Winnie Biscet represents her father, Dr. Biscet, at Christian event.

 

DSCN1878-1.jpg picture by Rabgarcia23

Winnie Biscet together with ex-prisoner of concience, Raul Arencibia Fajardo, at the Biltmore Hotel, Miami.

The night of Friday, November 12th, was one filled with emotion for Winnie Biscet, the daughter of the peaceful Cuban civil rights activist, Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, who is currently in prison in Cuba for defending human rights for all Cubans

Upon arriving to the Biltmore Hotel of Coral Gables for the Christian event being held by the Hollywood Prayer Network, “A Night of Champions and Hollywood”, Winnie knew that it would not be easy to talk about her father in front of so many people without being filled with a whirlwind of sadness and other emotions.

A brief trailer of the documentary, “Oscar’s Cuba”, made by American director Jordan Allott, was shown to all those who were present- among them various American film stars and athletes.  After the video, Winnie took the stage to share some words with the audience about the dramatic story of her father, Dr. Biscet.

As soon as she began to talk, Winnie Biscet’s voice was filled with emotion.  However, she completed her speech, which was short but full of passion and sentiments.  The audience then supported her with a public display of solidarity- a standing ovation. 

Here is the speech which Winnie shared with the audience about her father:

My father said to the world in 1999

“To love one’s neighbor is also to love one’s enemy. Although in reality that qualifier-‘enemy’ does not exist in my vocabulary. I recognize that I only have adversaries and I have acquired the capacity to love them because in this way we do away with violence, wrath, vengeance, hatred and substitute them with justice and forgiveness.”
For as long as I can recall, my father has always been an outstanding parent. I remember that, ever since I was a little girl, he would always talk to me about the word of God. In 1996, when I was only 8 years old, my father gave me a Bible as a gift, so I could further learn about the words and thoughts of the prophets, as well as their experiences. Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet has not only been an admirable patriot, but also a loving father and a well-rounded Christian. Ever since he has been jailed, God has given him the strength to spread his gospel to all the common prisoners which reside all around him. My father teaches the prisoners about God without the least bit of fear, for he knows that God is with him. During the earlier stages of his imprisonment, the authorities did not allow my father to have a Bible, but after much prayer, his objective was achieved and he was finally allowed to carry his beloved book. Together with his bible and his faith, he has been able to survive, relying wholeheartedly on the only omnipotent and celestial source which has given us life.

As a little girl in Cuba, he would always read me the story of Jonas, making sure to always explain the moral of the story. My father has always been a humble, honest, and sincere man who has always found comfort in spreading the word of God. He is well aware of the great things that God is capable of, and this is why he has no fear. He has always been grateful to God for having been present in his life through the difficult times and the good times- even when he has been locked up in a dark, humid, 3 by 6 foot cell, which he is confined for demanding that human rights be respected in Cuba for all Cubans. In addition, he has also fought for the rights of the unborn child- this was actually the reason why he was revoked of his medical license and for why he was first thrown behind the bars.

He is a peaceful man who has never raised his fists to counter brutal physical blows. Instead, he has prayed for forgiveness for his oppressors. That is why he is now a political prisoner, being held in inhumane conditions. And that is why I am here, asking for help with my campaign for his release, so that my father can once again be a free man like he deserves to be. Above everything else, the main reason he should immediately be liberated is because of his health. He is currently suffering from high blood pressure, chronic gastritis, loss of vision, the loss of most of his teeth, and has multiple wounds throughout his body due to the horrid conditions he is kept in, there in those prison cells shared with rats. His only desire has been to be a free man in his own country, not in exile like so many people have offered him. He will continue his peaceful struggle from within his beloved Cuba.

According to the Cuba regime, my father was set to be released last Sunday alongside other political prisoners. Instead, there has only been silenced.

I have told you about who my father is- an excellent parent and a Christian whose faith in God is what keeps him alive. But now I am asking you to please help me in my father’s campaign to achieve his unconditional freedom. What I am asking for is to spread the word- visit the blog for Dr. Biscet’s campaign (www.libertadbiscet.wordpress.com), visit the campaign’s official web site http://www.drbiscet.com , and tell everyone you know the story of my father and all those who promote freedom. Please do not allow for silence to keep my father in jail, for like the slogan of my campaign says, “Silence is the worst enemy of freedom”.

