Mario Félix Lleonart Barroso

* 1975

  • “I hope that things in Cuba can be transformed because in the first place, if the great world empires have fallen, how can a Communist dictatorship not fall? Second, the leaders are already old people who are doomed to disappear and I do not believe that the new generations to which they are trying to hand over their totalitarianism as they have it ruled, are capable of sustaining a completely obsolete system. I think this is a great opportunity for the Cuban civil society; which is quite damaged by itself, but is showing some signs of improvement, and it could actually accept the opportunities. And I have great hope that in the upcoming year 2018, as Raúl Castro had said that he would no longer be the president, so there are several opponents who are running for this post. At this moment, they are not accepted because it is said that the nomination can come only from the Communist party, but I believe that a situation is coming, which will conclude in a total collapse of the system.”

  • “It is true that I have felt moments of loneliness, for example, those three days I spent in the dungeon, when President Barack Obama visited the island and I was imprisoned. It was noon of that Sunday, March 20, [2016], and many people witnessed the arrest, my wife could record it and put it on the internet. I really felt alone when I arrived in that solitary cell and thought that there were many people, Cubans, who were suffering the same things as I was, that I was raising my voice not only for myself and my daughters but also for them. And at that moment they felt such a fear, a fear so great that it prevented them from expressing solidarity with me. So, the people that I considered my friends did not have the courage to make a gesture or say a word. I felt moments like that, for example, that day, March 20. But to be absolutely honest, I have to say also that once, in other moment, when I was five years old, I denied my Christian faith, so I could understand that I had also experienced fear once, and we’re not always able to beat these fears.”

  • “I received my first shock in the first week of school when one of the teachers stood in the classroom, in front of the students, and in an authoritarian tone as if he were asking who was for example a drug addict, or who was a thief or a criminal…, so he asked who was religious. I was not prepared for this question. My parents had taken care of me, they had protected me, they had taught me the Christian principles, but perhaps in order not to frighten me they had not warned me that the education that I was about to receive at that moment was a totally contrary one, adverse to the Christian faith. And it was at that moment, when the teacher asked that question, that I realized that I was in a hostile environment. I looked around me, just five years old, it was my first week of classes, I did not know the children that later became my friends, although I did not know them from the church. I looked to see if any of them raised their hands and said that they were religious. None of them did it. I knew that they did not belong to my Church, but maybe they went to another Church. The point is that nobody did it and I have to confess that I felt very afraid because I realized that the teacher was asking something and that the one who dared to answer ‘yes, I am a Christian, I am religious’, then, I would be answering something that was not taste of the one who asked. I felt so afraid that, at that time, the only opportunity of my life, I denied my Christian faith. But that meant for me with only five years of age a crisis of infantile consciousness.”

  • “On May 5, 2011, Juan Alfredo Soto García was beaten by police in the city of Santa Clara. The God made possible (and this is one of the many proofs I have of the existence of God), that Juan Alfredo Soto García and I met just a few minutes after he was beaten when he was on his way to the hospital to search for medical assistance, and he told me what had happened to him. And I, very quickly, told myself that for what reason I had a Twitter account if not to denounce something like that. You can verify it if you look in my account, that I published on Thursday May 5, 2011 on my Twitter account at 11:55 in the morning, that Juan Alfredo Soto García had just been beaten by the police in the city of Santa Clara, without knowing that the beatings had really been so tough that this opponent of the regime was about to die just a couple of hours later, during the first minutes of May 8. This became an international scandal because I had published the news before this friend died and therefore it was a proof that the regime could not hide. The regime tried to say that the enemies of the revolution, the mercenaries hired by the Yankee imperialism, were trying to invent another hoax.”

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    Miami, 22.05.2017

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To be born in a Protestant family in 1975’s Cuba was like to become an object of direct persecution

Mario Barroso during the interview at Miami, May 2017
Mario Barroso during the interview at Miami, May 2017
photo: archivo de Post Bellum

Mario Felix Lleonart Barroso was born on June 17, 1975 in a Christian Protestant family. As a child, he went to the church where he received an education that later helped him a lot in order to understand how totalitarian the Cuban regime was. Mario considers very important an episode that happened to him when he was only five years old. It was during the first week at the state school when the teacher asked the children who was religious. He denied his faith, and this experience marked the rest of his life. He decided to deny never more his faith. He became a priest, founded the website and began to report the crimes of the regime on his Twitter account. He published the complaint of the dissident Juan Alfredo Soto who died after being beaten. He suffered persecution from the state police and was arrested several times, among others during Barack Obama’s visit to Cuba in 2016. He currently resides in the United States, but maintains contact with the Cuban dissidents at the island.