Founder of the human rights movement in Cuba, Dr. Ricardo Bofill, dead at 76

Dr. Ricardo Bofill was an inspiration not only to Cubans, but for an entire world that yearns for freedom. Despite oppression and his imprisonment in a Castro gulag, his tireless advocacy for human rights in Cuba never waned.

John Suarez in Notes from the Cuban Exile Quarter:

Dr. Ricardo Bofill, founder of the Cuban human rights movement. Requiescat in Pace

“I can’t understand the hatred towards me. Because, really in the only field I’ve done battle, is the field of ideas.” – Dr. Ricardo Bofill, 1987 in “Nobody Listened” documentary

The founder of the human rights movement in Cuba just passed away in Miami. Ricardo Bofill co-founded the Cuban Committee for Human Rights in 1976, dedicated his entire life to and suffered years in Cuban prisons for defending human rights.

This blog has celebrated the work of Dr. Bofill over the years and will do so again today. His story and legacy changed the course of a nation, and the outcome is still playing out today. The 400th blog on this site was dedicated to him.

On December 10, 2014 Regis Regis Iglesias, spokesperson of the Christian Liberation Movement at 1:40pm posted a picture of Ricardo Bofill over twitter with the text: “Honoring honor. Ricardo Bofill, an essential reference in the defense of Human Rights of Cubans.” He was and remains correct in his assessment of this man.

In the 1987 documentary Nobody Listened, directed by Néstor Almendros and Jorge Ulla the world was introduced to Ricardo Bofill and the nonviolent human rights movement on the big screen.  Dr. Bofill is interviewed and discusses his circumstances as a dissident in Cuba engaged in the battle of ideas

“I can’t understand the hatred towards me. Because, really in the only field I’ve done battle, is the field of ideas. In this field I’ve had no response just prison and the police. And I don’t know why because the revolution controls all mass media. They have editorials, journalists, even many writers in the world. I don’t know why the response, time and again, has been jail. The response should come in the field I fight in, with ideas. I was arrested again in 1983. On that occasion, I was sentenced to 17 years in jail accused of activities in the Cuban Committee for Human Rights and the last period of prison began. For reasons of health and others I know not of in 1985 I was placed in the status I’m now in which is “conditional liberty with restriction of movement.”

Fidel Castro was asked the name of the human rights defender in another interview. The Cuban dictator dismisses his importance, but it is obvious in the context of his answer that he knows very well who this lone activist is, and views him as a threat.

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