José Miguel Martínez Hernández

* 1963

  • “The event of the year 1994, the sinking of the tugboat ‘March 13’, showed the ugliest, most abominable face of a regime that does not care about the human being. That what matters to him is to destroy the very essence of the human being. They made the people to hit one tug against another, to sink innocent children, to kill people out of sight of society, listen to me, that was a trigger for me, but, much, much bigger still, already at this time that already I was an opponent and I was against the regime, to see the way in which this Government ended the lives of the people, I told my wife: 'These people are murderers'.”

  • “And through Caritas we got a quota of powdered milk and we got a share of detergent and then with the money we received from here in the United States, we bought a washing machine. And one of our faith sisters washed the clothes of the old people, one day she washed the clothes of a group of old people, another day to another group of old people and so on. Then, on Saturdays she finished washing the clothes of all the old people and lunch was already done and the old folks were dismissed, on Sundays they were not given breakfast or lunch, but it was Monday through Saturday. And that bothered the regime. And that bothered State Security. And it was one of the most shameful things that I experiences... because it bothered them that you cared for some helpless old people... it bothered them that you were giving a breakfast to a dispossessed person... it told me a lot about the nature of the regime. It told me about the intolerance of a person who responded to the interests of the regime and who wanted those old people not to have breakfast and to have a bad time. Then I said: this is a nature of a regime that lives to minimize the human being, against this I have to fight, against this I have to overcome, this I have to change it, because this is not what I want or for my grandchildren, nor for the future of my children who were still little by then.”

  • "From the prison of Guanajay I was transferred to the prison of Quivicán which was, of the three prisons in which I was, the one that had the worst conditions... hygienic, the one that had the worst food conditions and the most difficult of the three prisons in which I was, because the roofs had leaks, and sometimes I was sleeping and it was beginning to rain and drops of water were falling from above. You had to put some nylon net on the roof to avoid getting wet. The water pipes were contaminated, they had drilling and when you took this water, the water was very dirty, very bad. There, I got a bacterium Helicobacter pylori that damaged my health very much, I vomited a lot and the Police took a long time to take me to the doctor and that made it a little harder to cure me."

  • "Let’s see, for example... I'll give you several examples. I have a brother who worked at the airport in Havana. My brother was taken from the airport and the excuse he was given to get him out of the airport was that he was not reliable because his brother was linked to the American Government and that he was a mercenary in the service of a foreign power... absolutely out of reality. My daughter, for example, at school went to a Spanish language contest... and she experienced the same... you understand me... she is the daughter of a counterrevolutionary. To my wife... at work, they were assigning her exactly the days that I was going to participate in some activity, so she had to work in order to limit her participation at the movement. If there was any activity in Havana and I was going to go there, I was detained when leaving my town. In the mornings, normally, on certain dates, I had people behind me watching me constantly. My home phone... you could not talk at all, because the phone had been taken by them to listen to everything that was being talked about. It was focused against the family. They were calling the families and saying to them: ‘Look, talk to this-or-that person... talk to Miguel and tell Miguel that you got to know what he was doing and that it can bring problems to you.’ And some families with a little fear told me: ‘Miguel, why are you in this? Look, it's going to bring us problems...’.”

  • "We did absolutely nothing illegal and yet our families were being repressed, our children in schools, our wives at work. The issue had extended to the family. It was no longer properly against me, but it was against our family as well. Because what was sought also was that our family exerted some pressure on us to deviate us from the objective that we had."

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    Miami, USA, 17.04.2018

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Mientras la mentalidad del ser humano no se abra, mientras no venza el miedo y no entienda que lo único que hace este régimen es limitar sus posibilidades, no se va a lograr revertir la situación de este país

José Miguel Martínez Hernández
José Miguel Martínez Hernández
photo: Post Bellum

José Miguel Martínez Hernández nació el 4 de agosto de 1963 en un pueblo llamado Quivicán, en la entonces provincia de La Habana. Estudió economía y mecánica. Siendo cristiano, empezó a tener contacto con el movimiento opositor cubano que tenía una vinculación con la Iglesia. Fundó la Legión de María, una organización que ayudaba a las personas mayores sin recursos a lavar sus ropas y les daba algo de comer. Participó también en la fundación del Comité Cubano de Opositores Pacíficos y se incorporó en el Partido Liberal Democrático Cubano. Durante su proceso de familiarización con los conceptos de democracia y de Derechos Humanos pudo entrar en el proyecto Varela de Oswaldo Payá. Se dedicó a denunciar violaciones de Derechos Humanos y posteriormente fue uno de los fundadores del Proyecto de Bibliotecas Independientes de Cuba. Debido a la promoción que realizó a favor de un cambio en la realidad cubana se fue incrementando la represión contra su persona y contra su familia, lo que llevó a su detención y encarcelamiento durante la Primavera Negra de 2003. La condena fue de 13 años, de los cuales cumplió aproximadamente 7,5 años en varias cárceles de la isla, como Kilo 8, Guanajay, Quivicán y el Combinado del Este. Gracias a la colaboración de la Iglesia Católica y el Gobierno de España se logró su excarcelamiento condicionado a la salida del país, entonces José Miguel Martínez viajó con su familia a España. Actualmente reside en Estados Unidos.