- Jose Daniel Ferrer: Summary of activism out on the streets of Eastern #Cuba: pedazosdelaislaen.wordpress.com/2013/05/23/jos… 11 minutes ago
- Ciego de Avila activistas Jenni Barallobre and Santa Gonzalez arrested today, according to @SaraMartaCuba #Cuba 2 hours ago
- RT @SaraMartaCuba: #Cuba activ d MF-DC"Rosa Parks" Santa Glez Pedrozo y Yenny Barayobre Colombié arrestadas en Ciego d Avila,les impiden ir… 2 hours ago
- Grave denuncia desde una prision cubana, via Angel Santiesteban (preso politico) #Cuba: …ogloshijosquenadiequiso.wordpress.com/2013/05/22/dia… 3 hours ago
- RT @CubaOutNoticias: Diario en la cárcel. Con la boca cosida y untado de excrementos, un joven reclama sus derech… wp.me/p3k8Wk-n3 … 3 hours ago
- RT @SantosFSanchez: #cuba operativo d esbirros en motos patrullas y apie en calle linia#15%a y distancia rpto saratoga cmgy jornada boitel … 3 hours ago
- Libertad para Sonia Garro, Ramon Munoz, Angel Yunier Remon, Jorge Cervantes, Orlando Triana, Raul Gonzalez, Bismark Mustelier y TODOS #Cuba 3 hours ago
- RT @johnjsuarez: Petition Demanding International & Transparent Investigation into the deaths of @OswaldoPaya and Harold Cepero http://t.c… 3 hours ago
"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation
Category Archives: Political Prisoners
April 10, 2013Posted by on
Details of dissident rapper and activist Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, best known as “Critico de Arte”, has been limited since his arrest last 26th of March, considering that the political police took various cell phones away from his family members when they raided his home and took him to prison along with other relatives and neighbors which joined in solidarity. However, former political prisoner Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU)- opposition group which Remon also belongs to- confirmed this Tuesday, April 9th, that the young musician is still detained and on hunger strike.
“It’s been 15 days since Yunier Remon has been on hunger strike in a police unit of Bayamo”, wrote Ferrer Garcia on Wednesday in his Twitter account (@jdanielferrer). Another message recounts that on March 26th “Yunier Remon was beaten; while relatives and neighbors came out in his defense…they are now all accused of ‘attempt’”.
Jacqueline Garcia Jaenz, Lady in White and aunt of Angel Yunier, was one of the people attacked (in front of her underage daughter) and detained. She was released a couple of days later. Garcia also has her husband, Ariel Arzuaga Pena, behind bars for his peaceful opposition to the Cuban regime.
The music which Remon Arzuaga produces with his hip-hip group “Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso” (‘The Unwanted Children’) is censured in Cuba, as is the music of many other independent artists, whether they be within rap or other genres, such as Primario y Julito, Los Aldeanos, Porno para Ricardo, Eskuadron Patriota, Omni-Zona Franca and many others.
Relatives and fellow dissidents have expressed worry for Remon’s situation and the other 3 citizens detained alongside him, speculating that he will be sentenced to various years in prison, considering that he is being accused of “attempt” and “resistance”.
“As always, the victims are being accused by the culprits…that is how tyrannies function”, expressed Ferrer Garcia in another Twitter message.
This Wednesday, April 10th, Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga has been detained and on hunger strike for 15 days.
“The political police fears the growing support and sympathy which this youth has been receiving from the population”, said Ferrer.
March 25, 2013Posted by on
Political prisoner Ariel Arzuaga Pena, who is suffering various health ailments, was recently transferred to a penitentiary camp in the municipality of Bayamo, where he will not receive adequate medical attention, according to his wife Jaquelin Garcia Jaenz, a member of Cuba’s Ladies in White. Arzuaga was previously being held in the provincial prison of Granma.
“Ariel was transferred to the penitentiary, according to what the officials told me, due to all the health issues he is suffering, such as chronic pharingitis and advanced osteoporosis“, explained Garcia Jaenz, highlighting that in the prison he was being exposed to freezing temperatures many times and other times very humid conditions. However, she denounces that “he needs to be constantly attended by a doctor, but in the mentioned penitentiary there is no solid medical attention. In other words, the doctor only passes by once a week“.
