(Bayamo, Cuba) – A group of more than 10 guards from the Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo, alongside State Security and Ministry of Interior officials, savagely beat jailed dissident rapper Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, best known by his artist name “El Critico”. The violence occurred on Sunday, February 23rd, confirmed Remon’s wife, Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena, a victim of constant persecution as well.
The imprisoned musician – a member of the underground hip hop group “Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso” (The Unwanted Children) – has been carrying out a series of protests from prison, refusing to shave his facial hair and writing words like “change” and “freedom” on his sheets. However, on the 23rd, guards and other security officials used blades to forcefully shave his beard, causing him several cuts, says Yudisbel. After this incident, “the more than 10 officials beat him and shouted offenses at him, ordering him to stop his protests”, adds the young wife.
El Critico’s response was that he’d rather die in the struggle than give in to the demands of the Cuban regime. The rapper was jailed on March 23rd of 2013 after a series of police home raids, beatings and short detentions in his hometown of Bayamo. State Security agents accuse him of “attempt” although the reason behind his imprisonment is his protest music and having placed several signs with anti-regime messages in public. He has not had a trial and has been in a judicial limbo for what will soon be a year. Remon is also denied medical attention, despite suffering from chronic gastritis, and is barred from family visits. His actions of not shaving (and occasionally carrying out hunger strikes) is to protest the unfair and false accusations against him.
On her part, Yudisbel Roseyo is also the victim of frequent persecution, as she is arrested mostly on Sundays for participating alongside the Ladies in White in marching to morning Mass to pray for the freedom of Cuba’s political prisoners, her husband among them. She too has been beat, offended, detained and deported by State Security officials.
Activists and bloggers have continued to use #FreeElCritico on Twitter and other social networks as part of a digital campaign to demand the immediate release of the Cuban rapper.
For more information straight from Cuba, contact Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena: Cell Phone – 53-552-353
Angel Yunier Remón Arzuaga, the rapper best known as “El Critico” who has been unjustly imprisoned in the Eastern town of Bayamo since March 2013, has not received medical attention after carrying out a 27-day long hunger strike and being returned to Las Mangas Prison, despite suffering various health complications, among them chronic gastritis. In addition, this week penal authorities suspended family visits for the young musician.
Yudisbel Roseyo, wife of Remon, informs in the following audio that the suspension of the visits took place after he refused to shave his beard as a sign of protest and after he painted his sheets with the word “change”.
On her part, Roseyo has been victim of arrests each Sunday for trying to make it to Catholic Mass along with other Ladies in White in Bayamo. Recently, she was kept in a bus under the sun for various hours and this 1st of December her home was stoned by political police officials. These tactics did not impede her from stepping out of her house, and upon doing so she was arrested and physically assaulted by police agents.
Both Roseyo and Remon Arzuaga have been threatened by the regime to not continue with their posture in favor of freedom but both have reiterated that they will keep doing what they have done until now, despite the consequences.
Dissident rapper Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga “El Critico” has been returned to Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo, where he was being held originally before starting his hunger strike which lasted 27 days and nearly cost his life. He has now been put in a cell where he is being denied medical assistance, confirmed his wife Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena.
“El Critico” suspended his hunger strike after State Security agents told him they would revise his case – a fabricated case of “attempt” created after agents beat him in his Bayamo home last 26th of March.
Now, the musician and UNPACU activist, has been returned to prison without medical assistance despite his very weak state of health (product of the lengthy strike) and other health ailments such as chronic gastritis.
Yudisbel Roseyo informs in this audio:
The campaign for Remon’s freedom, which originated on social networks and backed up by the hashtag #FreeElCritico, has kept going and will keep going until the young rapper is freed, affirm twitter users, bloggers and activists.
On her part, Roseyo Mojena has been victim of detentions and persecution at the hands of the political police due to her activism withing the Ladies in White in Bayamo.
As has been reported in various outlets, Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga “El Critico” has suspended his hunger strike which lasted 27 days and has left him with serious health consequences, nearly costing him his life. The dissident rapper – unjustly imprisoned since March of 2013 – decided to stop his strike after State Security agents “promised” him that they would revise his case.
The young musician was arrested after a series of acts of repudiation organized by the State and violent arrests by the political police in Bayamo. He was later accused of “attempt” against an agent’s life, when in reality he was the victim. In prison he has suffered beatings, confinements in punishment cells, threats, and has even contracted diseases such as cholera.
