‘El Critico’ returned to prison and being denied medical assistance #FreeElCritico

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.

‘El Critico’ returned to prison and being denied medical assistance #FreeElCritico

Regime denies two prominent dissidents right to travel out of Cuba

PicMonkey Collage

This week the Cuban regime denied two well-known dissidents their right to travel out of Cuba, providing little or no explanations as to why the decision was taken.

The first of the refusals occurred in Eastern Cuba – specifically in Santiago de Cuba – when former political prisoner and leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia was told by authorities on October 7th that he would not be able to acquire his passport.  The functionaries said the activist could not travel for reasons of “public interest”, alleging he has engaged in criminal activities (in Cuba, political dissent is considered one of the highest offenses).

Ferrer Garcia was invited by the Unity Progress and Democracy Party to participate in an event in Europe.  It was the second time the Cuban regime denied him his passport.

On Friday October 11th, Leticia Ramos Herreria – representative of the Ladies in White for the central province of Matanzas – received a negative response from Cuban authorities after she started travel procedures two weeks earlier.

“ ‘Your petition has been denied, we cannot give you your passport to travel”’, that’s what immigration official told me”, tweeted Leticia on Friday (@LeticiaRHCuba).  No further explanations were provided.

Former political prisoner Ivan Hernandez (impeded from traveling as well on past occasions) also tweeted (@ivanlibre) about this situation, classifying it as “arbitrary” and pointing out that the Lady in White is in no way under an ‘extrapenal license’ that would impede here rights.

Leticia Ramos and Jose Daniel Ferrer are two of the many active opposition members on the island. Ramos is subject to frequent violent arrests every Sunday as she marches in Cardenas, Matanzas with other women for the freedom of all political prisoners and also engages in other activities in favor of the civil society.  Ferrer heads UNPACU, one of the many active pro-freedom groups in the country which started in the East and has spread throughout the island with many members.

Meanwhile, Blanca Reyes – exiled Cuban activist in Spain and representative of the Ladies in White in Europe – was also denied the right of entry into Cuba this week to visit her elderly and sick father.

“My father fractured his hip, he is going to be operated and the government of Cuba refuses my entry into the country to see him.  He is 93 years old”, wrote Blanca on the Ladies in White’s official Twitter account, @DamasdBlanco.

Reforms in Cuba?

Regime denies two prominent dissidents right to travel out of Cuba

#PassItOn: Angel Yunier Remon ‘El Critico’, Pt. 2


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


#PassItOn: Angel Yunier Remon ‘El Critico’, Pt. 2

State Security continues it’s repressive measures against imprisoned rapper ‘El Critico’

In the Eastern Cuban town of  Bayamo, prison authorities continue denying medical assistance to dissident rapper ‘El Critico’ while State Security continues harassing his wife in whichever way possible.  

‘El Critico’

Dissident rapper Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga ‘El Critico’, from the duo Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso (‘The Unwanted Children’) has been unjustly jailed in Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo since March 26th of 2013 after mobs organized by State Security raided his home.  While behind bars, he has been subjected to beatings, verbal threats and other forms of repression carried out by the political police.  During the month of July, he contracted cholera and was in a critical state of health.  Although no longer suffering from the mentioned disease, Remon still suffers other serious health ailments, such as chronic gastritis which brings him constant pains.  But the authorities have not provided him with adequate medical attention due to his pro-freedom ideas.

Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena, wife of the young musician, has been denouncing the absence of medical care for months.  Recently, she reiterated to this blog that the situation continues the same, or worse.

Ever since Angel Yunier is in prison they have not done any tests on him to see how his health is and there have been absolutely no follow-ups“, denounces Roseyo, “currently, my husband is having a serious crisis of pain which happens every day because of the gastritis.  He receives no medications for this and the authorities also do not provide him an adequate diet either“. Yudisbel adds that Angel may have an ulcer but this has not been confirmed due to the refusal of the authorities to provide medical exams.

Meanwhile, State Security has upped the tactics of vigilance and harassment against both Yudisbel and Angel.  In one of the most recent cases of manipulation, the regime’s intelligence apparatus has used Remon Arzuaga’s ex wife to harass Yudisbel.

