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"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation
Category Archives: Pastor Reubilio Columbie
October 30, 2013Posted by on
15 days on hunger strike – which then also became a thirst strike as well – have been leaving serious consequences on the life of independent musician and political prisoner Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, best known in the Cuban rap world as “El Critico”, a member of the duo The Unwanted Children (‘Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso’), based in the Eastern city of Bayamo.
“El Critico” is very weak, he can barely speak, and his vital signs are very low. Despite this worrying state, he has suffered a beating recently at the hands of a re-educator in the prison known as Javier, according to his wife Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena – a young member of the Ladies in White – and Julia Pina, an activist of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), pro-freedom organization which Remon is also part of.
On the night of Monday, October 28th, a doctor from Las Mangas Prison called Yudisbel to inform her that her husband was refusing to accept an IV as a form of protest and that he was in a critical state. Yudisbel was able to sustain a brief conversation with him but barely understood what he was saying, except for a phrase where he affirmed that it’s either “freedom or death” for him.
Her audio – in Spanish- below:
After a number of hours, a group of doctors picked Yudisbel up from her home and took her to the prison, where she was able to briefly see Yunier. The rapper accepted an IV at that moment and when he had a bit more energy he told his wife that he had been beat 2 days prior and reaffirms his pro-freedom position.
On her part, Roseyo Mojena has said that she will also continue “on the streets” and although she is deeply worried for the life of her husband, she said she is supporting his struggle. The couple has a 9 month old son.
The Cuban dictatorship is demanding an 8 year sentence for Remon under accusations of “attempt” although he was the one who was assaulted last March 26th during an act of repudiation against his home. The person in charge of the act of repudiation is State Security chief Julio Cesar, also notorious for persecuting and beating other dissidents in Bayamo.
Report on recent beating of El Critico, with English subtitles:
February 29, 2012Posted by on
The Pentecostal Pastor Reubilio Columbie, who was violently assaulted and beaten this past February 6th and later rushed into the emergency room of a hospital after being left for dead, has recently been discharged from the hospital but was left with serious brain damage, which include difficulties with speech.
Columbie was being threatened by Cuban functionaries for numerous weeks after they (the authorities) confiscated his pickup truck which he used to transport churchgoers to his religious center, the Pentecostal Shalom Church. The Pastor decided to direct himself to provincial and municipal organisms in demand of his rights, affirming that he had paid his car and that the functionaries who took it from him gave him absolutely no explanations. For this reason, he began to receive phone calls from unknown people who threatened him and his family with violence if he continued voicing his complaints. Regardless, Columbie continued demanding his rights, which culminated in a brutal attack on the morning hours of February 6th in Holguin. Although no witnesses saw his aggressors, when he was found nearly lifeless on the pavement by a local citizen, the folder which he carried was in tact, except for a document related to his stolen vehicle which he was going to present in a municipal office of Holguin. His attackers did not steal any other document, nor did they steal the 300 pesos he carried with him. The Cuban police has completely ignored the situation.
After having spent several days in the Provincial Hospital of Holguin, the Pastor “has been left in a very critical state…he can’t even organize his own words, and he cannot focus on what he will say or what he is thinking“, according to the independent journalist from Holguin, Caridad Caballero Batista.
In addition, Batista adds that Columbie is “still under surveillance by the political police“, despite the fact that he does not even belong to an opposition group in the island. He is just a citizen demanding his rights.
The case of Reubilio Columbie, or “Tilin” as churchgoers and friends call him, is another example of the corruption, violence, and the harassment which the Cuban regime utilizes to stay in power and to plant fear in all Cubans.
For more information directly from Cuba, please contact Caridad Caballero Batista. Cell Phone Number: 011-5352- 629749 / Twitter: @caricaballero
February 11, 2012Posted by on
On Monday, February 6th, Pastor Reubilio Columbie, president of the Cuban Pentecostal “Shalom” Christian Center Church was violently beaten by thugs. The violence occurred on Cabana Street, in Moa, Holguin at around 3 in the morning and it was so brutal that his aggressors left him for dead. Luckily, a citizen who was passing by minutes after the assault noticed that Columbie was on the floor, fighting for his life. Thanks to the solidarity of this citizen, the Pastor was urgently rushed to the Provincial Hospital of Holguin, known as “Vladimir Lenin”.
Although no third person has testified to publicly witnessing the moment of the aggression, there is more than enough evidence signaling that the culprits were agents of the communist regime. The struggles which led Pastor Columbie to this point began two months ago in December of 2011 when the Cuban political police confiscated his truck which he had purchased 5 years ago. When Columbie bought the vehicle, he made some changes to it, installing numerous seats in order to drive his churchgoers to and from mass. The Cuban authorities did not give Columbie a reason as to why they were taking away his car. Police officials simply and forcefully took it from him.
However, the independent journalist and Lady in White Caridad Caballero Batista points out that the Pastor had purchased the vehicle from “a lady whose nephew works as the logistic person of the Central Committee in Havana“, and explains that it is precisely because of these links that they began to locate and harass Columbie.
From the moment they took his truck away, Columbie has turned to countless municipal and provincial institutions, presenting his demands and claims so that his vehicle be returned, but it has failed every time. On the morning in which he was brutalized, “he was carrying a folder with various documents, including a sheet with information on the truck which he was going to turn into a few institutions of Holguin (where he was headed), in addition to his cell phone and money“. When he was found lying bloody on the floor, the only thing missing in his folder were the vehicle documents.
“It has already been a bit over a month“, explains Caballero Batista, “that Columbie started receiving threats via the telephone while he went to different government places to demand his car be returned. They were threatening him with beatings and even with death“, and it even reached the point that “they began to threaten his family also“, affirmed the activist. The authorities of the country have also kept silent in regards to the aggressions against the Pastor.
Pastor Columbie is still in critical condition in the provincial hospital of Holguin. He is 45 years old and has two children. Loyal churchgoers refer to him simply as “Tilin”.
This is yet another of the countless violations committed daily by the Cuban dictatorship against innocent citizens, whether it be for political motives or not.