May God bless you all and thank you very much for allowing me the time to share my words with you.

I leave you all with a phrase from King Solomon which my father would commonly reference:

“Trust God in everything and with all your heart and do not depend on your prudence. Recognize Him in all your travails and He will straighten your ways, don’t consider your own opinions wise, fear God and avoid evil and it will be medicine for your body and food for your bones.”


Winnie Biscet to speak about her father at Christian conference- Miami, FL

Winnie Biscet has been invited to speak about her father, Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet, at a conference being held by the “Hollywood Prayer Network” (HPN), which will take place this Friday, November 12th, at 7 pm in the Biltmore Hotel of Coral Gables, located at 1200 Anastasia Ave.

The “Hollywood Prayer Network” is a Christian organization which has defined its goal as “praying for the people and the projects within the entertainment world, which has lots of influence over our society”.  Their website could be visited at www.hollywoodprayernetwork.org.

Various stars from the world of sports and entertainment, like Don McNeal and Kevin Anthony, will be present to talk about how Jesus Christ has impacted their lives and professions.

Winnie Biscet will speak about her father after a trailer of the documentary “Oscar’s Cuba”, made by producer and director Jordan Allott, is presented to the audience.  This film depicts the harsh reality of Cuba and of Dr. Biscet, a devour Christian.

We will have more information here, in this blog, after the event.


El Nuevo Herald: Article About the Campaign to Free Dr. Biscet

By Juan Carlos Chavez

Winnie Biscet, daughter of the Cuban prisoner of conscience Oscar Elías Biscet, launched an international campaign to demand for the immediate release of her father, sentenced to 25 years in a maximum security prison.

“We ask for his unconditional release,” said Winnie, age 22. “And to achieve this we are opening a website and a blog. I want people to know him not only as a patriot, but also as a father.

Winnie is also sending a letter to president Barack Obama asking for his help, and for him to denounce the abuses against Biscet. By Wednesday, she had already collected over 300 signatures.

“I miss my father terribly. I fear for his health and safety. But I support his decision, his continued resistance to tyranny and his strong commitment to freedom and human rights for all Cubans,” her letter said. “Please, Mr. President, join us in this fight and do so publicly, because your support will help to make all the people of the world aware of this injustice.”

Exile organizations, such as Former Cuban Political Prisoners Organization, have joined the call for his unconditional release. The president of the group, Rodolfo Rodríguez San Román, said the release should not be contingent on his leaving the country.

“We are going to fight for him, for freedom without exile,” Rodriguez said.

Biscet is one of at least five political prisoners who have refused to leave Cuba under the current process of releases, which began after talks between the island’s Catholic Church and the government. Incarcerated since 2003, in the Combinado del Este prison in Havana, the 48-year-old Biscet is one of the prisoners most critical of the Cuban government. He started his opposition in 1986, shortly after graduating in medicine. In November 2007, former president George W. Bush awarded him the Presidential Freedom Medal, in absentia.

Biscet gained international fame when he released a document condemning the indiscriminate use of the drug Rivanol in Cuba, a drug intended to induce abortions.

See the original interview here.


Interview with Winnie Biscet, Courtesy of Punt de Vista

“They have tried to psychologically assassinate my father”

By Joan Antoni Guerrero Vall

Winnie Biscet is the only daughter of the political prisoner Oscar Elias Biscet.  During the last few days, she has been setting up a campaign to collect signatures for the release of her father.  In this interview, she talks to us about her father’s career, about the conditions he has had to live under throughout the last 10 years of confinement, and about the unjust nature of his prison sentence.  Strongly religious, Biscet’s daughter, who lives in the United States, is convinced that her father will be released from jail and will continue fighting, from the Island, to finally see a democratic Cuba, despite the lingering possibility that the regime could easily jail him once again.

How long has Óscar Elías Biscet been imprisoned?  What were the reasons for his imprisonment?

My father was jailed because he was against the practice of abortions in Cuba.  He was defending the human being, that being still in the stomach of a mother, the being which hasn’t even been born yet.  That’s why he was condemned to three years in prison.  Once he actually completed that three-year sentence, he left jail, only to once again be imprisoned 36 days after, this time being sentenced to 25 years.

Did this occur in 2003?