Yunier has an ex wife with which he had a child a couple of years ago and now she is working together with State Security and together they have tried to sue Yunier with the pretext that he has not provided the necessary amount of money for child support“, explains Roseyo Mojena, who assures that this has happened because the police cannot accuse her husband of having committed any crime.  He is in prison because of his activism and because of that, the State turns to such practices.

Yudisbel Roseyo

What his ex wife is alleging is completely false, considering that Angel has always provided the required amount of money for her.  But now she says she wants a higher amount because, in her own words, ‘Angel is receiving money from the exterior’“, she adds.

The same accuser has been trying to create problems with Yudisbel, accusing her of random false crimes out in the middle of the street.  Yudisbel confirms that she has often seen the woman alongside State Security agents.

The vigilance against me by State Security and the National Revolutionary Police is also constant“, says Roseyo, highlighting a recent case on September 18th when a group of Ladies in White from Bayamo, Granma met at one of their homes to carry out their monthly meeting.  When the activity came to an end, Yudisbel was followed by two police vehicles.

Lieutenant Colonel Julio Cesar (the same one who is falsely accusing Yunier of attempt and who put him in prison) interrogated me and harassed me.  Alongside other agents, he told me that he could stop me whenever he felt like it and that he did not have to offer explanations“.

The young Bayamo native is frequently followed, even when she goes to the hospital to tend to health problems of her 7 month old son.

Angel Yunier ‘El Critico’, who also serves as a coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) for the province of Granma, is currently in a judicial limbo, without having had a trial and without any proof of having engaged in an actions of ‘attempt’.  His dissident posture, expressed through his music and activism, was what landed him in jail.

Listen below to the audio of Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena denouncing the lack of medical assistance for her husband in Las Mangas Prison (in Spanish): 

(NEWS UPDATE 9/24/13) – Dissident leader Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, national coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), was arrested alongside other activists on September 23rd in Bayamo when they were going to participate in a symbolic wedding ceremony between Angel Yunier and Yudisbel.  The latter was also arrested.  After various hours detained, Ferrer Garcia reported via Twitter (@jdanielferrer) that a common prisoner was able to phone him from prison and confirm that Angel Yunier ‘El Critico’ was savagely beat by authorities in prison and taken to a punishment cell.  More details soon. 

To contact Yudisbel Roseyo in Cuba:

State Security continues it’s repressive measures against imprisoned rapper ‘El Critico’

Imprisoned rapper suffering from health problems, his wife continues being threatened

Dissident rapper and political prisoner Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga “El Critico” is still confined to a jail cell in Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo with health problems and very poor medical assistance, confirms his wife Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena.

The musician, who is a member of the hip-hop duo The Unwanted Children and of the opposition group Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), is suffering from “chronic gastritis” according to Yudisbel, who assures that the authorities “are not giving him any kind of medication, nor are they giving him medical exams.  We do not know if he has an ulcer or not“.

The young Cuban mother explains that since Angel was arbitrarily imprisoned on March of 2013, his jailers told him that they would tend to his medical problems but it has been false.  “The culprits are State Security“, said Yudisbel, “these agents robbed all the documents having to due with the health of Angel, myself, and our child…they were all disappeared and they have not carried out any exams.  It’s a form of punishment against Angel because of his rebellious posture“.

During the month of July the dissident contracted cholera in prison and was brought down to a very delicate state of health.  Although he is now recuperating, he has expressed that the conditions of extremely poor hygiene in the prison may lead his health to worsen again.

Meanwhile, both Angel and Yudisbel have been receiving threats and blackmail in and out of the prison at the hands of the political police.

During my most recent visit with him, they took me into an isolate room where there were various State Security agents.  They told me that they were going to be present during the visits from now on, listening to everything we were talking to“, denounced the young Cuban.  But the dissident couple did not remain silent.  They carried out a protest and various common prisoners joined in solidarity.

We both told agent Javier, the main agent of Las Mangas Prison, that we were not going to accept a visit like that.  We protested.  Some prisoners joined the protest.  They all said that it was not fair that Angel was being treated like that“.

As a result of the protest, the authorities allowed them a ‘normal’ visit, but the threats continued against Yudisbel when she left the penitentiary.

