care about knowing their basic rights. Not even one. They show a great apathy, they do not care. If you do not have the tool, or do not worry about knowing the tool, how you can stand against the communist regime? If you are obviously a poor human being, who is living from day to day, eating every day the same poor food and the regime can just say: ‘You can live, or maybe may be we will kill you.’ The fear of people is remarkable.“

  • “Obviously, the military has to watch out their morale and behaviour of the guards. The Cuban Government faced many accusations regarding the violations of the human rights, so guards were obliged to find another way, how to control the prisoners. So, we could see situations when the prisoners beat up other prisoners. Obviously, these beatings of other detainees had their benefit, some reward. Back then in 2000 or 2003, prisoners did not even have a [right to] phone. So, if you decided to participate in an attack or an aggression against other prisoners, afterwards you could have used a phone, or you could have had a family visit. The police did stimulate this beating, the prisoners were stimulated with a visit or with I do not know how many, if 25 or 30 minutes of phone calls with your family. They conditioned that. It is no longer the guard who attacks, but the prisoners themselves. All this happened because the prisons had to improve the conditions of the prisoners, such as the terms of the health, discipline, and the obedience, that prisoners show obedience. The political prisoners here are jarring cons. I do not have to stand up firm in front of a military, in fact I am not a soldier, nor do I have to obey what this military soldier wants. So, this scheme breaks with political prisoners.”

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    Cuba, 18.03.2020

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“Cubans, stop being apathetic! Six decades of dictatorship in our country is enough!”

Jorge Amado Robert Vera was born in July 1965 in Santiago de Cuba. He belongs to several groups dedicated to protecting human rights and is an active member of the independent journalism movement in Cuba. Jorge Amado cooperates as a reporter with the “Diary of Cuba” [Diario de Cuba], one of the most read independent news portals in the country, and is a member of the “Citizen Committee for Racial Integration” [Comité Ciudadano por la Integración Racial], an organization that promotes fair treatment for people of all races, as he himself has faced racism. Amado has been imprisoned three times in various penitentiary centers in Havana and Santiago de Cuba. As an opponent of the communist regime, he was detained and attacked countless times. He is currently regulated by the Cuban authorities, meaning that he is banned from traveling abroad. In 2017, the same authorities also denied his exit to keep him from participating in an international seminar in Mexico focused on topics as democracy or human rights issues. He resides in Santiago de Cuba.