Venezuela's Francisco Uson: A year behind bars for the cause of Freedom and Justice
19.05.05 | On Saturday, May 22, General Francisco Usón, the first person to have been condemned by the Bolivarian government for the crime of having expressed an opinion, will have spent one year behind bars. The general was submitted to a trial with every appearance of illegality, and objections to his prison sentence have been made by all the organizations that defend human rights. To mark this anniversary date, General Usón has addressed a message to all those who believe in Democracy, Freedom, and Justice. His words are a lesson in honor and love of one’s country.
The general starts his message with a question. Has losing my freedom, the most valued thing next to life itself, been worthwhile?
General Usón’s father was an exile from Spain and his mother from Trujillo. Like any other descendent of Europeans who lived under the fascists, communists or Nazis, the general grew up hearing tales of the tragedy suffered by millions of people who lost members of their families and friends in battle, bombings, and concentration camps.
The general’s father never thought that, more than 60 years later, his son would be the object of persecution for his ideas and ideals. Nor did General Usón himself ever imagine that he would be subjected to such ignominy when he embarked on his military career and worked towards building his country and forming a united family.
In his hours of captivity, he prays to God to strengthen his weaknesses and to not hate or thirst after vengeance. He also prays for the strength to not abandon his ideals or negotiate his rights, values and principles. The general only wants to proffer what he asks for himself: justice.
And as he points out in his reflections, reconciliation should not be at the expense of justice. Pardoning does not imply impunity for those who commit crimes. General Usón maintains that there are even stronger reasons for not allowing a criminal to go unpunished when “he has fostered injustice and transformed the institutions of the State into vulgar gangs of criminals on a large scale with the purpose of stealing our freedom from us.”
General Francisco Usón is a courageous man, as are Vivas, Forero, Ortega, Puggoli, Rodríguez and hundreds of others who are today serving prison sentences thanks to a system of justice that is rigged and manipulated by those who seek to subjugate a people to a process that it did not ask for and does not want.
VenEconomy endorses what General Usón maintains: It is worth fighting for a country where Freedom, Justice, and Peace reign, for future generations. General Usón paraphrases the words of Saint Augustine of Hippo in The City of God: “Remove Justice and what are governments but gangs of criminals on a large scale?”
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