A sanatorium for Panfilo… and food? and freedom?

I woke to news of the transfer of Panfilo from prison to a psychiatric clinic, perhaps to start his detox. On the list of victories won—which are still few and limited—for Cuban civil society over the last year, we can add the release of this humble man from his cell. On the short list of accomplishments, there should also be the freeing of Gorki Aguila over a year ago, and the decision not to apply a resolution that prevented Cubans from connecting to the Internet in hotels.

I think the evolution of what happened in the case of “Panfilo”, has been accomplished by the work of those who led the campaign Food and Freedom and who just yesterday offered three thousand signatures calling for his release. We must also thank the numerous international media who helped to call attention to the unjust two year sentence given to Juan Carlos Gonzalez. The alternative blogosphere—as expected—helped to push the wall, which seemed to grow stronger on that day when they imprisoned someone who was merely demanding food.

In any case, the blunder of charging an inoffensive neighborhood drunk with pre-criminal dangerousness won’t be forgotten that easily. Now we have to hope that he can return home, have access to that food that every human being deserves and the freedom of expression that allows him to say what he feels in front of the camera, without being hauled in front of a prosecutor. If in some way the delivery of the document “Send a Letter!” to a representative of Juanes has served to open the bars to Panfilo, then there is one more reason to applaud this concert on September 20. It is too bad that we have to wait for the famous to visit us to pull back the bolts, but regardless of this detail, we count the triumph as ours.

You already know: if you are going to bring something to celebrate the release of Panfilo, bring water, not alcohol.


20 thoughts on “A sanatorium for Panfilo… and food? and freedom?

  1. Felicidades este blog es magnifico,aunque para los 70 ya tenia 10 anos,mi hijo lleva por nombre yoan,recuerdo cuando por fin enamorada.En las tardes que mi galan llegaba a visitarme debia quedarme con mi uniforme de escuela ya que si entraba al bano debia cambiar mi indumentaria por otra que estuviera limpia y para eso debian pasar por lo menos 3 horas detras de el refrigerador y no habia tiempo.He recordado tantas cosas que de hecho nunca olvido.Deje la isla hace 12 anos literalmente (dejar la isla)pues jamas la he podido dejar ni a la isla,ni a mis amigos y mi familia.Me habria gustado mucho quedarme como a tantos otros que conosco tal vez fuimos cobardes o tal vez demasiado valientes para enfrentar el exilio que es tan duro cuando tus raizes se niegan a desprenderse.podria hablar de mi primer viaje a Cuba despues de 5 anos de lo dificil que es volver a partir de lo dificil que es darse cuenta en esos primeros anos que en el exilio, que no sabes a donde perteneces ni eres de alla ,ni eres de aca.?

  2. We trade food and medicine with Cuba and have military “events” with our military for ten years. So the food shortage must be due to one of the worst economic collapses of all time. U.S. citizens should take notice and learn from the Cuban lesson when any Government promises to give you everything.

  3. Good Concert!!. Nothing happened as expected.Juanes and Miguel Bosse were great, what can I say?.Big cojones.Fredom!, they said….Guys change in Cuba will come from the top. Mark my words.

  4. It is well documented Castro’s use of psychiatry against political dissidents at Mazorra Psychiatry Hospital in Havana. This hospital is notorious for punishing political dissidents with heavy doses of psychotropic drugs and electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). Panfilo should be treated in a rehabilitation facility where intoxicate patients are treated, not a psychiatric hospital

    The book “The Politics of Psychiatry in Revolutionary Cuba,” by Charles J. Brown and Armando M. Lago, published in the U.S. in 1991, documented Castro’s use of psychiatry against political dissidents in 31 cases of psychiatric abuses at Mazorra Psychiatry Hospital in Havana.

  5. Concubi!!!congratulations my friend!!!!,,,now your future, whenever you get there ( I’m saying being Old,,,you know,,,anciano,,,baby again!!) is protected,,,the girls are much more dedicated to keep care of their parents than the boys (generally speaking!!!!).

    I’m happy with that news, enjoy your baby girl!!!!


  6. CONGRATULATIONS!!!!!!!! How can we see a picture of your baby girl? (and the boys too… I’m sure they’re very proud big brothers). Email me one at the address in the sidebar if you’re willing to do that. (desdecubaenglish gmail com) Just imagine… thinking about your baby has spread a huge smile across my face!