The activist also recounts that her husband cannot apply any physical force or heavy lifting (due to the advanced osteoporosis on his spine) but he managed to tell her that in the new center he “has to carry the bucket of water to shower and has to clean the bathroom when it is his time to carry out his necessities“.
“They are not concerned for Ariel, they don’t take in to consideration that his sickness will get worse. On the contrary, they moved him to the new prison center to have him end up on a wheel chair“, assures Garcia.
Ariel Arzuaga was arrested on March of 2011, after the political police raided his home. Jaquelin was detained at the moment, so Ariel was home taking care of their underage daughter. The police physically assaulted the dissident and later accused him of an invented crime, alleging that he had threatened his young daughter with death.
Since then, Jaquelin has been denied visits with her husband, while he has been beat and threatened inside the prison on various occasions. All of this due to his posture against the totalitarian system on the island.
March 18, 2013Posted by on
Lady in White Sonia Garro Alfonso and her husband Ramon Alejandro Munoz have spent exactly one year in prison, without a trial, this Monday 18th of March, the same day of the 10th anniversary of the Black Spring, when 75 dissidents were imprisoned because of their pro-freedom posture.
Garro and Munoz, both members of the Independent Afro-Cuban Foundation, were arrested after being attacked with rubber bullets and suffering a beating by police forces in their Havana home. The prison authorities have not provided any clear information to their relatives as to why they are in prison or why they have not had a trial, although it is obvious that this has happened to them because of their activism. Yamilet Garro, Sonia’s sister, has taken on the task of visiting and taking care of Sonia and Ramon, although many times she has been denied her right to visits or to give them medicines or food, despite the fact that they both have health complications.
Sonia Garro and Ramon Munoz have an underage daughter together, which Yamilet has also been caring for.
In an audio recently published by former political prisoner Iván Hernández Carrillo, Yamilet Garro asked for more solidarity to free her loved ones. Meanwhile, an online petition was created to collect signatures to demand the same, while the hashtag #FreeSoniaGarro has gained much popularity on Twitter and Facebook.
Ladies in White as well as other dissidents throughout the island have dedicated their marches, protests, vigils and other activities in solidarity with Garro, Munoz, and the rest of the political prisoners in the country.
One year later: Sonia Garro imprisoned without trial and with several health issues, her sister asks for solidarity
March 11, 2013Posted by on
“They [the prison authorities] tell me that I have to wait, that her file is at the hands of the fiscal authorities and that her case is being analyzed”, said Yamilet Garro this past Sunday, March 10th, in reference to her sister, the Lady in White Sonia Garro Alfonso, and her brother-in-law Ramon Alejandro Munoz, just days before the 1 year anniversary in which they were both arrested by the political police. The declarations were made to former political prisoner Ivan Hernandez Carrillo and published on his YouTube channel.
Sonia Garro and her husband Ramon Munoz, both members of the Independent Afro-Cuban Foundation, were arrested by the State Police in Havana on March 18th, 2012, after a violent operation which consisted in being shot by rubber bullets and being beat. It was part of a wave of detentions against dissidents during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the island. They were accused of “public disorder” and “assassination attempt” (with no proof) and both have suffered threats and mistreatments during their time behind bars.
Yamilet Garro also highlighted that her sister is suffering the deterioration of her health, considering that she has a cyst on her liver and has not received the adequate medical attention in the women’s prison known as “Manto Negro” (literally translated meaning ‘Black Cloak’).
Meanwhile, Ramon Munoz is being held in a cell alongside common prisoners, although the motives of his jailing were due to his posture against the Cuban regime. Munoz also has health problems, adds Yamilet in her declarations, as he suffers from a gastric ulcer.
In the past months, it has been denounced that State Security has used common female prisoners, convicted of crimes, to threaten Sonia Garro with death and/or beatings.
“I ask the world for solidarity with the situation of my sister”, said a desperate Yamilet Garro Alfonso, concerned for the fate of her relatives.
