Salvador Blanco

* 1953

  • "We could go places, which were closed for the common people. These included the beaches in Varader, one of the most beautiful in the wolrd. The places we could go to were reserved for high-ranked politicians and their relatives. There was everything. If you ask a Cuban person what is a shrimp, they wouldn't know. There, we had shrimps, lobsters, pork... All the food you can imagine. All of it for the officials and their relatives. But not just any officials - the most important ones. Only the Central Committee of the party. One of the things I was most disgusted by was when they placed me next to Ortega in a cabaret. I sat like this with Ortega next to me and his brother on my other side. I recall him having an ill hand. I have never seen such a disgusting president as Ortega. The greasy hair and face, hygiene completely lacking. Fifteen-, sixteen-, and seventeen-year-old girls were presenting themselves in front of him. He was chosing his company. I had to witness all those disgusting moments. I was praying to God that when he goes with one of them, he would at least bath. Ortega is also known for committing rape. Even his wife is considered one of those who lack hygiene and style. It was difficult to share space with such people."

  • "I witnessed a lot there. I saw the murder of many people. I recall the sound of stabbing someone - it is like ripping apart a bag of sugar. I recall people crying and faces being cut. One of the greatest insults in the prison was for an inmate to take a can, fill it with feces and throw it at someone. Such action called for revenge in blood - killing whoever did that. I saw such things. I learned that most crimes in jail are committed because of grievances. People have complexes because of the people in their surroundings. Murders were done due to grievances. I saw many people full of complexes who stabbed someone to death just for hurting their ego. I can't even explain how I managed to survive. I never thought I could end up in prison. And then it suddenly happened. I don't know how did I survive. Someone, people catch me talking to myself, to God. They tell me: 'Hey, Salvador, you are talking to yourself!' But I have reasons to talk to myself 24/7 because solitude is both a friend and an enemy. While being in the cell with 120 people, I still feld solitude was the worst thing of all. How do communist systems operate? They crush you completely. They make you think you are nobody and that the revolution made you who you are. Without the revolution, you are nobody."

  • "I was accused of collaboration with the CIA, and for contempt and disrespect of the regime, the communist party and Fidel Castro. And on top of that, for attempted emigration. You in Czechoslovakia have land borders and thus possibly more opportunities to get out but in Cuba, sea is the only option. That's why they always accused people of attempted flight - whenever it was a successful one, there was nobody left to put on trial. The most common target is Miami where one can get by boat across the channel. Many people call Florida the Coast of Freedom, which is true."

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    Miami, 25.05.2017

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Communism is a complete lie

Salvador Blanco / Miami / 2017
Salvador Blanco / Miami / 2017
photo: Post Bellum

Salvador Blanco was born on 6 May 1953 in the fishing town of Caibarién in central Cuba but he grew up in the capital of Havana. His family lived in the campus of the University of Fine Arts and since his youth, Salvador did theater, music and pantomime. In 1973, after finishing his military service, he found a job in the Cuban national TV. He played the part of the cat El Gatito in a child show, and became popular among viewers all around Cuba. His fame grew as he starred on TV, in the movies and in the theater, and he enjoyed the benefits of a prominent artist. However, in 1982, he insulted Fidel Castro during a personal encounter. He was accused of helping the CIA, disrespect for the regime, and attempted emigration. He was sentenced to three years in the terrible Cuban prisons, which he spent among inmates who committed the worst of crimes. In 1984 at the Cannes Film Festival, the French actor Yves Montand appealed to the Cuban regime to set Salvador Blanco free. After serving his time, Salvador was under surveillance of the secret police and did construction works. Thanks to the effort by French politicians, he managed to move to Paris. He worked in France, took part in international conferences for the defense of human rights. In the end, he moved to Miami where he became one of the faces of Radio and TV Martí.