Emilio Milian Speech
Feb 6, 1977
Dade County Florida OCB case # 3-92-22]
FEBRUARY 6, 1977
SPEECH BY EMILIO MILIAN
"THE ANTI-DEFAMATION LEAGUE OF B'NAI B'RITH"
Ladies and Gentlemen:
I am deeply grateful for the honor that the Florida Regional
the Anti-Defamation League of B'Nai B'Rith has bestowed upon
The Leonard L. Abess Human Relations Award.
I am proud to be the recipient of this important recognition
community service, democratic convictions, and firm
is certainly an unforgettable and reward experience that
very difficult times for me.
The man that speaks before you today is a mutilated
result of exercising his right to oppose terrorism, defend
freedom, and my speaking out against criminals and their
For this I have been condemned to death without a trial,
right to defend myself - the jury has given its verdict in
without my presence. The execution could come at any
For me there is no opportunity to appeal my case or defend
This, ladies and gentlemen, is a true case of discrimination
rarely talked about. It is a violation of my
rights by a radical minority, a handful that uses terrorism
their ideas on the majority. It is disgraceful that
happening at a time when this country has just celebrated
Nine months have passed since the attempt on my life in
which I lost
both legs, and still the criminals have not yet been
The local authorities, because of the public outrage, have
made considerable effort to find the terrorists.
However, the results are: new murders, new threats,
terrorism - a clear product of the impunity that the
Recently, just a few hours after a telephone conversation
Jose Peruyero, during which he told me that he had strong
my case as a result of his investigations, Peruyero, a
anti-communist fighter, was assassinated in front of his
having been able to relay the important message he had for
My hopes that the crime that took my legs would have been
the last one,
vanished. Instead new threats have been made against
my life and
other Cuban leaders.
This week I was obligated, because of continued threats and
a lack of
police progress in my case, to send a telegram to The
Committee for Freedom of the Press in Washington, D.C. which
reads as follows:
"I received reliable information that I will be assassinated
next few days. As you remember, last April I notified
about the fact that the terrorists would put a bomb in my
Three days later, on April 30th, it happened. I lost
my legs and
almost my life..."
The prince that the terrorists asked to save my life is too
give away my dignity, my freedom, and to submit myself to
silence. I will not pay!
One death for the cause of freedom, however, is a sacrifice
which has the power to mobilize millions of consciences.
The Cuban Apostle of Liberty, Jose Marti, said that: "Men
march in two
groups: those who hate and destroy, and those who love and
I wish to walk with those who love and construct, but at the
to bring awareness to a third group: those who stand still
and do not
participate because, unfortunately, in this age of fear,
has gotten a hold of people.
We need a spiritual awakening that will put us all on the
justice in order to be able to confront decisively and
biggest and most dangerous challenge that our civilization
TOTALISTARISM and its favorite weapon: TERRORISM.
If I am silenced, in one way or another, it will constitute
a blow to
this democratic society. It would be a moral triumph
totalitarism that enslaves millions of human beings all over
among them my fellow Cubans and thousands of Jews in Russia,
I, like most of the Cubans that live here, and possibly like
you or your families, came to this country as refugees,
communism, looking for a free society.
This handful of terrorists do not represent the Cuban
community who loves democracy and justice as much as you and
That is why, here, I am asking for your help in getting the
authorities' to take strong action to bring to justice this
group and end this type of discrimination, once and for all.
On the other hand, If I have to die now, this humanitarian
take another dimension, a more meaningful expression of what
"In recognition of his dedicated service to the people of
personal leadership in improving inter-group relations and
opposition to extremism, bigotry and discrimination
advanced the cause of human rights in our democratic
Thank you very much.
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