Her declarations can be heard, in Spanish, in the following audio:
January 28, 2013Posted by on
On Wednesday, January 23rd, dissident Orlando Triana Gonzalez, member of the Cuban Reflection Movement, was sentenced to 2 years and 8 months of prison due to his political activism. The prison sentence was dictated in the Tribunal of Camajuani and numerous dissidents were arrested throughout the central province of Villa Clara as they tried to make it to the trial to show solidarity with Triana, among them Librado Linares Garcia, leader of the MCR.
But a group of 4 dissidents in the municipality Quemado de Guines- 3 of MCR and 1 from FANTU- carried out a protest march with signs condemning the sentence and demanding freedom for Triana Gonzalez. The demonstrators were Maydelis González Almeida, Nosbel Jomolca, Juan Carlos Fernández Morales and Yosmel Martínez.
“Upon hearing the news of the sentence in the afternoon, we carried out a march down Second Avenue South in Quemado de Guines with signs and shouting slogans demanding freedom for Orlando Triana and all political prisoners“, said Gonzalez Almeida, “this dictatorial regime has committed yet another one of its injustices“.
The pro-freedom activist adds that the trial was “based on lies and false testimonies against the human rights defender Orlando Triana“.
During the protest, neighbors did not repudiate the demonstrators when they shouted slogans of freedom, while political police agents did not have time to carry out arrests, affirmed Maydelis. The video of the protest below:
Meanwhile, Librado Linares, who spent various hours detained in a police vehicle for trying to make it to the trial, said that the Movement which he leads will continue demanding freedom for Orlando Triana Gonzalez.
For more details from Cuba:
Librado Linares – Phone: +5352-378-063 / Twitter: @LibradoLinares
Maydelis Gonzalez- Phone: +5358-217-833 / Twitter: @maydeliscuba1
June 7, 2012Posted by on
Starting with the following post, this blog will point out a Twitter message by a Cuban living on the island each day. Today’s Tweet comes from former political prisoner from the group of the 75, Ivan Hernandez Carrillo. In addition to being an independent journalist, Ivan is an independent unionist and lives in Colon, Matanzas.
[TRANSLATION] @Ivanlibre: #Cuba My opinion, dictated by no-one, I am willing to repeat it in any media outlet of the totalitarian system: “Radio Rebelde”, “Mesa Redonda”, etc.
Follow Ivan on Twitter! Search for him: @ivanlibre
In the vast majority of cases, Twitter is used freely and frequently throughout the world by all sorts of users. It is a message which is instantaneously published on the internet (which is limited to 140 characters) and deals with any subject which the user wishes to discuss, whether it be social, entertainment, humor, science, politics, commentary, etc. In Cuba, Twitter messages cost users 1 CUC (national currency) each and are only possible through phone text messages, unless the user has access to the internet (a rare Case in Cuba, considering the tight state censorship practiced over the web). In many cases, friends who have joined in solidarity in the exterior of the island help these Twitter users to publish their messages.
May 17, 2012Posted by on
Jorge Vázquez Chaviano, an activist who is member of the Central Opposition Coalition, was arrested this past 27th of March when he stepped out of his home in Sagua la Grande, Villa Clara and attempted to direct himself to the city of Havana to assist the Mass which was to be offered by Pope Benedict XVI that same afternoon. Chaviano has not returned to his house since that moment, for he has been confined to a punishment cell for trying to freely travel throughout his own country.
Recently, the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front published the video of the moment of Chaviano’s arrest. The video is divided in three parts. The first part shows Chaviano explaining that he is surrounded, focusing the camera on the oppressors which keep a tight vigilance over his home. This occurred just days before his arrest. The second half shows the aftermath of a mob repudiation attack against Chaviano’s home. In this segment, the dissident’s young son denounces the situation as well. The final part of the video is the rapid and violent arrest of Chaviano at the hands of State police agents. Watch it here:
May 5, 2012Posted by on
Alina Fonseca Guevara, the wife of political prisoner Bismark Mustelier Galan, who has been jailed since April 1st in the Aguadores Prison after he complained in a hospital about lack of medical attention for a minor, informed this Friday, May 4th, about the danger which her husband faces in prison after he declared himself on hunger strike this past Thursday May 3rd.