Although his case will supposedly be revised, El Critico will continue demanding his freedom and will continue assuming his posture against the dictatorship and in favor of freedom, according to declarations by his wife Yudisbel Roseyo from the Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Hospital in Bayamo, where Remon is still interned.
Roseyo has not left the hospital during her husband’s strike, despite the fact that State Security agents have been harassing her and other dissidents. The young member of the Ladies in White said she did not feel fear and although she feels more relief, considering that her husband has left the strike, she pointed out that he is still arbitrarily detained. She declared that she’d keep demanding “his liberation as well as the liberation of all political prisoners on the island”.
Meanwhile, the #FreeElCritico campaign will continue until the rapper, who is a member of the hip-hop duo The Unwanted Children, is freed. It will also merge with other campaigns to demand the liberation of all political prisoners in worrying situations such as Roilan Alvarez, Marcelino Abreu and Ivan Fernandez Depestre, all of who are currently on hunger strike.
Activists on social networks are convoking a “tweet-protest” using #FreeElCritico starting this Monday, November 1st, at AM in solidarity with Cuban dissident rapper and political prisoner Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, known best as “El Critico” form the hip-hop duo The Unwanted Children (Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso).
The call surges while Remon Arzuaga is in “critical and urgent condition” in the Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Hospital in Bayamo due to a hunger and thirst strike he has been carrying out for more than 17 days. His wife, Yudisbel Roseyo, has been in the hospital since then although the authorities to not let her pass to see him, except on one brief occasion. During that encounter, the musician and activist told her to please not ask him to stop the strike. He affirms that he would take his struggle until his “freedom or death”.
Angel Yunier, who is also a member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), has been jailed since March 26th after a series of acts of repudiation against his home. He confronted the State-organized mobs with a discourse, calling on them to abandon their fear and double moral and join the opposition. He was arrested under the orders of State Security captain Julio Cesar as well as other repressors who accuse him of “attempt”, although there is no proof and there has not yet been a trial. Recently, the regime announced that it asks 8 years of prison time for Remon. On that same day, he was brutally beat (October 15th) in the Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo, where he has spent most of his captivity. Remon was also placed in a sealed off isolation cell for a number of days. It was then that he started his hunger strike demanding his liberation.
Yudisbel Roseyo confirmed that Remon was beat once again while already on hunger strike. His health is deplorable, as he also suffers from chronic gastritis and even contracted cholera during the month of July – a period which did much damage to his body. His heart rhythm is very slow and his blood pressure is significantly low. Relatives and dissidents have expressed extreme worry regarding the situation and have said that Remon Arzuaga is very near death. Meanwhile, paramilitary forces of the dictatorship have the Hospital under custody and frequently expel activists and prohibit Yudisbel from seeing her husband.
With the hashtag #FreeElCritico Twitter users will demand his freedom, just as they did on Friday, November 1st, with also unjustly jailed Lady in White Sonia Garro Alfonso, using #FreeSonia. Both are prisoners for motives of conscience and have been severely mistreated while behind bars. Dissident Roilan Alvarez, also a detained activists from UNPACU, is also on hunger strike. In the case of Alvarez, his protest has lasted more than 20 days and he has taken a position similar to that of Remon’s – “freedom or death”. His health is also critical.
Cuban artists in exile Gloria Estefan (@GloriaEstefan) and Albita Rodriguez (@AlbitaCantante) have retweeted the tweet-protest announcement on their respective Twitter account, as have politicians, human rights organizations and numerous individuals who work towards the freedom of Cuba.
We cannot allow any more deaths of young Cubans because of a regime which does not allow them to freely express themselves. Cuba needs the creativity, energy and patriotism of people like “El Critico”. Pass it on, don’t remain silent.
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:
The audio-visual series #PassItOn once again highlights the situation of Cuban dissident rapper and pro-freedom activist Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga ‘El Critico’, who is still behind bars in the Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo since March of 2013. He has been subjected to beatings and threats at the hands of his jailers. On occasions, he has been denied his right to telephone calls and family visits. During the month of July 2013 he contracted cholera and was in a very critical state of health. Although he has recuperated from the condition, he is still suffering from another ailment — chronic gastritis — and the authorities refuse to provide him with medical assistance. His wife, Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena, has also been under constant harassment by the regime’s State Security apparatus. On September 23rd 2013, Remon was mistreated in prison and denied his right to his family visits. His crime continues being his protest music and his activism. He is also coordinator of the opposition group UNPACU in Granma province and a member of the hip-hop duo The Unwanted Children (‘Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso’).
If you like this video, help spread the word and #PassItOn