Raúl C. García

* 1946

  • “I wish it was the best one, but how things are going, I do not think it's very close. I wish it was tonight. I do not defend any dictatorship, neither right nor left. But when a right-wing dictatorship does something, the whole world, starting with the Pope himself, reacts. But when a leftist dictatorship, thus a Communist one, does something, it’s like fun for the whole world. And that's happening in Cuba. If there comes not something that could complicate the life [of the Communist party of Cuba], like the United States, they will not do anything. But unfortunately, the things are different in Cuba. Years ago, I wish this would have have finished, I wish it was about to end. But as the things have been going over the years, the Cuban government became very skilled at committing serious mistakes. They know how to work with the people and with the United States. They made serious mistakes like murdering people… the people which they have locked up there [at the island]. But with the others, they measure themselves a lot. It's not that I would like to want the United States to do things for us, but in the whole world, a fight always needs help from someone.”

  • “My life in the guerrilla was very short. There were very tough guerrilla leaders. The camps were improvised, it was not actually a stable one. It was not a camp where you could be during many days without problems, it was in constant movement. With the food, it was very difficult - there were co-workers who could bring food, but if there was a movement, this was not possible… Also, you were spending nights and days in rain or anything like this. It was very difficult with the wounded ones. A wounded man could not be taken to the hospital, he had to be healed by the peasants. There were controls which would take you into a prison if they caught you entering into these places with medicine or clothes. The guerrilla life was very difficult. I’m telling you, the camps could not be stable, fixed, they had to be in movement. Because there was no controlled territory. Everyone was in their area, constantly moving. The offensive was increasing constantly, and there was constantly less support from the collaborators of the guerrilla.”

  • "The peasants, as I told you ... They [the government] started with the mess of the agrarian reform, that the peasants, that the blacks ... And all this was false, it was falsehood. They implanted the agrarian reform, and if you had a farm, [they took it]... The fight was not a revenge because of them having taken the farm, that now I launch myself to the fight. A large percentage were peasants, poor people. I was a child, I had nothing, but my grandfather had this farm… But the fight was not that because they took the farm, I was going to fight, it was not like that. The peasants, not the millionaires, were the ones who converted themselves into guerrillas against Fidel. To the ones who actually had something, they [the government] took it away. Also, the way they did it [as the government took away possessions], it was in such a criminal form.”

  • “Sandino is a place in Pinar del Río, which is very far away, when reaching the peninsula, is almost the last place. It has a very bad sandy soil. In Cuba, there is no desert, but I say that it looked like a desert, as it was sandy. They [the government] took them to be totally separated, accompanied just by the soldiers and anyone else, there were no women. They spent long time without seeing their wives, their children. My dad spent months without seeing my mom and his sons... Thus then, they were forced to start building. They lived on ships. They made brigades and began to build, forced by the soldiers. But they did not want to be there, they wanted to be working on their land, on their farms. So, then they started to build ships, houses and buildings which were supposed to be for them. They were supposed to stay there forever. My dad said no, that he would not bring his family there. Thus, they were then moved to live in Camagüey, there were displaced all these people. Because the word ‘evicted’ is not used in Cuba. According to them [to the government], no one has been evicted, and no family has been spoiled. But the reality is quite the opposite. They had them working, without gaining anything, with a very bad human treatment, and I do not talk about food, this was even worse. My dad spent there almost four years.”

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    Miami, 24.05.2017

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“Castro’s regime seized all our hope, so we went to search for it.”

Raúl C. García
Raúl C. García
photo: Archivo de Post Bellum

Raúl García was born on March 3, 1946 in Cuba, in a humble peasant family. When in 1959 the Cuban Revolution triumphed and Fidel Castro’s Communist government was settled in the island, Raúl was barely 13 years old. But very soon, already at age of 17, in 1963, he joined the anti-Castro struggle of the Guerrilla of Escambray, which was operating in the area of mountains of the same name. However, just a couple of months later, on August 15, 1963, he was captured by the government army and sentenced to 30 years in prison. His family was never able to return to their farm, which was confiscated by the government just after the capture of Raúl. His mother, together with the 7 brothers of Raúl, was evicted to the area of Miramar, and his father was taken to forced labors zone in Isla de Pinos. Raul was released from prison in 1979 after 16 years of sentence and a few weeks later he was sent on a plane along with 4,000 other ex-prisoners to Miami, United States of America, where he lives until nowadays.