Yes, during the Black Spring.  They jailed him before the prisoners of the Group of the 75.  In reality, he wasn’t exactly from that group.  He was already jailed before that, though they did hold a trial for him together with the 75.

What interactions or communications has he had with his family during all this time?

Family members are allowed to visit him every two months.  Those who are allowed are his brother, his father, his mother, his wife, and his kids.  However, since I am an only child and I don’t live in Cuba, his cousins or his niece can visit him.

You left Cuba after this last imprisonment?

Yes.  I left Cuba after he was sentenced to 25 years.

Have you been able to go back to visit him?

I was able to return in 2006 and I was able to see him twice.

What did he transmit to you during those last visits, and what has he communicated to you within the last couple of months?

My dad has always written letters to me which state that he is there for a cause, and that cause is human rights, rights for Cubans, for the right of that child which hasn’t even been born yet.  He has always tried to explain to me how to be a better person, how to confront those people who don’t understand why he is in jail, and what is his purpose.

In the petition, your dad’s character is relayed as a symbol…

I think that my dad is a symbol because of all that he has done.  He has been a firm patriot.  He always has an answer, he thinks things through very well, each of his steps are calculated well.  He is a person who has thoroughly studied himself, learning to control himself to not offend or hurt anyone.  I believe that all the things my father has done has been in the form of a teacher, with others seeing him from a student’s perspective, wanting to do the same thing.  He has been able to reach a position that many other people can’t, not because they are not qualified or dumb, but because each person has their own calling.  And my father has done a lot of things that other people have not been able to.  He is a person who defends life, he likes just causes, and defends things with all his heart and passion, down to the very last consequence.  That’s why I think he is a symbol worth following.

Today, the European Union’s Common Position towards Cuba is up for debate.  It was expected that those prisoners who have chosen not to leave Cuba were supposed to be released.  Do you have hope that the regime will fulfill its promise?

Yes.  I strongly believe in God, and I know that God will not let us down.  I know that the only thing my dad has done has been to defend freedom in Cuba.  He has never used a gun, he has never hurt anyone, he hasn’t offended anyone, and I think that when a person is just and sincere, then God will give him the power to succeed.  And, like I’ve always said, my dad is a very Christian person, he trusts and has faith.  And I know he will come out of jail, because God has taken note of all the good things he has done throughout his life, and like I say, when one is the son of God, he will never leave you alone.  I have lots of faith that he will be released, that he will be home soon with his family, and that I will see him soon.

There were some rumors going around that this weekend various prisoners would be released.  Has your dad been notified of such news?

I sincerely do not have an answer to that.  What I can say is that his name is on the list of those who will be released.  I don’t know if it will be today or in a month, but I am very sure that he will be released.

Once liberated from prison, and if he keeps up his political activities, do you think that the regime would be tolerant with him from now on?

No, I don’t believe that.  I think he very well knows what awaits him.  Ever since he was jailed ten years ago, he is very aware that he lives with the possibility of being jailed again and again, but like I say, when you have God in your heart, even if there is a president or anyone that wants to harm you, you will always make it through whatever awaits you.  My dad is a very studious person, he is very strong, he has a very strong personality, and he thinks things through very well before acting.  And I know that he knows what awaits him.  But when God is in your heart, anything can be achieved.  And he hasn’t harmed anyone, he hasn’t killed anyone, he simply wants a free Cuba. If the government doesn’t like that, well, I really don’t know what I can tell you.  I just know that my dad has not harmed anyone and that the only thing we are demanding from the Cuban government is that they release him, because he is a Cuban just like the rest of us.  He is a very dignified man.  All that he says he says with much authority because he knows what he is talking about.  In prison, he has been subjected to all sorts of tortures and absurdities on behalf of the government, simply for defending his brothers, his fellow Cubans.

Throughout these past ten years, what moment has been the most difficult for your father while in jail?

My father has been imprisoned for ten years, and if you ask me, every single second of that confinement must be difficult for him.  He has not told me exactly what he has gone through, but being his daughter and because I am a strong believer in God, I have placed him in my heart and I can feel that he has suffered greatly at every moment.  He has written some letters to me that can make anyone cry.  He has seen lots of injustices in prison, people who have committed suicide for example, and that is very difficult.  Once, he told me that they wanted to psychologically kill him.  And it’s true.  When someone is locked up in a punishment cell, that is what the intent is — to try to kill you mentally.  My father knows this too well.  I know that he has suffered throughout his life, but he is an honorable man who finds himself locked away because he is committed to the freedom of his country.  Even before he has been in prison, he has still suffered, for they have tried many times to knock him down.  But like I’ve told you, when you keep God in your heart, anything is possible, and no one can ever counter God — not Fidel, not the Revolution, no one.

