Announcing: Trip to Mexico!

gitmo-protest
Announcing: Trip to Mexico!

For a long time, I have thought about the injustice of the indefinite detention of the prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. I have wondered what I might be able to do, to at least bring attention to this.
Of course, the goal is to see this prison, this aberration of USA policy, CLOSED! But understanding my limitations, and the perverse attitude of the Republicans in Congress, and unfortunately, even some Democrats, and the President’s reluctance to go ‘all-out’ to fulfill his campaign promise, I am looking to simply do all I can, in my own small way, to work toward this goal.
What this has to do with a trip to Mexico, I will explain. I know they speak as if Cuba has been opened up for Americans, as if all restraints have been lifted. Not so. One goes to Cuba, from the USA, with a mandatory return date listed in the paperwork. We can’t just freely go there to stay as long as we please, and to do whatever we like. We have to fill out on paper, or on online, a form stating what we are doing there. It must be something within a number of government-controlled categories. None of these categories includes conducting protests against the prison and Naval base at GITMO. I know, there have been those who have gone there and done just that, and I applaud these efforts. But they go, and return in a few days. I want to continually protest these things, over a very long time. I want to actually dedicate my remaining life to trying to get these prisoners either freed (most have never been charged with any crime), or, in the few cases where there have been charges leveled at a prisoner, to get them a fair trial, a definite verdict and sentencing.
I feel this is very important. This indefinite detention policy, holding prisoners without charge, and doing it after they admit to having tortured these people, most of whom, I am convinced, are innocent; this represents a major shift in American policy. Our government is acting illegally, according to all international law. It sets a precedent that may be repeated elsewhere, especially since the USA sets itself up as a beacon for human rights worldwide. I mean, if we demonstrate that torture and indefinite detention are suitable treatment for people against whom the government cannot even find enough evidence to build a case, then what limits are there left in the world? If this is judged to be acceptable, then what would be unacceptable? We have justified the cruel prison camps of the Vietnamese during the war, the gulags of Stalin, the concentration camps of the Nazis; we cannot claim to be one bit better than any of these.
So, here I go. I’m leaving in mid-October, to move to central Mexico, to establish a personal base, from which to conduct trips to and from Cuba, where I will set up a one-man protest against the GITMO prison AND against the unjust presence of the Naval base there (it should be vacated and returned to the Cuban people). I said “one-man”, but all would be welcome. Also, I will bring attention to the fact that Congress has resisted until now, the lifting of the trade blockade against the Cuban people. This embargo must be lifted immediately. It is the height of hypocrisy to pretend to be warming to Cuba, in our international relationship, and still holding this blockade over them, costing a poor nation more than they can afford, millions of dollars.
From my rented home in Mexico, I believe (I speak hopefully) I’ll be able to travel back and forth to Cuba easily and inexpensively, being unimpeded, and be able to perform my non-violent campaign of protests. My plan is simple. I will post myself, with signs announcing my purpose, nearby the American embassy in Havana. I will wear an orange prison jumpsuit, similar to the uniform of the detainees, and will pray and meditate, a living physical witness to those in the U.S. embassy. Also, I will explore the possibility of protesting at the perimeter of the Naval base. I don’t know if this is possible, or if it would be effective, but it’s a possibility, I guess. I may protest nearby the arriving Cruise ships of American tourists, reminding them, as they disembark, of the injustice taking place on this island, even as they take their vacation there, an injustice perpetuated by their tax dollars.
Maybe in the future I’ll be able to actually live in Cuba, which would make things easier. But, in the beginning, I think it’s better to have a home to go to that is not mainland USA, and not an address in Cuba. I will try to keep my address in Mexico a secret.
I would like to communicate with my friends, and all interested, by email, and on Facebook. So if you want, please send me your email address, or ‘friend’ me on Facebook, and I will make little reports, only emailing once a week (not daily). My email address is ashez.thomas@aol.com
I have very limited finances, and I have a large dog, so I have decided to drive to my new home in Mexico in my old car. I will be taking photographs, and writing, to document the trip. We can go on this adventure together. So please do get in touch with me.
To my brothers and sisters who believe in it, I solicit your prayers. To my atheist brothers and sisters, please “hold me in the light’ or think positively, send positive energy in my direction, if you will. I am a liberal Christian Universalist, which means I count all good people of all faiths as my brothers and sisters, as well as atheists. And let me immediately add that I’m not a good Christian at all. I have my weaknesses and flaws. It’s just what I am, though. But I never try to change anyone. I never preach, unless it’s to horrible hypocrite Congressmen and women who need to quit working for the 1%, and do something to help their constituents. Their religion is between them and God.

Advertisements