According to Fonseca Guevara, Bismark began his hunger strike the moment in which the penal authorities, specifically the chief of the unit Luis Enrique Lopez, denied her right, and the right of other activists, to visit him in prison. “I went to visit Bismark on Thursday along with a group of his childhood and neighborhood friends- Miguel Rafael Cabrera Montoya, Rolando Humberto Rodriguez, Hector Felix Labrada, and Jose Batista Flacon, and they denied our visit“, said Guevara, “so then, I went to speak to the chief of the unit (Luis Enrique Lopez) and he told me that he was the one who had made such decision and that the prison was like his house, that he would decide who could enter“.
Fonseca said that with the hunger strike, Bismark is demanding that the penal authorities allow his friends and family to visit him, as well as that his prison conditions are immediately improved. “In his penal ward, the bathrooms are horrible. There has not been water for 15 days, they give them just a bit of water sometimes to shower and to drink. Many prisoners chose to drink it and then they cannot shower“, said Alina, adding that she was able to communicate with her husband on Friday morning. “Bismark told me not to worry, that he was strong. He told me that he would not depose his hunger strike until his demands are fulfilled“.
Meanwhile, Yuniesky Domínguez González, an activist from the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), reiterated the severity of Bismark’s case, pointing out and warning that the Aguadores Prison is the same penitentiary in which the dissident Wilman Villar Mendoza died just 4 months ago after he was kept in horrid conditions and he initiated a hunger strike.
“In other words, we fear for the security and life of Bismark Mustelier Galan,” said Gonzalez, “we know that the Aguadores Prison is a horrid place and we fear very much for his life”.
Gonzalez added that during the morning of Friday, May 4th, in the town of Palma Soriano their appeared 4 signs with anti-government messages written on them, as well as messages demanding the release of the political prisoners Bismark Galan and Dany Lopez de Moya. The latter was recently sentenced to 1 year and 6 months of prison under false charges of “public disorder” after publcily wearing a T-shirt which read “Boitel-Zapata-Wilman Live“- a tribute to three Cuban freedom fighters who have died while demanding justice for the Cuban people.
According to Yuniesky Gonzalez, in addition to those 4 signs, throughout this past week “various signs have appeared on numerous occassions“, and “they have been put there by dissidents and by people who do not even belong to opposition groups“.
“It has gotten to the point that the government, and State Security, have put put up heir own signs with their own messages against the opposition, but people who pass by draw an ‘X’ on it and write ‘NO’, which goes to show the disapproval felt by the opposition and by everyday citizens in regards to these government signs“.
Para más información desde Cuba:
Alina Fonseca Guevara – Cell Phone: +5358-146-523 // Yuniesky González – Cell Phone: +5352-997-961
April 28, 2012Posted by on
These are only some of the many Cubans who reside behind bars in a prison cell for defending human rights and freedom in Cuba. Let us demand their immediate release!
Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia
Leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), he has organized countless civic demonstrations on the streets of Eastern Cuba during the past year. He was violently arrested on April 2nd, 2012. Various political police agents raided his home and took him and his wife, the Lady in White Belkis Cantillo, away. The latter was released a few days later. In addition, the agents took books, voice recorders, cameras, pictures, and other materials used by the activist to promote freedom on the island. They also physically assaulted other family members and dissidents who were in the house at the time. The three young children of the couple witnessed all the violence. Up to the moment, Ferrer Garcia is being kept in a cell in the police unit of Versalles in Santiago de Cuba. On April 23rd, Ferrer began a hunger strike, which he canceled three days later upon being able to receive a visit from his wife. Ferrer is suffering from serious pains due to some ulcers he has and has lost several pounds. Communist functionaries have told Belkis Cantillo that Ferrer is being accused of “public disorder”. Cantillo, as well as countless other Cuban dissidents, have demanded the release of Ferrer, denouncing that the Cuban regime wishes to condemn him to various years of prison, continuing his sentence during the Black Spring of 2003 when 75 activists were rounded up and jailed. Use the hashtag #FREEjdanielferrer on Twitter to demand his immediate release!
Jorge Vazquez Chaviano
An active member of the Central Opposition Coalition, he was arrested on March 27th 2012 when Pope Benedict XVI was still in Cuba. Chaviano was trying to travel from his home in Santa Clara to Havana in order to assist papal mass on the following day. His arrest was very violent. His wife, Maria del Carmen Hernandez, has said that she will continue demanding freedom for her husband, although she and her two children are going through a very difficult time. In fact, the couple’s youngest son suffers from various psychological issues because he has witnessed countless instances of aggression against his home and his parents, just for being human rights activists. These three were able to see Chaviano recently and have affirmed that the activist continues firm in his convictions, despite the threats and violence against him.