You mentioned torture.  What kind of tortures did your dad suffer?

For one, they have tried to drill absurd statements into his head, like foul words, or telling him that he is going crazy, that he will not be able to continue fighting, or that he is worth nothing.  You know, those things damage people.  Another thing they did was to strip from him his medical license.  Imagine just how much he sacrificed to become someone in life, and then a person who is not even your relative or anything comes and snatches from him his title as a doctor.  It’s horrible.  He was a doctor who saved lives, who cared about his patients, and now they don’t let him exercise his profession.  My dad has lived through some cruel things.  Once, they punched him and he lost a tooth.  Something like that is physical abuse, but can you imagine that he actually remained silent and took it in, that’s what it means to be a respectful and dignified person.  He didn’t fire back with a punch because he respects his brothers.  My dad knows when he is wrong or not when chatting with another person.  And I think it’s absurd that a man be punched, to the point of loosing a tooth, just for thinking differently.  Despite all these injustices which have landed upon him, he has not been violent.

Throughout these years, has his family faced obstacles in being able to see him in jail?

They have gone to jail to visit him.  When I was in Cuba, though, sometimes they wouldn’t allow you to visit him for three to five months.  I was very young, but I remember.  It was frustrating because I had to go from Havana, where we used to live, all the way to Holguin.  It was a 14 hour trip — a very difficult journey which would sometimes end with the guards refusing us to see him.  It was very devastating for us, especially since I strongly wanted to see my dad, whom I love very much, and then they would just come out and flat out tell us that we couldn’t because he was being punished for having behaved badly.  But we all know that in reality, he has never misbehaved.  He has always respected people.  The truth is that the things he does, they do not approve of.  And when you’re against a government, then many harsh things tumble down after you.

Besides abortion, your father had some other ides which didn’t sit too well with the government…

He wanted his country to be free and democratic, like the United States.  He strongly believed that if you wanted to go out and say “Down with Fidel”, then that was your right you wouldn’t suffer any repercussions for expressing your ideas.  Also, if you wanted to build something, then you should be able to go ahead and do it.  He considered the system to be very unjust, and that’s why he decided to fight for his country.

Who is helping you with this campaign and what is planned at the moment?

The campaign is organized by former political prisoners who suffered sentences of up to 28 years.  They are amazing people who have decided to help with my campaign to free my father.  The objective is the absolute freedom of Oscar Elias Biscet.  I ask of everyone who reads this interview to please visit the blog (www.freedombiscet.wordpress.com) and sign the petition.  It’s the only help we can ask for Oscar Elias Biscet, who only wanted freedom for himself and for the rest of Cuba.  We want a free Cuba, with freedom of expression, of being able to do whatever we want to do without having any conflicting pressures.  Please help us free my father.

See the original interview on the blog Punt de Vista, here.


Letter to Vaclav Havel, President of the Czech Republic

Havana, October 15, 1999

Your Excellency:

 Respectfully I salute you and express my admiration to you and your people, and join this celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Velvet Revolution in which your country became free from the communist yoke through a peaceful revolution.

 The example of Czechoslovakia has left a deep impression in many Cubans who desire peaceful transition towards democracy and freedom. When I walk through the streets of my neighborhood where small businesses are unable to develop due to high taxation and arbitrary laws dictated by the Castro government, I am reminded of you and the days you lived in your country before 1989. Increasing numbers of people are abandoning the practice of lying to display their inconformity with injustice of a totalitarian regime.

 But, what reminds me most of communist Czechoslovakia is the times that we spend in jail, for exercising our freedom of expression. Inside these prisons we suffer physical abuse, torture and humiliation. When I see the faces of those who perform these acts, I remember that the political police of the Soviet and the Czechoslovakian dictatorship trained them.

 Today there are many prisoners of conscience in Cuba. Several humanitarian and political organizations have decided to organize a peaceful march on the tenth of November to demand freedom for political prisoners and the repeal of all laws that violate human rights.