Once I left the prison they subjected me to a body inspection but they did not find anything“, recounts Roseyo, “afterward, a vehicle with State Security agents followed me all the way home.  I was on a motorcycle when the agent known as Allen tried to crash into me with his car.  I started to argue with him, denouncing what he had done.  He simply responded to me by saying that he was going ‘to take me’ and told me to leave my husband.  He said that if I didn’t do so he would do it for me because ‘he had the power to do anything‘”.

The agent then told me that he was protected by the law and, therefore, was the authority“.

Yudisbel Roseyo affirms that neither her or her husband will give in to the constant threats.

Despite the conditions in which they are keeping Angel Yunier, and despite all the punishment he is subjected to, we are never going to give up on our ideas.  The threats and the intimidation by State Security are never going to force either of us to give up, not now and not ever“, she said.

Yudisbel added that ‘El Critico’ will keep writing protest lyrics from behind the bars.

To contact Yudisbel Roseyo in Cuba:
Cell Phone – +53-552-353

Imprisoned rapper suffering from health problems, his wife continues being threatened

Santiago de Cuba: Dissident demonstrations worry the political police

On Wednesday, August 28th, a number of members of the “Zapata Lives” cell of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) in the Vista Alegre neighborhood of Santiago de Cuba set out to the Confrontation Unit of the Political Police to demand the release of a fellow dissident, Armando Gil, who was being processed for a crime of “disrespect” and “attempt” which he never committed.

Daniel Barriel Sanjurjo, coordinator of the Zapata Lives cell, told this blog that the group of dissidents stood outside the political police unit as a sign of protest.

There were about 40 of us activists, demanding the liberation of our brother, in  a completely peaceful fashion.  In just a couple of minutes, we were surrounded by agents of the political police, the National Revolutionary police and more than 5 police cars“.

Upon seeing the confrontational response of the authorities, the dissidents decided to carry out a protest march to the nearby Ferreiro Park, where the arrests began.

When we arrived to the park, the majority of us were arrested“, recounts Barriel.  He was shoved in a cop car and taken to the Police Unit of San Luis, where he was kept in “a dungeon in inhumane conditions” for 8 hours.  “Afterward, I was taken to the Unit known as The Third where i spent another 3 hours“.

The activist explains that in The Third he was interrogated.  One of the officials called Barriel’s home to speak with his wife, ordering her to put an end to a demonstration that was taking place there by about 20 dissidents who were demanding the release of the detainees.

They wanted me to call the house so I could speak with my wife and tell her to stop the activity in demand of our freedom.  The political police had to give in and they went all the way to my house and had to speak with my wife, begging her to stop the activities.  They told all the activists present that they were going to release us“, said Daniel, “and they released me and the majority of the detainees, but minutes before there were forceful detentions of some activists of my cell, as was the case of Angel Pese and Ernesto Jimenez Rodriguez.  Both received physical blows“.

During night hours of Thursday the 28th and on the morning of Friday the 29th, there were still some activists detained, but Barriel considers that it was a “victory” because the police had to ask the demonstrators to stop, seeing as their intimidation methods were not working.  The dissidents did not stop but did feel content with the release of their fellow members.

We know that this is not going to stop, we know that the dictatorship is still going to keep carrying out acts of repression against us because they have the power to do so, and because they don’t want us to have rights“, expressed Daniel.

But the opposition member alleges that “we will continue with our struggle, with our methods, until we can achieve the freedom and democracy that the people need“.

To contact Daniel Barriel in Cuba:
Cell Phone: +53-388-130

Santiago de Cuba: Dissident demonstrations worry the political police

‘El Critico’ speaks from prison, exhorts Cubans to keep fighting for freedom

During these days, authorities of the Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo have been threatening jailed dissident rapper Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga “El Critico” – who has been unjustly jailed since last March – with suspending his right to one weekly phone call.  This shouldn’t come as a surprise after the young musician recently established communication with some brothers in struggle, taking out a message of resistance from behind the bars in an audio which has circulated throughout various media outlets.

The Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) published an audio message on their YouTube channel, in which Angel Yunier, who is also an activist of the mentioned pro-freedom group, described how it is to live in the dungeons of the dictatorship.  He pointed out a number of cases of inhumane treatment inside the prison, which include cases of medical negligence and physical abuses which have cost the lives of various prisoners.

