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"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation
“El Critico”, jailed dissident rapper, suffers beating and blackmail in prison
July 26, 2013Posted by on
Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, activist and dissident rapper best known as ‘El Critico’ from the duo The Unwanted Children, remains behind bars in the Eastern town of Bayamo for political reasons, without having had a trial and under constant reprisals, as occurred last July 8th 2013, when he was beat by a common prisoner being used by the State Security apparatus.
Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena, the young wife of the musician, made the news public. She explains that the aggressions occurred on the same day Remon was supposed to have a family visit and that no prison authority told her about what had happened. Roseyo found out the details thanks to another political prisoner who has shown solidarity with her husband.
“Angel Yunier was in a prison cubicle with other prisoners and he was talking to them about the bad hygiene in the penitentiary when suddenly a common prisoner known as Jercy showed up with a knife“, details Yudisbel. The prisoner threatened to cut Angel Yunier but ended up “attacking Angel with his hands, punching him on the eye and breaking his mouth“.
The response of the jailers was to make it seem as a common fight among prisoners started by the rapper, who they punished by refusing him the right to conjugal visits. Their was total impunity for the aggressor and, as of yet, no disciplinary measures have been taken against him.
For this reason, Yudisbel assures that the event “was planned by State Security. In fact, when agents talk to me they always mention this situation, saying that it happened to my husband for talking too much“.
Roseyo explains that what the authorities seek is to try and involve Angel Yunier in a common crime and, in that fashion, officially sentence him, considering that he is currently in a judicial limbo, jailed since March 26th for making protest music and carrying out pro-freedom acts of civil disobedience on the streets.
Another tactic that the communist regime is using to try and reach that goal is to harass Yudisbel so that Angel will respond with anger and violence – a method which has not yielded results.
“People who I do not know have come to my house talking bad about Angel and trying to create some kind of confusion between us“, she says, “On July 24th, for example, I was outside when a person came up to me and told me ‘you’re going to be mine’ and grabbed my hand, and I quickly broke free and defended myself. People showed solidarity with me and when this man left, just a few moments later a couple of State Security agents walked behind him“.
Yudisbel is also victim of constant police persecution and vigilance, especially during the week of July 26th, when the State celebrates an anniversary of a violent assault on a barracks carried out by the current rulers.
“Since the 24th, I have been completely surrounded in my own house. A State Security official known as Eric visited me to tell me that I could not leave my house, but I responded saying that I was not going to be jailed in my own house, and much less in my native province. He told me that if I left I would be jailed and that they did not care if I was with my son or with anyone else“, she denounced.
The son of the young couple is only 5 months old and has barely seen his father due to his arbitrary arrest. The minor has suffered various health issues and his mother has had to travel long distances in search of medical assistance.
“Wherever I go with my son they follow me…a police vehicle and a number of State Security agents…day and night. Their is a police car stationed on the corners of my house at all hours. If I go to the clinic for my son, they go as far as to walk in behind me and keep an eye on my every move. They continuously threaten me and tell me I will be detained if I participate in any sort of activity“.
‘El Critico’ was imprisoned after a violent act of repudiation against him on March 26th, when he decided to give a public discourse to his repressors, explaining to them that as Cubans they were being used by the dictatorship but that they had the power to stop and change the system. He was being harassed and detained frequently prior to that moment due to his protest music and his activism out on the streets. Remon is also a member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU).
“My response is that if something happens to Yunier, the only ones responsible will be them [the government]“, declares Yudisbel, “my husband is firm in the same cause, as always. He told me that he’d rather be dead than to stop believing and fighting for his ideas“.