They used my son to threaten me

iris
Iris Mariño

 

I began to experience repression the day my father shouted in my face: “If necessary we will kill, but they will not triumph, we cannot allow it.” My father is a professor of Social Sciences and Master in Cultural Development, and belongs to the Communist Party of Cuba, which he follows with a blind faith. He has never used physical violence against me, but this year on March 23rd he threatened me.

In October of the same year, two State Security officers came to the school where I worked and where my youngest son has been studying for three years. They interrogated me for four hours and tried to coerce me by alluding to my child’s physical and mental safety. They acknowledged that they were watching him and that more than once they had been sitting next to him. Over the course of the more than 10 interrogations and a detention that I have suffered since then, men in groups of two to four, have always used my son to threaten me.

On the day of my son’s birthday, eight MININT officers appeared with a search warrant for my house. They were searching for food, which was never found, was the excuse, but the truth is that they inspected everything. The house which had been prepared for a birthday party was transformed into a thuggish terrain full of uniforms.

For my son, this repression has marked a before and after in his childhood. Visits to the psychologist and numerous family talks have been incorporated into our family routine. My son, who is only twelve years old, is forced to manage this repression day after day. It has not been easy for him, for instance, that the front of our house appears full of excrement, or that at midnight someone knocks on the door, nor dawn with offensive posters for the family on the walls and the door of the house. For more than two years our dream has been transformed into a state of constant vigilance.