Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

January 7, 1999, Cuba Free Press


HAVANA - If a poet suddenly were converted into a dangerous man by the authorities of the country in which he was born, it would not be necessary to send him to prison. A wise government would instead change its penal code.

Juan Carlos Recio, a tall and absent-minded farm worker, son of farm workers and grandson of immigrants to the island, has been jailed in central Cuba. He hoes weeds and plants yucca and moves along the narrow rows under the watchful eyes of the guards.

He also belongs to that universal group of men and women whom the specialists and critics call poets. Truly these are more than ordinary human beings because they live with the illusion of being able to beautify the world.

They believe that with a few words they can improve and make more livable the place where they first appeared on earth. And to carry out these dreams they neither use arms nor temd to do violence. They are adventurers only into linguistics, with a helping of verbal courage.

There labors Juan Carlos Recio, 30, condemned to 12 months of "correctional" labor in Case No. 3 of 1998, for propagating "enemy propaganda" and other crimes against the security of the state.

He's not far from his beloved hometown of Camajuani, to which he always tried to sing and never to leave it, not wanting to search elsewhere, even to the neighboring town of Remedios. In the same fields where he was young and free, along the same trails where his oxen trod and where he hunted short-tailed doves, now he walks, watched and confined with others like the bottles of Ironbeer that he used to drink, calling its drops "fine pearls."

Juan Carlos is no innocent. He is a man gone astray who writes some verses every day and gathers journalistic chronicles about episodes in his province about the lives of people who live in what we call our little fatherland, the homeland which the Mexicans, with great wisdom, call the motherland.

He writes. He writes and describes what happened today in the plantation where he carries out his sentence. And these lines that tomorrow may become books are going to be a legitimate testimony to the fact that the poet Juan Carlos Recio is not a man endangering his country.

Those memories of a prisoner will make more clear the message that the serious matters of Cuba are not in the target but in the order to aim, to tauten the bowstring and in the trajectory and the arrow.

Juan Carlos Recio is a Catholic and in God he finds faith and strength. His friends ask for good health and clarity of mind for the poet imprisoned.

Raśl Rivero, Cuba Free Press.

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