Niurka Luque Alvarez
Lady in White from Havana and activist from the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy. Her arrest was reported on March 16th by Eriberto Liranza Romero, president of that youth organization. Alvarez’s arrest occurred while she was carrying out a peaceful protest in a marginal Havana neighborhood, condemning the forced eviction of a humble family. The police agents who carried out the arrest used much violence against the female activist. She was taken to the women’s prison known as “Manto Negro” but was transferred to the “Guatao” prison, also for women. She is epileptic and has suffered numerous of these attacks while in her cell. Dissidents throughout the island have expressed much worry for the life of Luque Alvarez. In fact, activists from the Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights recently launched a campaign under the name of “Free them Now”, demanding freedom for Luque and another jailed Lady in White, Sonia Garro Alfosno.
Sonia Garro Alfonso
Lady in White and member of the Independent Afro-Cuban Foundation, Garro Alfonso was arrested on March 18th 2012 after a very aggressive procedure. She was taken down from a bus on that same day by police agents. They took her back to her house in Havana and told her she’d be confined to house arrest. Upon witnessing this, her husband Ramon Munoz decided to protest outside the house. And so he did, screaming slogans against the dictatorship. In a matter of minutes, and after an act of repudiation under the orders of the Communist Party, brigades of regime forces raided the home and attacked the couple, firing rubber bullets at them. Both were jailed. In the case of Sonia, she was taken to the “Guatao” prison of Havana. The independent journalist and lawyer, Laritza Diversent, recently reported that Sonia Garro will be processed but that her “crimes” are yet unknown.
Though I do not have photos of the following Cubans, their cases are also of equal importance and urgency:
Dany López de Moya was sentenced to 1 year and 6 months of prison after an extremely short (hours) trial. His wife denounced that the agents who were accusing him during the trial were using false charges against him, charges which they were inventing on the spot. The young activist was arrested this February for appearing in public with a shirt that read “Boitel-Zapata-Wilman-Lives” and later released. The names displayed on this t-shirt are of some Cubans who have died while on hunger strike to demand freedom for Cuba (Boitel’s case was in the 70′s, Zapata in 2010 and Wilman in 2012), Since that day, the Cuban regime has wanted to jail Lopez de Moya. In addition, in 2011, the political police had robbed Dany’s identification card for carrying out a public demonstration. He was taken away before being sentence to a year on April 18th, 2012, while he was having lunch in his home.
Bismark Galán was arrested on April 1st, 2012. Due to his arrest, a number of activists from UNPACU took to the streets, or planned to take to the street, in Eastern Cuba to demand his release. Many were arrested. All were released except for Jose Daniel Ferrer and Bismark himself. Galan was quickly jailed after he denounced the case of a young girl who was not receiving medical assistance in a Cuban hospital. He had intentions to film the case. As of yet, there are no known charges against the dissident. The only thing that is confirmed is that he is being held in a prison cell.
(Feel free to use any of these edited pictures)
March 27, 2012Posted by on
Via former Cuban political prisoner of conscience Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, from Matanzas, Cuba. A few hours before Pope Benedict XVI arrived to Cuba, a group of human rights activists and other figures from civil society penned a letter directed to Benedict himself. The first day that the religious figure spent on the island was marked by even more repression against Cuban dissidents who simply wished to assist Mass or leave their homes. Meanwhile, countless other telephone lines (cell phone and home lines) of dissidents has been cut by the political police. It is precisely this violence and this censorship which the following letter denounces:
Message to His Holiness, Pope Benedict XVI
Pope Benedict XVI has declared that Marxism-Leninism is a failed ideology and, therefore, has no purpose in Cuba. Benedict has also mentioned that he is in full disposition to contribute to produce changes on the island without traumas.
The dismantling of Cuban socialism, or Castro-ism, which is a substratum of the Marxist-Leninist ideology, would require the liberation of all political prisoners, the end of repression against human rights activists, and the implementation of constitutional law and democracy.
