Yordis García Fournier

* 1975

  • “On one occasion I had an interrogation, the head of State Security here in the Province of Guantánamo insisted on complete legality of this type of surveillance they had been using on me. That it is not immoral, and it is called “Japanese surveillance”. During this type of supervision, they say they can even touch a shoulder to shoulder, it is not limited only to surveillance at a certain distance. There were at least 20 provocations towards me, many times they shouted something to me: ´homosexual, worm, you will see what will happen to you, I will kill you the day I catch you´, this kind of things. I was never silent, far from it, that is the truth. And this is what Mr. Giovanni told me, the head of the State Security.”

  • “This man tells me that I am accused of the crime of contempt of the entire personality of Fidel Castro. He started to write on a typewriter he had there and told me he had had to make some formal complaint, because he obtained a call from the prison. They accused me of the “sedition”, according to him. I refused to testify, I told him that I had not committed any contempt. I simply used my freedom of expression. It is my right to say what I want to say. And then, in front of him, I also shouted the slogans to reaffirm my right. I screamed the same slogans, they beat me again, then they sent me to the dungeons.”

  • “We wanted to show to the delegations that came here to Cuba... obviously, we knew that it was going to be an impossible task to get where the delegations would appear, since the State Security, the Government, would not allow it. But we did want to try it, because they had announced that a Spanish delegation was coming to Guantánamo, so we thought this time it was even better, because they spoke Spanish just like us. The truth was that we could not ever achieved it, but that was the idea, to show them that here in Cuba, there were young people living in prisons for reasons of free thinking, while they were happily meeting the “Union of Young Communists”. As if nothing was going on, as if there existed two parallel worlds.”

  • “I was also expelled, and it was all because of the problems in the countryside, I never had problems in adolescence because I was never a bad student. But my real problem with the system started in the countryside. I always say that it means slave labour, and indeed it was. This was a year that I practically lost because of this situation. In addition, it was known that this scholarship was nothing more than juvenile prison. There were atrocities behind these bars, girls were being raped, there were murders among students, there was a lot of bloodshed. Thanks to the God this does not exist anymore, clearly because it was no longer sustainable for the Government. Hence, I lost it this year.”

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    Cuba, 15.06.2019

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“I walked away from the prison, but not to freedom.”

García Fournier Yordis
García Fournier Yordis
photo: Post Bellum

Yordis García Fournier was born on August 31, 1975 in Guantánamo. His grandfather was a farmer, but Fidel Castro’s regime expropriated his coffee plantations and farms. The regime’s education system forced Yordis to attend school in the countryside, far away from the city. These types of schools Yordis describes as typical examples of forced work. In 1995, he decided to emigrate with his friend from Cuba through the United States military base in Guantánamo, but his attempt ended unhappily in the detention room of the prison named “Combined Prison of Guantánamo.” In the end, he was sentenced to two years in the “Bayate Correctional Institution.” When he left this jail, he joined the “Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy,” an organization dedicated to protecting human rights in Cuba. In 2004, Yordis joined the “Eastern Democratic Alliance” organization and was the director of this association’s magazine, “PORVENIR,” in Guantánamo. In 2008 he was accused of resistance and sentenced to a year and a half in the Guantánamo prison. During incarceration, Yordis cooperated with other political prisoners to collect information about inhuman conditions and share them outside the jail. Because of his activities as a human rights activist and political prisoner, the Castro system denied Yordis entry to university. Even now, he lives in constant threat and intimidation by the communist regime of Cuba. He has experienced countless arrests, violent attacks on his person, permanent surveillance, and unexpected inspections of his house by the State Security. Yordis lives in Guantánamo. He has no children and is divorced.