Jorge Luis Garcia Perez "Antunez" long has proven himself one of the bravest and most valiant members of the Cuban opposition, unhesitating at any moment to denounce the Castro dictatorship and to demand that his rights, and the rights of all Cubans, be respected.
Which is what he did last Thursday, when during a U.S. Senate subcommittee hearing on Cuba, Antunez testified via telephone about repression on the island and his opposition to relaxation of the American sanctions on Cuba.
On Thursday, the Castros got their revenge, ordering their secret police to brutally arrest and detained Antunez. As of Monday, his whereabout were unknown.
Pursuant to last week's testimony in the U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Cuban pro-democracy leader Jorge Luis Garcia Perez "Antunez" has been arrested and brutally beaten by the Castro regime.
According to Antunez's wife (in testimony this morning to Radio Republica), Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, he was arrested on Saturday afternoon, brutally beaten, doused with pepper spray until unconscious and violently removed from his cell by the authorities that evening.
Antunez has not been heard from since.
His wife believes this is in reprisal for Antunez's testimony in the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
This serves as a stark reminder of what happens to Cuban activists who dare speak the truth.
The two senators who heard Antunez's testimony, Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and Marco Rubio, R-Fla., demanded the United States and the United Nations act to force the Castro regime to release Antunez.
"The arrest and beating of Antúnez clearly as a result of his Senate testimony is further proof of the continuing brutality of the Castro brother's regime and further evidence of the need for the United States and other Democratic nations to stand up against tyrants and realize that the nature of the regime won't' be altered by increasing tourism to the island," Menendez said. "Today I am calling on the United States Department to cease providing any non-essential visas for travel to the United States by Cuban officials."
Rubio said what happened to Antunez will not be forgotten.
"Antunez is a courageous human rights activist. It is clear that he has been jailed and savagely beaten by criminals working for the Castro regime because he testified before the Senate last week," Rubio said in a statement. "The regime’s thugs will eventually be held accountable for these crimes. History will not wipe away the blood they have on their hands."