His Holiness will arrive to a country where those who practice their basic freedoms and human rights are literally subjected to a “curfew”. The government requires its communist militants, who are atheists or at least very reluctant, to assist Mass at Santiago de Cuba and Havana. Meanwhile, they also threaten, impede, or arrest the immense majority of activists, most of which are Christians.
It is just another expression of intolerance which you should confront. We hope that with the Divine inspiration which guides you, you achieve to revive the Christian faith of all Cubans and be successful in your efforts of freedom.
We, the undersigned :
- Acosta Ríos, Nelson.
- Álvarez Campillo, Sonia.
- Arévalo Padrón, Bernardo Rogelio.
- Argüelles Morán, Pedro.
- Borges Álvarez, Raúl.
- Borges Pérez, Ernesto. (prisionero político).
- Bringas Dévora, Emilio.
- Burunate Gómez, Caridad.
- Cantillo Ramírez, Belkis.
- Carrillo Hernández, Asunción.
- Daniel Cruz Zenén.
- Díaz Falcón, Mirelys.
- Díaz Fleitas, Eduardo.
- Díaz Galindo, Gloduardo.
- Díaz Sánchez, Lázaro.
- Falcón Fundora, Bárbara.
- Fariñas Hernández, Guillermo.
- Fernández Rivera, Lilvio.
- Ferrer García, José Daniel.
- Fresneda Castillo, Mercedes.
- García de la Riva, Alejandrina.
- García Pérez, Jorge Luis.
- García Roldán, Fidel.
- González Marrero, Diosdado.
- Hernández Carrillo, Iván.
- Hernández López, José.
- Jerez Oliver, Emilio.
- Linares García, Librado.
- Malleza Galano, Ivonne.
- Martínez Arias, Richerto Nicasio.
- Martínez Montero, Ignacio.
- Mir Marrero, María Elena.
- Morejón Hernández, Mayra.
- Moya Acosta, Ángel Juan.
- Navarro Álvarez, Sayli.
- Navarro Rodríguez, Félix.
- Olivera Martínez, Carlos.
- Pedroso Esquivel, Juan.
- Pérez Aguilera, Iris Tamara.
- Pérez Palenzuela, Félix.
- Pupo Sierra, Ricardo.
- Ramírez Matos, Rosaida.
- Ramos Salgado, Minardo.
- Rangel Manzano, Francisco.
- Regatillo Martínez, Julio.
- Risco Pérez, Raúl.
- Rodríguez Robaina, Rolando.
- Rodríguez Rodríguez, Orlando.
- Ruiz Alonso Nelson.
- Soler Fernández, Berta.
- Tavio Ramírez, Rogelio.
- .Magaly Broche de la Cruz
- Idania Yanez Contreras
- Arnaldo Gutiérrez Lima
- Yudaimis Fernández Martínez.
Various Cubans from the exile have alsoasked us to include their names in this letter:
1. Manuel Vázquez Portal
2. Fidel Suárez Cruz.
3. Arturo Pérez de Alejo.
4. Omar Ruiz Hernández.
5. Favio Prieto Llorente.
6. Adolfo Fernández Saínz.
7. Blas Giraldo Reyes.
8. Jorge Luis González Tanquero.
9. Nelson Moliné Espino.
10. Margarito Broche Espinosa.
11. Carmelo Díaz Fernández.
12. Roberto de Miranda.
13. Edel José García Díaz.
14. María de la Caridad Noa.
15. Mercedes Acosta.
16. Anisley Fuentes.
17. Isel de las Mercedes Acosta Obregón.
18. Bárbara Rojas Arias.
19. Moraima León Savina.
20. Indiana Rojas Laborís.
21. Clara Lourdes Llorente.
22. Dolia Leal Francisco.
23. Julia Núñez Pacheco.
24. Soledad Rivas Verdecia.
25. María Elena Alpízar.
26. Sergio González Suárez-Inclán.
27. Yamilé García Carmona.
28. Lázaro de la Paz Abella.
29. Teresita Herrera Muíñas.
30. Pedro Hildo Rojas Roque.
31. Rigoberto Díaz Cutiño.
32. Rafael Jorrín García.