Footless woman:  What happened to Gugu?
Black hairy creature:  He was sweet-talked by the songs of the serpent.
Red hairy creature (Gugu): They have me bound hand and foot.

“In Cuba, in the name of human rights, they demand impunity for those who seek to deliver,  bound hand and foot, the country and the people to imperialism.”  Fidel Castro, Reflection, published in Cuba Debate, on June 19, 2008 under the title United States, Europe and Human Rights.

In the recent statement of the ex-president of Cuba on the lifting of European Union sanctions, the text we quote here appears to refer indirectly to the 75 imprisoned in the spring of 2003.  Here it is clarified, five years later, the reason for the harsh sanctions imposed, ranging from 15, to 20 and even 28 years’ imprisonment.  Now we understand that these people were not convicted for what they did, but what the prosecutors imagined they intended to do.

Because those who, in a direct sense, not metaphorically, are tied hand and foot to the country and to the people of an imperial power deserve a severe punishment. It may be more general: one who ties the hands and feet of a people to subjugate them to a power that snatches their sovereignty must be brought to justice. The 75 prisoners of the Black Spring never achieved such a thing nor could it be proved legally that this was what they had tried to do.  Only from a strictly political point of view could it be interpreted that this was their intention, but that, then, would classify them as political prisoners, which contradicts the official version.

In the direct sense of any language, a people is tied hand and foot with a rope not around the wrists and ankles but when, with force of arms or with the might of the law, they are prevented from changing the political system, electing their leaders, expressing their views freely, associating according to their political tendencies, receiving information, leaving and entering the national territory, or deploying economic initiatives.

If we are talking about the need for impunity, we should add that not even on behalf of social justice can a state claim to immobilize the people it governs.