He emphasized the case of Rogelio Ovidio, a common prisoner who took his own life after he was beat by his jailers and refused medical assistance when they informed him he could possibly be infested with HIV.

Remon Arzuaga found the body of Ovidio on July 29th.  “I saw his body…his head was broken, his right arm was injured and his back was full of bruises.  I found him at 2 in the morning and he had already hung himself…I didn’t know he was dead right away because he was being held in a dark cell.  I saw his silhouette and I thought he was just sitting down“, said Angel from prison.

He also denounced the horrible and nearly non-existent medical attention in the penitentiary center.   Angel Yunier was in a grave state of health, infected with cholera, and it wasn’t until a very advanced stage of the disease that he was treated by doctors.  He assures that at least three prisoners have died of this disease due to the lack of adequate attention in the center.

“Since July 1st, this prison has been affected by this sickness…they said it was a diarrhea pandemic but it was proven to be cholera“.  In regards to the conditions of the prisons and hospitals where he has been, Angel described them as places with “horrible food regiments and very poor hygienic conditions.  I can’t say that where they take us are hospitals…in reality they are concentration camps where sick prisoners are isolated in.  They take them there just to say they are receiving medical care.  All us prisoners are also mistreated and beat there“.

The rapper also echoed the case of his fellow partner in struggle and political prisoners Alexander Otero.  Both were arrested together on March 26th in Bayamo during a violent act of repudiation against Yunier’s house.  Otero suffered a facial paralysis in prison and has not been treated due to his ideas.

Otero suffered an injury on his right arm and has also not received medical attention.  For three months now, he’s been with his right arm tied up and hanging loose…he needs surgical intervention for that arm but they won’t give it to him.  He also suffered a facial paralysis on July 29th on the right side of his face. As of right now, he cannot speak and has lots of difficulty closing his right eye“.

After making these denouncements public, prison authorities threatened Angel Yunier with suspending his right to one weekly call, according to declarations made to this blog by his wife, Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena.

I found out about this when I went to the corresponding visit on Saturday, August 24th.  When I arrived, they passed me to a room to meet with a Major named Javier.  They also brought in Angel Yunier at that moment“, recounts Yudisbel, “when Yunier came in, they started to threaten him, saying that he does not have the right to call any other person that is not his direct family, and that if he did not obey these orders they would permanently suspend his right to a phone call for having committed an ‘indiscipline’“.

The call by Angel Yunier which they are referring to was with Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, leader of the UNPACU, who made the conversation public.

Yudisbel was also threatened and denounces that her husband was treated very poorly, “as if he were an animal and as if he had no rights to anything.  He considers some of his friends to be like family, but the authorities don’t care about that.  One official told him that he had to ask his Re-Educator for permission, and only if it was approved, then he would take the message to Major Javier for further approval.  He said that in the event that his request were approved, he had to write down all the personal data of the person being called“.

The young Cuban added that the prison authorities have placed a person – a collaborator of State Security – to watch everything that Remon Arzuaga does.  Later, this person is in charge of passing on the information to his superiors.

In addition, the agents said that when they suspend his phone access, they were going to make it clear that it was all Angel’s fault because he had committed an indiscipline, and also as my fault because I make his denouncements public.  They told Yunier right in front of me that he was going to ‘pay a very high price’ if he broke the rules.  They also threatened to suspend all his prison visits.  The agents also told Angel that it all depended on him, whether he behaved and followed the rules“, added Yudisbel.

In other words“, she adds, “they are trying to change his ideas, but they will not succeed because he is firm, now more than ever, and I also support him unconditionally“.

On his part, in the audio ‘El Critico’ called on all his compatriots and brothers and sisters of the opposition to maintain themselves “firm and strong” and “keep fighting“.

Today, many of us young Cubans have chosen to stand up in defense of our rights“, expressed the dissident rapper, jailed for making protest music and for being a pro-freedom activist.  He reminded all those Cubans who struggle that “nothing will detain us as long as there is will and desire to see a free and democratic Cuba“.

The declarations by Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga were taken from an audio published by the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) on their YouTube channel, while all declarations by Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena were obtained during a conversation with this blog.

To communicate with Yudisbel in Cuba:

Cell Phone– +53-552-353

‘El Critico’ speaks from prison, exhorts Cubans to keep fighting for freedom