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Keyword: cubandissidents

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  • Cuban journalist tells CPJ of physical and psychological torture

    11/21/2003 1:30:34 PM PST · by freedom44 · 3 replies · 168+ views
    Cubanet ^ | 11/21/03 | Cubanet
    New York, November 18, 2003-Imprisoned Cuban journalist Bernardo Rogelio Arévalo Padrón was released last week after serving his six-year sentence on "disrespect" charges. In a phone interview with the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), he described physical and psychological torture at the hands of prison authorities. "The allegations of torture are extremely troubling and warrant an immediate investigation," said CPJ Executive Director Ann Cooper, "and increases our concern for the other 28 journalists in jail in Cuba who have alleged mistreatment." Arévalo Padrón was released from the Ariza maximum-security prison, in the central province of Cienfuegos, on November 13. The...
  • Frustated by inefficiency Cuban doctor gets fired and his license suspended

    11/21/2003 6:07:13 PM PST · by The Bronze Titan · 3 replies · 193+ views
    www.cubanet.org ^ | November 18, 2003 | cubanet.org
    HAVANA, November 18 (www.cubanet.org) - Hospital administrators fired a doctor and suspended his medical license for nine months after he loudly expressed his frustration with widespread inefficiency in Fidel Castro's government. Mario Ariosta, a gynecologist, rushed into an operating room at National hospital in Havana to perform an emergency Cesarean section and found there were no gloves or sterilized instruments available. In his frustration, Ariosta loudly excoriated the government's inefficiency. Ariosta is off the job, but he has appealed the suspension of his medical license to a labor court. CubaNet does not require sole rights from its contributors. We authorize...
  • Honored reporter locked up in Cuba

    11/21/2003 2:53:25 AM PST · by JohnHuang2 · 6 replies · 154+ views
    Washington Times ^ | Friday, November 21, 2003 | By Hazel Feigenblatt
    <p>Cuban journalist Manuel Vazquez Portal will not be available to receive the 2003 International Press Freedom Award that the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) will present to him and other reporters on Tuesday.</p> <p>He is in a prison cell in Santiago de Cuba, passing time on a dirty mattress without blankets or pillow under a ceiling that leaks when it rains and with a toilet that's more of a "hole regurgitating its stench 24 hours a day."</p>
  • DR. Biscet is thrown in a Cuban DUNGEON - worldwide support is needed

    11/19/2003 8:01:51 PM PST · by mandingo republican · 7 replies · 277+ views
    CUBAN PRISONER OF CONSCIENCE, DR. OSCAR E. BISCET IS TRANSFERRED TO ANOTHER MAXIMUM SECURITY PRISON AND PUNISHED IN A "DUNGEON" WITH A DANGEROUS CRIMINAL November 19, 2003 Cuban prisoner of conscience, Dr. Oscar E. Biscet Gonzalez, serving a 25 year prison sentence, was transferred on November 12, 2003 from Kilo Cinco y Medio Prison to another maximum security prison in the province of Pinar del Rio called Kilo 8, where he is confined in a punishment cell he referred to as a "dungeon", with a prisoner who has committed 12 criminal assaults. On November 11th, at Prison Kilo Cinco y...
  • Castro Finally Releases Journalist from Prison

    11/16/2003 1:06:32 PM PST · by Tumbleweed_Connection · 5 replies · 117+ views
    Limbacher ^ | 11/16/03 | Limbacher
    After six years of beatings and brutal treatment a courageous Cuban journalist has finally been released from prison where he had been confined for the crime of insulting Cuban dictator Fidel Castro. Cuban journalist Bernardo Arevalo Padron founded the outlawed independent press agency Linea Sur Pres in 1996 and reported on human rights violations in Castro's Cuba, according to the BBC. In 1997 he was given a six year sentence for having insulted Castro and despite protests from all over the world that he be granted an early release, he was forced to serve the full term. BBC reports that...
  • Cuban independant journalist freed after six years in prison

    11/15/2003 2:35:59 AM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 3 replies · 134+ views
    AFP/yahoo.comnews ^ | NOvevmber 14, 2003 | AFP
    HAVANA, (AFP) - Cuban independant journalist Bernardo Arevalo Padron hhas been freed from a prison in eastern Cuba after having served six years on conviction of committing an "outrage" against the Communist government of President Fidel Castro, his friends said "Effective yesterday (Thursday), Bernardo was released and is with his wife in Camaguey," 500 km (310 miles) east of Havana, Laura Pollan, wife of imprisoned dissident Hector Maseda, told AFP. Maseda is serving a 20-year sentence imposed last March after his arrest with 74 other opponents of the Castro regime. Arevalo Padron, founder of the former independant press agency Linea...
  • Cuba's crackdown on dissidents costs premier event for artists

    11/05/2003 8:07:45 PM PST · by The Bronze Titan · 5 replies · 186+ views
    TheState.com / South Florida Sun-Sentinel ^ | Wednesday, Nov 05, 2003 | VANESSA BAUZA
    HAVANA - (KRT) - Cuba's most significant showcase for third world artists, the Havana Biennial, kicked off its eighth edition this weekend despite a serious cash crunch and allegations of censorship from Latin American artists. Featuring about 150 artists from 48 countries, the Biennial was already operating on a shoestring budget when three European foundations announced they would withdraw a total of about $200,000 due to the Cuban government's crackdown on dissidents earlier this year. Cuban organizers call the move "an anti Cuban campaign" in line with the European Union's decision to downgrade diplomatic relations. The director of a Dutch...
  • Cubans question wife of dissident

    11/01/2003 6:09:43 PM PST · by The Bronze Titan · 8 replies · 117+ views
    <p>Havana · Authorities here interrogated Claudia Marquez, wife of an imprisoned Cuban dissident and editorial board member of the opposition magazine De Cuba, on Wednesday, Marquez reported after leaving the police station.</p> <p>Two State Security agents arrested her at the house of Laura Pollan, wife of imprisoned dissident Hector Maceda, and then drove her to a police precinct in a working-class neighborhood of Havana, Marquez told EFE News.</p>
  • Bush steps up pressure on Castro

    10/10/2003 11:44:15 PM PDT · by JohnHuang2 · 4 replies · 125+ views
    Washington Times ^ | Saturday, 11, 2003 | Joseph Curl
    <p>President Bush yesterday announced a new effort to weaken communist dictator Fidel Castro's stranglehold on Cuba, vowing to step up enforcement of U.S. travel restrictions to the country and to increase the number of Cuban dissidents allowed into America.</p> <p>In a Rose Garden event to commemorate the day Cuba celebrates the 1868 start of its quest for independence from Spain, the president said free nations have urged Mr. Castro to move toward democracy by holding "free and fair elections" for the good of his people, all to no avail.</p>
  • Don't Forget the Victims In Castro's Gulag

    08/23/2003 9:47:40 AM PDT · by Dqban22 · 2 replies · 137+ views
    Wall Street Journal | 8/22/03 | Mary Anastasia O'Grady
    Don't Forget the Victims In Castro's Gulag The Wall Street Journal /The Americas By MARY ANASTASIA O'GRADY "Kirkpatski, Kirkpatski," Andrei Sakharov exclaimed when he met Jeanne Kirkpatrick in Moscow. "I have so wanted to meet you and thank you in person. Your name is known in all the Gulag." The reason why, wrote National Review's Jay Nordlinger when he related that incident in June 2001, was because she had named names of Soviet prisoners, "giving men and women in the cells a measure of hope." Mr. Nordlinger's piece sought to draw attention to Cuban repression, more than a decade after...
  • Don't Forget the Victims In Castro's Gulag

    08/22/2003 4:03:44 AM PDT · by Texas_Dawg · 4 replies · 330+ views
    Wall Street Journal (WSJ.com) ^ | 8/22/03 | Mary Anastasia O'Grady
    <p>"Kirkpatski, Kirkpatski," Andrei Sakharov exclaimed when he met Jeanne Kirkpatrick in Moscow. "I have so wanted to meet you and thank you in person. Your name is known in all the Gulag."</p> <p>The reason why, wrote National Review's Jay Nordlinger when he related that incident in June 2001, was because she had named names of Soviet prisoners, "giving men and women in the cells a measure of hope."</p>
  • Book Says Cuban Rights Activist Is Castro Spy

    08/19/2003 1:01:16 AM PDT · by kattracks · 124+ views
    Reuters | 8/18/03 | Anthony Boadle
    Aug. 18 — By Anthony Boadle HAVANA (Reuters) - Veteran anti-Castro activist Elizardo Sanchez, known around the world for his defense of human rights in Cuba, is a government spy code-named Juana, according to a book published by the government on Monday. The book by journalists employed in President Fidel Castro's communist government said Sanchez has been a secret service agent since 1997 and has informed on the activities of Castro's opponents and foreign journalists. But Sanchez, president of the Cuban Human Rights Commission, vehemently denied the allegations as an effort to discredit his opposition to Castro. "It's a colossal...
  • Cuba accused of ignoring health of jailed dissidents

    08/15/2003 1:07:16 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 2 replies · 144+ views
    Houston Chronicle ^ | August 15, 2003 | MARIKA LYNCH
    MIAMI -- When Miriam Leiva visited her jailed husband Thursday, the Cuban dissident journalist tried to talk but his tongue was sluggish. Oscar Espinosa Chepe, already debilitated and gravely ill from a liver condition, had been given new pills by a government psychiatrist this week. "Oscar doesn't even know what they gave him. We don't even know what kind of treatment they are giving him," Leiva said by phone from Havana. "They are all-powerful, and we are helpless." As the health of more than a dozen jailed Cuban dissidents like Espinosa deteriorates, U.S. officials and human rights groups say the...
  • Opposition leader planned Cuba move for months

    08/09/2003 6:27:40 PM PDT · by The Bronze Titan · 13 replies · 220+ views
    The Miami Herald ^ | Aug. 09, 2003 | OSCAR CORRAL
    Six months ago, Eloy Gutiérrez-Menoyo confided to a close friend that he wanted to go to Cuba permanently to form an opposition movement because he believed that he would not be able to accomplish any effective change in Cuba from Miami. The disclosure was made at Gutiérrez-Menoyo's South Miami home over cigarettes and cafecitos, both of which Menoyo loves, said Antonio Veciana, who co-founded Alpha 66 with Menoyo in the early 1960s and has remained close to him. 'He said to me, `The process for change is not in Miami or on Calle Ocho, but in Cuba. I will be...
  • U.S. to bolster Cuba broadcasts, aid to dissidents (to speed "transformation")

    08/08/2003 11:46:52 PM PDT · by FairOpinion · 8 replies · 302+ views
    Sun Sentinel ^ | Aug. 8, 2003 | William E. Gibson
    Washington · Otto Reich, President Bush's chief adviser on Latin America, said on Thursday that the administration will step up efforts to pressure the Fidel Castro regime, aid dissidents and hasten the political transformation of the island. "I know that President Bush is interested in doing more to accelerate the process of change in Cuba, and it's safe to say that in the next few weeks and months you will see some additional steps," Reich said. "It's been very difficult for this president to implement this policy for Cuba and the Western Hemisphere because up to this week he was...
  • Foe back in Cuba to oppose Castro

    08/08/2003 9:56:02 AM PDT · by The Bronze Titan · 49 replies · 297+ views
    The Miami Herald - Herald.com ^ | August 08, 2003 | Luisa Yanez, Oscar Corral and Adriana Cordovi
    Former Cuban political prisoner and rebel leader Eloy Gutiérrez-Menoyo, who has lived in Miami for the past 17 years, announced in Havana on Thursday that he has decided to remain in Cuba to live so he can launch an internal opposition movement. Gutiérrez-Menoyo made his announcement as he and his family, who were visiting Havana, prepared to board a return flight to Miami. It comes five months after the government of Fidel Castro cracked down on the island's dissident movement, sending dozens to prison. There was no immediate response from the Cuban government. Gutiérrez-Menoyo, 68, who was once one of...
  • Leading Castro dissident returns to Cuba to promote reforms

    08/08/2003 8:18:31 AM PDT · by The Bronze Titan · 1 replies · 118+ views
    Sun-Sentinal.com ^ | August 8, 2003 | Vanessa Bauza
    HAVANA -- He is a former rebel commander turned counterrevolutionary. The founder of an exile paramilitary group turned peace activist. Now, even in the autumn of his life, Eloy Gutiérrez-Menoyo, who served 22 years in Cuba's prisons before moving to Miami, continues to reinvent himself and defy expectations. On Thursday, in a characteristically quixotic move, Gutiérrez-Menoyo, 68, announced plans to live out his years in Cuba and work for democratic reforms on the island, despite having no permission from Fidel Castro's government. "I come to work toward the peace and reconciliation of all Cubans," Gutiérrez-Menoyo said minutes before saying goodbye...
  • Ex-rebel leader targets Castro's regime

    08/08/2003 3:38:42 AM PDT · by JohnHuang2 · 53+ views
    Washington Times ^ | Friday, August 8, 2003 | By Anita Snow
    <p>HAVANA &#8212; Eloy Gutierrez-Menoyo, a rebel leader in the Cuban Revolution who long ago broke with Fidel Castro's government and served 22 years in prison, said yesterday that he was returning from exile to operate an opposition movement.</p> <p>Mr. Gutierrez-Menoyo, who traveled to the communist island several weeks ago for a family vacation, said he would stay to promote democracy.</p>
  • Jailed Cuban teacher is given Freedom Award

    08/05/2003 1:18:26 PM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 2 replies · 91+ views
    Miami Herald ^ | August 5, 2003 | ELAINE DE VALLE edevalle@herald.com
    As his wife was interrogated in her Havana home by State Security agents and Roberto de Miranda spent another day of a 20-year prison sentence in a Cuban jail, the Cuban educator and dissident was praised Tuesday by Cuban Americans 140 miles away as one of the island's leading pro-democracy activists. De Miranda, 57, was honored in Miami with the Pedro Luis Boitel Award, named for a political prisoner who died in Cuba in 1972. De Miranda is among about 75 dissidents and others who were arrested and jailed in March. ''Mr. de Miranda is a person who has devoted...
  • Five Cuban asylum-seekers taken to US military base at Guantanamo

    08/02/2003 1:29:16 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 14 replies · 142+ views
    yahoo.com ^ | August 1, 2003 | AFP
    MIAMI (AFP) - At least five Cubans, among a growing number trying to enter the United States illegally, were being interviewed at the Guantanamo US military base in Cuba after requesting political asylum, officials said. The Cubans were taken to Guantanamo following pressure from Cuban-American lawmakers who said the group, intercepted at sea during a bid to flee Cuba, included dissidents who risked severe punishment if sent home. Guantanamo is a US base on the southeastern tip of Cuba. While in the past rafters caught at sea often have been taken to the base pending a decision on their case,...
  • Hell in a Cuban prison

    07/31/2003 1:03:38 AM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 6 replies · 160+ views
    Miami Herald ^ | Apr. 26, 2003 | Juan Carlos González Leyva,
    These are excerpts from a letter from dissident Juan Carlos González Leyva, who is blind, from his prison in Holguin, Cuba. Recorded by his wife, Maritza Calderín, the letter was recently presented at the U.N. Human Rights Commission in Geneva. To Sylvia Iriondo [of Mothers and Women Against Repression]: After 13 months in prison, I have not been tried or sentenced by any court even as efforts have been made to persuade me to betray God and human rights and to collaborate with the government. Since mid-December, state security used inmate Joel Prado de la Torre (as he called himself)...
  • US deeply concerned by failing health of jailed Cuban dissident

    07/30/2003 1:55:38 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 14 replies · 321+ views
    yahoo.comnews ^ | July 30, 2003 | AFP
    WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States expressed deep concern about the health of jailed Cuban dissident Marta Beatriz Roque and accused Havana of deliberately mistreating her and other incarcerated foes of Fidel Castro's communist government. The State Department also demanded that Cuba immediately release Roque and 74 other dissidents who were arrested in a widespread crackdown on Castro opponents in March and sentenced to lengthy jail terms. "The United States is deeply concerned over the failing health of Cuban political prisoner Marta Beatriz Roque," spokesman Richard Boucher said in a statement. Roque's family has said she is in critical condition...
  • The Forgotten 14: The American Library Association embraces Castro

    07/28/2003 9:56:23 PM PDT · by Utah Girl · 5 replies · 74+ views
    NRO ^ | 7/28/2003 | Duncan Currie
    Has the American Library Association (ALA) become Fidel Castro's latest "useful idiot"? On the surface, it seems implausible: Any organization dedicated to the uncensored dissemination of books, journals, and ideas would naturally be critical of a dictator who suppresses liberty with an iron fist. After all, a champion of open expression can't be indifferent to Castro's persecution of free thinkers, right? Well, according to several top members of the ALA, maybe not. A dispute at the association's annual conference in Toronto last month revealed a troubling obtuseness about the status of human rights in Cuba.The "controversial" issue at hand was...
  • Cuba rights abuses publicized

    07/09/2003 10:24:57 PM PDT · by JohnHuang2 · 1 replies · 51+ views
    Washington Times ^ | Thursday, July 10, 2003 | By Tom Carter
    <p>Reporters Without Borders, a French human rights organization, has begun a campaign to publicize Cuban human rights abuses to Europeans headed to the Caribbean island.</p> <p>The campaign includes public service announcements shown in European movie theaters, garish Socialist-style posters on the Champs Elysees and postcards handed out at Charles de Gaulle International Airport.</p>
  • FREEP the ALA COWARDS PLEASE

    06/24/2003 9:39:48 AM PDT · by LibertyBelt · 10 replies · 116+ views
    WND ^ | Tuesday | Art Moore
    PLEASE EMAIL ALA PRESS OFFICE and PRESIDENT and CASTROITE OFFICIALS AT ALA to prevent them from spiking an appeal from Cuba...read on, it is OUTRAGEOUS hypocrisy from people who claim to love books. Emails to send at end. We have two days before ALA debate to LET THE PEOPLE SPEAK!!!! YEARNING FOR FREEDOM American librarians silence Cuban pleas Question legitimacy of book lenders imprisoned in crackdown by Castro -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Posted: June 24, 2003 1:00 a.m. Eastern By Art Moore © 2003 WorldNetDaily.com The co-founder of a movement that put George Orwell's anti-totalitarian classic "Animal Farm" in the hands of Cubans...
  • American librarians silence Cuban pleas

    06/23/2003 11:22:19 PM PDT · by JohnHuang2 · 3 replies · 79+ views
    WorldNetDaily.com ^ | Tuesday, June 24, 2003 | Art Moore
    The co-founder of a movement that put books such as George Orwell's anti-totalitarian classic "Animal Farm" in the hands of Cubans says the American Library Association is ignoring the plight of 14 colleagues imprisoned in a March crackdown by the Castro regime. Fidel Castro Ramon Colas, who launched the Independent Library Project of Cuba with his wife in 1998, came to the ALA's annual conference in Toronto last weekend in search of "solidarity" but came away disappointed, he told WorldNetDaily. "The behavior of the ALA in Toronto showed the level of its complicity with the Havana regime," said Colas, who...
  • Cuba's High Court Upholds 20-Year Sentences for Independent Journalist

    06/23/2003 4:35:46 PM PDT · by aculeus · 3 replies · 147+ views
    Tampa Bay on line (AP) ^ | Jun 23, 2003 | Andrea Rodriguez Associated Press Writer
    HAVANA (AP) - Cuba's high court has upheld the 20-year sentence of independent journalist Raul Rivero, who was among 75 Cubans sentenced to prison in a crackdown on the opposition this year, Rivero's wife said Monday. The prison terms ranged from six to 28 years and have been condemned by governments and human rights organization around the globe. The Cuban government has defended the crackdown as a necessary defense against U.S. attempts to change the island's socialist system. Blanca Reyes said her husband's defense attorney told her Monday that her husband's appeal had been rejected by the Supreme Tribunal, the...
  • Castro's behavior baffles analysts ("Expert" Alert!)

    06/23/2003 1:43:01 PM PDT · by Carthago delenda est · 6 replies · 136+ views
    Miami Herald ^ | June 23, 2003 | Nancy San Martin
    Three months after Cuban President Fidel Castro launched his harshest crackdown on dissidents in decades, there's still no agreement on what drove him to take such steps and then lash out at valuable European allies that criticized him. Fear that dissent had escalated into a real threat? A fit of pique by a grumpy old man? An attempt to tighten controls on society as the island's economy tumbles? Some foreign analysts profess to be baffled by Castro's decision to silence dissent and blast European allies that are Cuba's most loyal sources of trade and tourism.
  • Ever-vigilant Cuba braces for an expected U.S. assault

    06/22/2003 4:39:28 PM PDT · by areafiftyone · 24 replies · 226+ views
    Miami Herald ^ | 6/21/03
    HAVANA - A skinny man in a baggy T-shirt and jeans sidled up to us as we stood admiring the majestic white Capitol building in Havana.Cigars? No. We were firm.Undeterred, he switched tactics. Where are you from? We didn't answer.España? No. Francia? No.Finally, we told him: Estados Unidos -- Miami.Eyebrows leaped skyward. He took a step back, regarded us warily. Then he glanced around, leaned in and drilled us with intense eyes.''We're ready for the war,'' he said in Spanish. What war?''The war with the U.S.,'' he asserted. ``After Iraq.''We told him we were pretty certain there were no plans...
  • "Castro is a murder." Tearful relatives of Cuban dissidents call for sanctions against Castro

    06/20/2003 11:45:42 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 11 replies · 322+ views
    yahoo.com news ^ | June 20, 2003 | AFP
    MIAMI (AFP) - Tearful relatives of jailed Cuban dissidents issued an emotional plea for tough sanctions against President Fidel Castro's communist government and said they were heading to Europe to press their case. Larry Klayman, the head of Judicial Watch, the conservative legal watchdog group organizing the trip, called outright for the US military to oust Castro, saying the Cuban leader was "more of a threat than Saddam Hussein." Klayman and the exiled Cubans spoke at a news conference in Miami to outline details of a nine-country tour next week aimed at pressing European countries to impose economic sanctions against...
  • Caribbean leaders ignore Cuba's abuses

    06/20/2003 2:26:32 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 2 replies · 864+ views
    Miami Herald ^ | June 20, 2003 | By DAVID PAULIN
    KINGSTON -- There was plenty of hypocrisy at the recent UNESCO-sponsored press-freedom conference here. Jamaica's left-leaning prime minister, P.J. Patterson, delivered the keynote address at the event, which highlighted ways to curb threats against journalists. In the past, however, Patterson and fellow Caribbean leaders have turned a blind eye to Cuba's human-rights abuses and violation of press freedoms. Cuba's abuses have become a black eye for the region -- but not for leaders of the English-speaking Caribbean community, known as CARICOM. They countenance Cuba's behavior as they promote the region's development. Consider recent examples: Last month, Patterson told an international...
  • Cuban musician Pruneda defects in Texas

    06/11/2003 3:08:49 AM PDT · by kattracks · 93+ views
    AP | 6/11/03
    BROWNSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A popular Cuban musician has defected and was granted asylum in South Texas after taking a taxicab from Monterrey, Mexico, to the U.S. border. Carlos Manuel Pruneda, of the Cuban band "Carlos Manuel and his Clan," flew from Mexico City to Monterrey, took a cab to Matamoros, then crossed the border and turned himself into Brownsville authorities Sunday evening, Harlingen television station KGBT reported.He was granted asylum Tuesday.The defection had been in the works for a while, said Joe Garcia, executive director of Miami-based Cuban American National Foundation."Someone close to him contacted us about this possibility...
  • Young urge change inside Cuba

    06/08/2003 9:46:16 PM PDT · by zechariah · 1 replies · 97+ views
    BBC News Online ^ | Sunday, 8 June, 2003 | Becky Branford
    Young urge change inside Cuba By Becky Branford BBC News Online Young people may be less reverential of the Revolution When Cuba jailed 75 dissidents - including journalists, economists, and political activists - in April, the world expressed outrage. Governments and human rights groups denounced the move. Former friends of Cuba declared their sympathy exhausted. The Cuba Policy Foundation, an American group which campaigned for the easing of US sanctions on the island, disbanded. The jailings were seen by many external commentators as evidence that the foundations of four decades of rule by Fidel Castro were being slowly eroded by...
  • Castro's Gambit

    06/07/2003 12:59:55 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 6 replies · 171+ views
    FrontPageMagazine.com ^ | June 6, 2003 | Mark Falcoff
    THE SUDDEN arrest in April of several score Cuban human-rights activists, dissidents, independent journalists, and librarians, followed rapidly by their sentencing to long terms in prison and, only a few days later, by the summary execution of three men who had attempted to hijack a ferry to Florida-all this has served to remind us that quite apart from China, Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Zimbabwe, Fidel Castro's police state in the Caribbean remains one of the world's most repressive regimes. Given the fact that these events occurred at the very moment when both the media and American foreign policy were...
  • Rats, food depress dissident

    06/07/2003 7:17:50 AM PDT · by Luis Gonzalez · 5 replies · 82+ views
    The Orlando Sentinel ^ | June 6, 2003 | Andrea Rodriguez - AP
    HAVANA -- Dissident journalist Manuel Vazquez Portal tells of rats, bad food and a tiny cell in a diary smuggled out of prison by his wife, providing a rare look at life behind bars in Cuba. Vazquez described his cell's furnishings as a rickety cot, a dirty mattress without sheets and pillow, a fetid toilet bowl. Rats scurry across the floor and water drips down the walls, he wrote.
  • Court to decide if Cuban activist has right to stay in U.S.

    06/07/2003 7:40:40 AM PDT · by Luis Gonzalez · 7 replies · 103+ views
    The Sun-Sentinel-Broward County Edition ^ | June 7, 2003 | Madeline Baró Diaz
    MIAMI · For years, anti-Castro activist Ramon Saul Sanchez has claimed his right to return to his Cuban homeland in defiance of the U.S. government's attempts to stop him. Now the same country that prosecuted Sanchez to keep him out of Cuban territorial waters is going to court to determine if he should be sent back to Cuba. "It's really ironic," Sanchez said.
  • EU to Curb Cuba Ties, Attacks 'Flagrant Violations' of Rights

    06/06/2003 9:49:19 AM PDT · by knighthawk · 2 replies · 107+ views
    Bloomberg ^ | June 05 2003
    <p>June 5 (Bloomberg) -- The European Union said it would alter its relationship with Cuba following "continuing flagrant violations" of human rights by Fidel Castro's government, and it called for the release of all political prisoners.</p> <p>The EU said it would restrict high-level governmental visits, invite Cuban dissidents to national celebrations in Europe, reduce its participation in Cuban cultural events and "proceed to the re- evaluation of the EU common position."</p>
  • Dissidents' wives irk Cuban regime - defy threats

    06/01/2003 1:54:44 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 4 replies · 106+ views
    Houston Chronicle ^ | June 1, 2003 | Gary Marx
    HAVANA -- Despite alleged threats from state security, the wives of incarcerated Cuban dissidents gather in an airy upscale church each Sunday to protest their husbands' plight and pray for their release. Dressed in white and wearing black scarves, the two dozen women sit together quietly during Mass. This rankles Cuban officials. "They threatened me and said that if I went to the Mass, I wouldn't be able to see my husband," said Dolia Leal Francisco, whose husband, Nelson Aguiar, is serving a 13-year prison sentence. "I said that I am going to the Mass." Even so, Leal Francisco and...
  • "Three Little Blacks"

    05/23/2003 12:40:04 PM PDT · by CHACHI · 22 replies · 456+ views
    News Max ^ | May 23, 2003 | Agustin Blazquez and Jaums Sutton
    Reprinted from NewsMax.com 'Three Little Blacks' © 2003 ABIP Agustin Blazquez and Jaums Sutton Friday, May 23, 2003 “The word on the streets is that Castro referred to them as ‘tres negritos’ (three little blacks). Even if you ignore the alleged racism (which I won’t), the hijackers committed the crime of wanting freedom.” (Manuel J. Coto, in his article in the Orlando Sentinel, May 7, 2003). The names of these expendable “little blacks” are Barbaro Sevilla Garcia, 21, Lorenzo Copello Castillo, 31, and Jorge Luis Martinez Isaac, 43. The Association of Black Cubans in Miami held a protest on May...
  • Letter from a Dissident’s Daughter

    05/22/2003 3:35:34 PM PDT · by Luis Gonzalez · 44 replies · 266+ views
    Partido Por La Democracia En Cuba "Pedro Luis Boitel" ^ | (translated) 5/22/2003 | Sayli Navarro
    Perico, Matanzas, March 28, 2003 Dear Mrs. Nancy Perez-Crespo, My name is Sayli and I am the daughter of Felix Navarro Rodriguez. At this moment my dad is in prison, it is not the first time that this has happened, but the last time I was too small to understand the reasons why they had taken him away from us. My mother suffered a lot, I did as well because I missed him so much, and I didn’t know how to console her. Today however, I understand why my dad and so many other good men have been incarcerated. I...
  • CUBA SI, CASTRO NO: BUSH

    05/21/2003 1:45:18 AM PDT · by kattracks · 2 replies · 235+ views
    New York Post ^ | 5/21/03 | DEBORAH ORIN
    <p>May 21, 2003 -- WASHINGTON - President Bush celebrated Cuban Independence Day yesterday by calling for the overthrow of Fidel Castro and blasting the Cuban dictatorship.</p> <p>"Dictatorships have no place in the Americas. May God bless the Cuban people who are struggling for freedom," Bush said in a 40-second message broadcast on U.S.-funded Radio Marti, which is beamed into Cuba.</p>
  • President greets freed Cubans - Slams Dictatorships

    05/21/2003 12:54:43 AM PDT · by Cincinatus' Wife · 8 replies · 230+ views
    Miami Herald ^ | May 21, 2003 | BY TIM JOHNSON tjohnson@herald.com with Peter Wallsten
    WASHINGTON - President Bush marked Cuban independence on Tuesday with a radio address denouncing Fidel Castro and a private meeting with former political prisoners and their relatives, one of whom emerged and weepily affirmed that ``this president is on our side.'' Early in the day, government-owned Radio Martí beamed a 40-second statement by Bush in Spanish to the island. ''My hope is for the Cuban people to soon enjoy the same freedoms and rights as we do. Dictatorship has no place in the Americas,'' the statement said in part. At mid-afternoon at the White House, Bush met with 11 Cuban...
  • Bush Marks Cuban Independence Day

    05/20/2003 7:57:13 PM PDT · by Luis Gonzalez · 3 replies · 193+ views
    President Bush has marked Cuban Independence Day by broadcasting a radio message to Cubans and meeting with dissidents at the White House. Mr. Bush taped his message in Spanish Tuesday, saying he hopes the Cuban people will soon be able to enjoy the same benefits and rights as people in the United States do. The president also said dictatorships have no place in the Americas. The speech aired on Radio Marti, the U.S. government-funded station that broadcasts into Cuba. Mr. Bush recorded the message to coincide with the 101st anniversary of Cuba's independence from Spain. President Bush later met with...
  • Bush to Meet With Cuban Dissidents

    05/20/2003 5:15:18 PM PDT · by Tailgunner Joe · 30+ views
    www.foxnews.com ^ | May 19, 2003
    <p>President Bush will observe the 101st anniversary of Cuba's creation as an independent republic by meeting on Tuesday with Cuban dissidents and former political prisoners.</p> <p>The dissidents include family members of some of the more than 70 Cubans arrested in March as part of a sweeping crackdown on pro-democracy activists. All were given lengthy prison terms after brief trials.</p>
  • The Poet and the Despot

    05/19/2003 7:08:25 AM PDT · by Luis Gonzalez · 6 replies · 126+ views
    The Washington Post ^ | May 18, 2003 | Staff
    RAUL RIVERO, Cuba's foremost independent journalist and one of its best poets, knew for years that he could be arrested at any moment by Fidel Castro's police, simply because he dared to report and write freely about his country. But he refused to be intimidated. "Nobody, no law, can make me take on the mentality of a gangster or other criminal simply because I report the arrest of a dissident or bring to light the prices of the basic alimentary products for survival in Cuba or edit a note saying that it seems like a disaster to me that more...
  • Dissidents' letters share grim prison lives

    05/18/2003 8:29:57 AM PDT · by Luis Gonzalez · 14 replies · 82+ views
    The Cuba Notebook - Sun Sentinel ^ | 5/18/2003 | Vanessa Bauzá
    HAVANA · From the solitary confinement cells of far-flung Cuban prisons come slices of life behind bars -- letters home from dissidents convicted in the recent government crackdown on the island's fledgling opposition groups. "I love you more than myself and that has given my life a good support to hold my head high and feel pity toward those who think that with violence they can resolve everything. Maybe in the future this country can have the alternative of being and living in freedom. That will be the reward."
  • In Latin America, the Cult of Revolution Wanes

    05/18/2003 2:58:15 AM PDT · by Pharmboy · 4 replies · 312+ views
    NY Times Week in Review ^ | May 18, 2003 | LARRY ROHTER
    Reuters Still friends after all these years: Fidel Castro met in 2000 with the writer Gabriel García Márquez, who continues to support Cuba's aging caudillo. BUENOS AIRES — More than 100 Latin American intellectuals published a vigorous protest last month after Cuba sentenced 75 dissidents to long prison terms and executed three men who had hijacked a ferry and tried to flee to the United States. "We appeal to the conscience of the world to avoid a new trampling of the principles that guide" civilization, their manifesto read. But the group, which included the writers Gabriel García Márquez, Ariel Dorfman,...
  • Stone Puts Cuban Dissidents in Film Pulled by HBO

    05/17/2003 6:12:47 AM PDT · by paltz · 4 replies · 94+ views
    Director Oliver Stone (news) was back in Cuba this week to ask President Fidel Castro (news - web sites) about a recent crackdown on dissidents and interview some of his opponents for a controversial documentary that HBO considered incomplete.   "The interviews and information will be added to the documentary," Stone's publicist Tony Angellotti said on Friday from Los Angeles. The U.S. cable television network HBO last month pulled the documentary "Comandante" from its May schedule after Cuba's communist authorities jailed 75 dissidents and executed by firing squad three men who hijacked a ferry in hopes of reaching the United...
  • A hard line in Havana (excellent article on life in Castro's Cuba today)

    05/16/2003 8:21:21 AM PDT · by dead · 11 replies · 197+ views
    Sydney Morning Herald ^ | May 17 2003 | Caroline Overington
    Old age and a crumbling economy have not cooled Fidel Castro's hatred of the US - or those who lean its way. Caroline Overington in Cuba investigates the ageing dictator's fierce recent crackdown on dissidents. Oswaldo Paya is sitting in a wooden rocking chair under a giant portrait of Jesus. As one of Cuba's leading dissidents, and one of few not in jail, he has agreed to speak to the Herald about Castro's recent crackdown on those opposed to Cuba's Marxist regime, but the interview is not going well. "I'm sorry for not bringing an interpreter," I say. "I couldn't...
  • Castro's secret war on the writers of Cuba (gag alert)

    05/14/2003 9:35:26 PM PDT · by Utah Girl · 8 replies · 96+ views
    Independent.co.uk ^ | 5/15/2003 | Boyd Tonkin
    It seemed that a new, more tolerant era was dawning. Then, last month, Fidel Castro locked up these leading writers and activists, along with 70 others. So what went wrong?You can talk to John Lennon at any time in Havana; just don't expect much of an answer. Cast in bronze, life-sized and bespectacled, the former Beatle sits on a bench in a small park shaded by the scarlet leaves of flame trees. He might seem an incongruous presence among the graciously down-at-heel mansions and avenues of green, suburban Vedado. But the Fab Four were, and are, idolised in Cuba. On...