    Your friendly English Translator

  7. Sent this my large mailing list too!THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE!


    “The authorities are going out of their way to stifle any online expression of the civil society that is emerging in Cuba,” Reporters Without Borders said. “This censorship reflects the government’s refusal to accept the current and future changes on the island, which are escaping its control.”

    The press freedom organisation added: “It is high time that the foreign embassies in Havana remind the Cuban government of the obligations that result from its having signed the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in February 2008.”


  8. Materia posted on the Blog-Soraia Brazil BR – http://www.soraiadavid.blogspot.com/

    RSF condemns arrest of independent journalist in Cuba
    Reporters Without Borders (RSF) reported today (18), the arrest of a blogger and director of a Cuban newspaper. Luis Felipe González Rojas and Yosvany Anzardo Hernández were arrested and beaten on September 10 September in the east of the country. Ruiz was released soon after, but Hernandez is still in prison. It also said that since he was arrested can not communicate with the family. “With 26 journalists in prison, Cuba now boasts with Iran put the third prison in the world, behind Eritrea and China,” RSF reported. “The authorities are working to stifle any expression on the Internet in a society that is shaping up,” said organisingseminars. According to news agency AFP, RSF said that “censorship is a rejection of the government to change the island, present and future, beyond their control.” (Gateway Press)

  9. Ian and Translator:

    I think the translator injected a pun line on purpose…. Just kidding, I know she works very hard. A possible alternative could be “rejas”

  10. Concubino:

    Congratulations, what a beautiful baby. I want one of those, but I’m too old.

    Anyway, I agree with Sigmund, a mental health hospital could be worse than jail. If they are going to treat him, it should be done on an outpatient basis as real mental health patients are prescribed.

    By the way Sigmund, are you related to Carbo Servia from this blog?

  11. Concubino:

    Congratulations, what a beautiful baby. I want one of those, but I’m too old.

    Anyway, I agree with Sigmund, a mental health hospital could be worse than jail. If they are going to treat him, it should be done on an outpatient basis as real mental health patients are prescribed.

    By the way Sigmund, are you related to Carbo Servia from this blog?

  12. Sigmund is absolutely correct! The old Soviet mental institutions were every bit as vile as anything the KGB had to offer and I can’t imagine Castro’s are any better. And, of course, questioning socialism has always been sufficient proof of mental instability to justify the most draconian torture. The victim could be rendered vegetative with drugs, convulsed with electric shocks, and even have his skull cracked open and his brain butchered.
    On a lighter note, dear Translator, I assume that when Yoani speaks of “opening the bars to Panfilo,” the original was “barrote” rather than “bar”?

  13. Hey guys;
    I was not celebrating Almeida’s passing. Rather I was celebrating the birth of my first baby girl.I have two boys. She was born by C-Section Sept/15 /2009. She weights 8 lbs and 11 oz and is 22 inches long. Mom doing fine,but a bit sore. Baby could not be better
    I’m back to this forum and I can not be more happy. Panfilo got his semi freedom.In previous post I stated that he should recieved the same treatment as
    Diego Maradona did.He got it, rather than punishment, he needed medical treatment.
    Small steps my friends but comming from the top, with presure from the bottom
    As Yoani stated this a small victory not just for for panfilo but to us all.

    And as for me, I would like to share with you one more time my little bunch of joy

  14. Dear friends,
    Panfilo’s unfair condemn has been commuted to a confinement in one of Havana’s Psychiatric Hospitals.
    We all know that it is a much worst punishment then been locked in jail. In a psychiatric hospital Panfilo will be “put under medication” without need it, he will be “helped” with electroshock without need it, he will stay there for undetermined time.
    We all know this kind of “medical treatment” designed for break the opposites will, we all know the case Mederos…. one of the torturer of Havana’s Psychiatric Hospital that was recognized living in Miami and was judged and condemn with the help of the victims …. so, do not stop asking freedom for Panfilo because now he is worst that before……. Unconditional Freedom for Panfilo!!!!

  15. Hello everyone…

    Just another friendly reminder… when you are venting your much justified rage against certain people and their actions… please remember not to cross the line to anything that could remotely be construed as an active wish to do them bodily harm. It’s a very fine line, I know, but it is the desire of our dear blogger that her beloved readers not cross it.

    Gracias a todos!

    Your friendly English translator

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