 We request your support, and together with all men and women committed to all just and humanitarian causes, join in an international campaign in order to achieve the objectives of this march for human rights for Cuba.

 As we speak, a group or Cuban dissidents are studying the non-violent thought of Ghandi and yours as well, because we want a peaceful and civilized transition in our country. We are willing to suffer like Jan Palach on behalf of human dignity and freedom in order to give birth to the Third Republic, one based in respect to human rights.

 We will succeed because we carry in our hearts the words of King Solomon: “Trust God in everything and with all your heart and do not depend on your prudence. Recognize Him in all your travails and He will straighten your ways, don’t consider your own opinions wise, fear God and avoid evil and it will be medicine for your body and food for your bones.”

 I thank God for men like you, Mister President, defenders of liberty and human dignity.

May God bless you,

Sincerely,

Doctor Oscar Elias Biscet

President of the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights


Message from Dr. Biscet to the People of Cuba and the International Community

Fidel Castro has abandoned power. He should have done it 20 years ago when Mijail Gorbachov traveled to the island. He wisely recommended that. It would have eliminated many years of misery, lack of freedom, and cruel suffering of the Cuban people under his prolonged, unnecessary and mismanaged office.

His brother Raul inherited his office and his communist party which maintains a one party totalitarian system with the only difference being that of applying more state terror on the population during his short term in office.

The Cuban people and the leaders of the opposition movement need to fast and pray to the God of the Bible and demand from the national government that it sign and comply with the International Agreements on Human, Civil, Political, Cultural, and Social Rights.

Thanks to the support of the Cuban community in exile and to the governments and free and democratic countries, after one year and 5 months of pressure, the regime in Havana promised to comply with these objectives which have yet to come to pass.

When the aforementioned demands are met and the following liberties are granted:

Liberation of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience without deportation.

Participation in the political and economical affairs of the nation with the same rights as any other Cuban, including exiles without exception.

Permission to legalize different political parties according to the interests of the people.

Revocation of the constitution and of the absolute power of the communist party over society.

Commitment to carry out free and democratic elections. then would we be able to say that the period of democratic transition in Cuba has begun.

Gorbachov in the former Soviet Union, Pinochet in Chile, and Decler in South Africa had the courage and pragmatism to initiate democratic reforms. It is the desire of the Cuban people to live in peace, well being, and happiness, and freedom.

The present government should set reforms in motion destined to meet these objectives and its citizens must continue their pursuit by means of civil disobedience.

“Woe to those who enact on just statutes and who write oppressive decrees, depriving the needy of judgment and robbing my people’s poor of their rights, making widows their plunder and orphans their prey! What will you do on the day of punishment, when ruin comes from afar? To whom will you flee for help? Where will you leave your wealth, lest it sink beneath the captive or fall beneath the slain? For all this, his wrath is not turned back, his hand is still outstretched!” Isaiah 10:1-4.

Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet

February 26, 2008


Message from Dr. Biscet

Letter written by Oscar Elias Biscet, from Havana, August [1st. 2007]

Combinado del Este Prison, 2nd floor, cell 1232

 

To the people of Cuba, fellow citizens, people in fasting

The people of Cuba have been suffering the contempt of a totalitarian tyranny, communism, for over more than four decades. Due to this cruel treatment where the honor of the people is violated, many Cubans have become indignant and have risen and joined together to fast and pray to the God of the Bible and demand that the government sign the International Agreements of Human Rights (International Agreements for Civil and Political Rights, and the other for the Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights) created in 1966 by the international community of the United Nations.

As we have well expressed, these demands are to the government of Cuba, independently of who is the head of the government because we say, like the people of Boston: “Tyranny is tyranny, no matter where it comes from.”

That’s why we must continue our day of prayer and fasting until the signing is achieved and the practice of respecting the human rights of the people of Cuba is fulfilled. We must speed up the quest for these basic human rights by means of civil disobedience and by putting into practice all the methods to achieve our humanitarian aims.

 “If there is no fight, there is no progress…”

 “Power does not grant anything without a demand. It has never done it, and it never will.” (Frederick Douglass)

We have the right to be free, to use our sovereignty as individuals and as people and “Only freedom produces peace and wealth.” (Jose Marti)

Here in this dark box where they force me to live, I will be resisting until freedom for my people is gained.

Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet

President of the Lawton Foundation for Human Rights