Ariel Lafont

  • “I become a dissident because my heart was no longer able to enjoy something, to love someone, as I saw what they had done to me, to see finally the truth and all the lies. As I already told you, Cubans used too long time pink glasses, and that is why all the lies became reality. But at the end, at the end of the tunnel, the lies do not go through, only the truth is clear, it is what enlightens you, the truth is what sets you back on your feet. What did I study for? Many times, I wondered what I studied for. Why so many sacrifices? Why so many things? Always, always when I could, I supported opponents of the regime, I supported them, without belonging to dissidence, without being a ´paper´ dissent, no, dissidence comes from the heart, it's what I feel. ”

  • “An American soldier stopped us in Panama Canal, at midnight on December 20, 1989 [during the attempt to pass through the Panama Canal]. What implication did it have? The implication for me and for us, for our ship ´Río Saja´ was, that we had 43 days without being able to go forward or backwards. The Americans had us there, detained. We ran out of food, we ran out of drinking water, we had to start inventing, to eat paper, we had to eat cardboard, to have something in our stomach.”

  • “I had to inform about the Cuban delegates that received us. In each country, where Cuba had some contact, we had a team of representants and diplomats. We had to report on those representants, describe the work they were doing, how they were doing it, what was their objective. We had to inform, well I had to inform my point of view on economic, political and military circumstances. Why military ones? Military because, for example, if there was something, if I noticed something, or saw someone talking about militants or something connected to military area, it was the first thing I had to do, to inform that to the Cuban authorities, immediately.”

  • “You knew about the collection miles, thousands of miles before picking it up, you accept it or you do it, there was no other option. For what reason? Because as I already mentioned, even if you are from the State Security, you picked up these goods and if for any reason it got broken, than all of the crew had to go to ´Villa Marista´ [office of State Security determined to interrogation], which happened to us once in Havana, we had to clarify the drug collection. As we picked it up, this whole thing, we were detained until it was clear, we could not leave. So, we always tried to avoid problems, but it happened to us once, because the boxes had written on them ´help for the Cuban youth from the Medellin cartel´. And that caused us many problems, right? As we picked it up and we embarked it ourselves, because of that we had to spend seven days in ´Villa Marista´.”

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    Cuba, 01.01.2020

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“Dissidence comes from the heart; it is what one feels.”

Ariel Lafont Isaac
Ariel Lafont Isaac
photo: Post Bellum

Ariel Lafont Isaac was born on December 20, 1960, in Santiago de Cuba; however, he spent a large part of his youth with his aunt on the “Island of Pines” [Isla de Pinos]. Ariel was an excellent student, with the correct profile corresponding to the ideology of the communist regime. For this reason, he was awarded a scholarship to the “Military Academy of General Antonio Maceo Grajales” [Escuela Interarmas General Antonio Maceo Grajales] in Havana. He graduated in 1986 as a military sailor, and from 1987 to 1993, and he also worked as a State Security agent. In 1989 he received a medal from Fidel Castro for the fulfillment of a mission to the Panama Canal, in which he and his crew brought goods from abroad to Cuba while being retained for 43 days without water and food. Twenty years later, in 2009, he finally joined the dissidence movement, tired of the corrupt methods and constant lies of the Cuban regime. Today, he works in food merchandising - an illegal business in Cuba. He lives with his second wife in Santiago de Cuba.