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"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation
Relatives of jailed dissident rapper call on artists and activists to demand his freedom (Video)
June 25, 2013Posted by on
Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena, wife of dissident rapper and political prisoner Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga “El Critico”, has been passing through some very difficult moments during these three months in which her husband has been behind bars. She has had to raise their newborn child (only 4 months old) on her own, while she has had to go through countless difficulties to try and visit Remon Arzuaga in Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo.
The musician was violently arrested by the political police on the 26th of March because he handed out pro-freedom pamphlets, painted anti-regime messages outside his home and carried out a public discourse in favor of human rights. Friends have also assured that Remon’s protest music within the hip-hop duo Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso (The Unwanted Children) is another of the reasons why he has been taken to prison, considering that his music has attracted much attention from locals, especially the youth.
Inside of Las Mangas Prison, El Critico has been confronting numerous complications.
“Right now, Angel Yunier is not receiving medical attention although he suffers from an ulcer and chronic gastritis“, explains Yudisbel to this blog, “his jailers are also refusing to grant him minutes of phone access which he is supposed to receive“.
In addition, the young mother denounces that when she travels to the prison to visit her husband, “State Security always forms a problem. Each time I visit him it’s a different scenario. Sometimes they say they can’t bring him out at that moment, other times they tell me I have to leave first, etc“.
Another tactic of the authorities is to try and blackmail and involve the rapper into committing a common crime, a practice often employed by regime authorities against prisoners of conscience. He has been completely resisting these pressures.
“Jailers are trying to find him a problem with a common prisoner to accuse him of a common crime considering that they have nothing else to accuse him of. The accusation for which he is in prison is for ‘attempt’ but there is absolutely no proof. In reality, State Security attempted against his life in March“, said Yudisbel. Police forces raided Remon Arzuaga’s home and beat him and other relatives, among them his aunt Jaqueline Garcia, a member of the Ladies in White.
The main aggressor that day was the State Security Chief known as Julio Cesar, the same person who is now trying to involve Angel Yunier in a common crime. This agent has taken up the task of personally persecutting the activist as well as other members of the opposition in Bayamo.
Yudisbel explains that Julio Cesar also participated in a beating against her during an act of repudiation when she was 8 months pregnant, causing her injuries and leading to a sharp rise in her blood pressure, producing health complications. She feared that her pregnancy would be interrupted and aborted.
“Julio Cesar physically assaulted me in an attempt to take my cell phone. He hurt me on my stomach and I had to rush to the hospital, where they refused to give me a medical certificate. I almost lost my pregnancy and I was hospitalized, needing a blood transfusion“, she said.
Fortunately, Yudisbel was able to give birth without furhter complications, but now her husband has not been able to spend time with their young son.
Yudisbel is calling on all Cubans in and out of the island to demand freedom for her husband. She has especially called on independent musicans and the community of exiled artists.
“I would like to ask everyone, especially the artists, to please raise your voices to achieve the liberation of Yunier as well as the rest of the political prisoner unjustly behind bars. That kind of support would be an enormous help“, she declared.
The Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), a dissident organization which Angel Yunier also belongs to, has published a series of videos on their YouTube channel which demonstrate the musician’s wife as well as other relatives and friends demanding his release.
This is an edited version (with English subtitles) of some of these videos, where relatives and friends show their solidarity with Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, “El Critico”: