Cuban Five Leader Criticizes Agents who Cooperated with US Gov. May 13, 2013 By Café Fuerte
HAVANA TIMES — Cuban agent Gerardo Hernandez, currently serving two life sentences on charges of conducting espionage in the United States, has leveled strong… Continue reading
Posted on Thursday, 05.02.13
NJ trooper’s killer named a most wanted terrorist By DAVID PORTER Associated Press
NEWARK, N.J. — The reward for the capture and return of a fugitive member of a black militant group convicted of murdering a… Continue reading
Posted on April 15, 2013
Rosa María Payá is visiting the United States from April 3 to 16. She
lives in Havana and is the daughter of Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, the Cuban
dissident who won the Andrei Sakharov Prize in 2002 and founded the
Christian Liberation Movement. He died alongside young Harold Cepero on
July 22, 2012, in what the Cuban government classified as a "traffic
accident," convicting Spanish politician Ángel Carromero –who was
driving at the time of the tragedy– of "involuntary manslaughter."
Carromero has now been deported to his own country, where he recently
told The Washington Post that what happened may have been a
Rosa María is hoping to win the support of the US media and authorities
for an international campaign demanding an independent investigation of
both deaths. She will visit New York, Washington and Miami. To honor the
memory of her father and Cepero, on Saturday, April 6, exiled Cuban
artist Geandy Pavón projected the image of both martyrs onto the
sinister façade of Cuba's diplomatic mission to the UN, at the corner of
Lexington and East 38th Street, in front of the only military sentry box
that I've seen in New York, and in the presence of Rosa María herself
and twenty or so other companions in exile.
Geandy Pavón's project is called Nemesis and has already paid homage to
Cuban social activists who have died in suspicious circumstances, such
as prisoner and hunger-striker Orlando Zapata Tamayo (in 2010) and the
leader of the Ladies in White, Laura Pollán (in 2011).
During this peaceful political protest to honor his father, Rosa María
announced that, "just as this light illuminates the walls of the
consulate, I hope the light of truth illuminate the hearts of Cubans,
and we can pave the way of reconciliation together, towards the peace,
happiness, and democracy that we seek."
15 April 2013"
http://translatingcuba.com/light-and-liberty-orlando-luis-pardo-lazo-from-sampsonia-way/ Continue reading
By Alfredo Felipe Fuentes/ CPJ Guest Blogger
As the world welcomes celebrated Cuban blogger Yoani Sánchez on her
first international tour in a decade, we must also remember journalist
Calixto Ramón Martínez Arias, who continues to be confined not only to
the island nation, but to a prison cell in Havana Province.
Martínez, a reporter for the independent news agency Centro de
Información Hablemos Press, was imprisoned in September after he started
looking into why an international shipment of medicine was allowed to go
bad, according to news reports. The journalist, who has been on
intermittent hunger strikes over the course of the past few months,
described in a telephone conversation with Hablemos Press last year the
inhumane conditions he faces in prison. Cases like that of Calixto are
a troubling counterbalance to reforms the authorities have announced in
recent years, and recall the Black Spring, one of the darkest episodes
in recent Cuban history, and my own experience as a prisoner of conscience.
Six months before the Castro government freed me from prison and
deported me to Spain in October, 2010, I found a cyst on my neck. I
turned to the prison authorities and the jail doctor, who, after
examining the small lump, told me it was probably an inflamed or
necrotic ganglion, but nothing to worry about. This was without even
ordering an ultrasound to look for elements that might have contradicted
his rushed diagnosis.
Months later, while still in prison, I managed to have a specialist
examine me, but he only reproduced the same irresponsible conclusion and
attitude of the previous doctor.
For my part, as a believer in science and the Hippocratic Oath, I
dismissed my concern and confidently continued my life as a prisoner of
But in February 2012, after having lived some time in Spain, I arrived
in the United States, where I began to worry again about the cyst due to
its insistent presence. Moreover, it had started to increase in size. I
went to a doctor who ordered various imaging exams with the latest
As a result of those exams, the specialist ordered immediate surgery in
order to remove the cyst.
A week after the surgery, I went for a follow-up visit with the
specialist, who informed me that the tissue removed from my neck had
been sent to pathology and that the tests indicated, without a doubt,
I had to face then, all of a sudden, that most dreaded word: Cancer.
After undergoing surgery, I am now going through radiation and
chemotherapy, which though the most effective treatment for cancer, also
implies a serious decrease in quality of life.
It is in this situation that I find myself today, with severe
limitations for my work; except for writing in days of grace.
I thank my doctors in the United States, my relatives and brothers in
exile for their constant concern and support. I especially thank my wife
Loyda Valdés, who as in her magnificent time with the Ladies in White in
Cuba, has not left me for a second and toils, with love, so that my
treatment and recovery are strictly implemented.
My case, in the sense that it was not acted upon in time, constitutes
another example of the mediocrity of the Cuban "medical power." But
without forgetting the already mentioned negligence and laziness of the
doctors who examined me in prison, what I truly attribute my cancer and
its consequences to are my seven years of unjust incarceration and its
sustained stress. I attribute it to the Cuban Black Spring.
Alfredo Felipe Fuentes, an economist by training, began working for the
Cuban independent press in 1991. He was given 26 years in prison in 2003
for violating Article 91 of the Cuban penal code and acting against "the
independence or the territorial integrity of the state."
http://www.cpj.org/blog/2013/04/haunted-by-cancer-after-cubas-black-spring.php Continue reading
Posted on March 31, 2013
Recently I've been reading the book "Mandatory Happiness" by the
Romanian writer Norman Manea, deported as a child with his family to a
Ukrainian concentration camp, and the way the author masterfully
describes an everyday story under a totalitarian government has caught
my attention in a powerful way: the Romanian political police arrest an
artist who collaborates with the opposition and subject her to
continuous torture sessions, a constant ritual day and night, in an
attempt to drive her mad. These old-school KGB techniques are applied
under the advice of the entire socialist camp, including Cuba, of course.
In the first story of the book, captivating from the very beginning,
"The Interrogator," an obscure character of the political polices —
superbly characterized — after brutally torturing his victim, says:
"Maybe we'll let you go. Although we could also condemn you. Not
necessarily for political crimes. We're looking for something else. We
still haven't decided. I've been frank with you. Don't kid yourself, I'm
not always honest (…) The freedom to work, the freedom to love, the
freedom of creation. Nice, no? It's normal that artists, for all you are
and especially for all you are not, become rebels.
"In short, the artist is a precursor or a straggler.
Whatever you are, you're a being outside the ordinary. You haven't found
your place, your tranquility, your harmony. You're not understood in
your profession, your family, the laws; you've chosen a completely
different form of vanity. Art, clearly, has as its starting point a
dislocation, an inadequacy, an uprooting. But fed…
(…) You have established, you have confirmed. That you'll always be in
the opposition, I mean. Freedom (…) It is normal that you're with all
the dispossessed (…) In the end, the books are filled up there."
Norman Minea, like a prophet, wrote a part of my immediate reality, or
simply bore witness to the many times they suffered the persecutions,
the torture and the punishment in his country. The only thing I know of
socialism. And what always lines up, even though we are separated by
continents and time: the same way to silence dissonant voices.
I simply ask for an ode to Norman Menea.
Ángel Santiesteban-Prats. La Lima Prison. March 2013
29 March 2013
http://translatingcuba.com/prison-diary-vii-my-life-in-a-story-angel-santiesteban/ Continue reading