Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Letter from Virgilio Campaneria Ángel

Virgilio Campaneria Ángel was arrested on March 8, 1961, and executed by a firing squad on April 18, 1961. He was 23 years old and a University of Havana student.
Cabaña Fort, Cuba
April 17, 1961

To my fellow students and to the People of Cuba in general:

In these moments I find myself waiting to be sentenced by the tribunal which condemned me.

Death does not worry me, because I have faith in God and the destiny of my country. My death shall be another step back for those who believe that they can drown with blood the desire for freedom in the Cuban people.

I am not afraid, let death come; I shall die at peace because I already see my country free, I already see how my brothers jubilantly climb the glorious hill; there shall no longer be hate between brothers, there shall no longer be voices that scream out for the firing squads. All shall be love between Cubans, brotherly love, Christian love.

Poor Cuba, how she has suffered, but the new Cuba emerges from hatred to sow love, from injustice to sow justice, social justice, not the demagoguery that misleads the people; a mature
Cuba that already recognizes the falsehoods and the imposters, a Cuba for all Cubans and “with all and for the good of all”.

With you students, lies the glory of liberating our homeland, and raise that new Cuba.


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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Blogger and Independent Journalist Dania Virgen García in danger

by Carmen Ferreiro


September 22, 2010


Photo: Dania Virgen García



Today Dania Virgen García informed that she is under constant intimidation by Cuban State Security Agents who are threatening her with imprisonment, this time to a 20 year sentence, if she does not stop publishing news relating to the case of Cuban prisoner José Ángel Luque Álvarez, on a hunger strike since August 8th in Ariza Prison.


Dania mentioned that her house in the Havana municipality of San Miguel del Padrón is under constant vigilance by PNR (National Revolutionary Police) squad cars and plain clothes agents from the DSE (Department of State Security.


Since her arrest and subsequent release last spring, Dania has endured intimidation, harassment and threats that she will be returned to prison y she continues to write and publish articles on prisoners in Cuban jails.


Dania Virgen García is a Cuban blogger and independent journalist. The stories she published concerning prisoner José Ángel Luque Álvarez which led to this repression by State Security Agents, can be read in her blog: as well as internet news sites like Cubanet, Primavera Digital and Misceláneas de Cuba.


Dania and Daniel Anselmo González from CAPPF with Luque Álvarez’ family.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Massive beatings and arrests of journalists and activists in Cuba

by Carmen Ferreiro

August 6, 2010

Photo: Protesters beaten and arrested in 1994’s Maleconazo.

On the 16th anniversary of the Maleconazo, a large scale protest that took place in Havana in 1994 due to public discontent over food shortages and energy blackouts, Cuba’s repressive forces conducted a massive arrest of human rights activists and independent journalists.

The arrested were detained, beaten, interrogated and later released. This took place yesterday near the U.S. Interests Section building on Cuba’s waterfront known as the Malecon. Among the arrested were human rights activists who wanted to peacefully mark the anniversary and independent journalists who were trying to enter the building to use the internet on their scheduled appointment day and time.

Those arrested were:

Alfredo Guilleuma “El Viejo Alfredo”, an elderly Human Rights Activist

Carmelo Rodríguez Rodríguez, Human Rights Activist and member of the Movimiento Línea Dura “Orlando Zapata Tamayo”

Daniel Anselmo Gonzalez, Independent Journalist and Vice President of the Comision for Assistance to Political Prisoners and their Families (CAPPF)

Ernesto Rodríguez López, Human Rights Activist

Enrique Labrada, Human Rights Activist

Hector Julio Cesar Cedeño, Blogger and Independent Journalist

Heriberto Liranza Romero, Human Rights Activist and member of the Movimiento Cubano de Jóvenes por la Democracia

Hermogenes Inocencio Guerrero, Human Rights Activist and Vice President of Naturpaz

Hidelbrando Chaviano, Blogger and Independent Journalist

Hugo Damian Prieto Blanco, President of the Movimiento Línea Dura “Orlando Zapata Tamayo”

Joel Lázaro Carbonell, Blogger and Independent Journalist and President of the Organización de Derechos Humanos Cubanos Libres

Jose Alberto Alvarez Bravo, Blogger and Independent Journalist

Juan Carlos Basallo Fregio, Human Rights Activist and member of the Partido Liberal de la República de Cuba

Juan Mario Rodríguez, Human Rights Activist

Julio Antonio Rojas Portal, Blogger and Independent Journalist

Omar Lafita Rojas, Independent Journalist and Attorney

Roby Gonzalez Torres, Independent Journalist and member of the Comision for Assistance to Political Prisoners and their Families (CAPPF)

Ruben Carty Lowe, Blogger and Independent Journalist who is the Director of Centro Informativo Cubano

Silvio Benítez Márquez, Independent Journalist and President of the Partido Liberal de la República de Cuba

Other activists were also detained and arrested whose names were not available at the time this information was reported.

This report was prepared from the testimonies of Dania Virgen Garcia (Blogger and Independent Journalist), Miguel Amado Reyes Fonseca (President of the Comision for Assistance to Political Prisoners and their Families CAPPF), Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez (Director of CHIPRESS), Segundo Miranda (President of the Centro de Derechos Humanos y Democracia Brigada 2506) and Sergio Pastor Martinez Carrazana (Independent Journalist).

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Released political prisoner leaves Cuba for medical treatment in US

by Carmen Ferreiro

Photos: Javier Galeano / AP

July 28, 2010

Today, released Cuban political prisoner Ariel Sigler Amaya will travel to Miami to receive urgent medical attention.

After 7 years of incarceration, most spent in punishment cells, Ariel suffers from functional paraplegia and has lost over 100 pounds since being jailed in March of 2003 in Cuba’s Black Spring Crackdown and released in May 2010 after international pressure aimed at the Castro government.

Other political prisoners recently released and sent into permanent exile in Spain, have traveled with their family members. In Ariel’s case his wife Noelia, was not given permission by Cuban authorities to accompany him on his trip to the US. Fortunately, Ariel has family in the States and a large support group in fellow exiles who continue the struggle for the release of all political prisoners and democratic reforms in Cuba.

Upon his arrival at Miami International Airport he will be taken immediately for medical treatment at Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he will be given the medical attention he was denied in Cuba; while he was imprisoned and after his release. Sadly, this inhumane treatment is common practice in Cuba with all who disagree with the political system in power.

These photos released today show Ariel leaving Cuba for his flight to Miami (Photos: Javier Galeano / AP):

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Arrested in Havana twice in the same day

Arrested in Havana twice in the same day:

For and Act in Remembrance of the victims of the Remolcador "13 de Marzo" tragedy


by Joel Lázaro Carbonell Guilar

Independent Journalist

President of the Human Rights Organization Free Cubans


July 15, 2010




On July 13th, a group of activists convened at Havana’s Malecón & Galiano to pay tribute to victims of the Remolcador “13 de Marzo” tragedy, when 10 children and 40 adults were massacred by Cuban authorities.


I organized this group, asking them to join me in this tribute and bring flowers to the Malecón & Galiano.  When we arrived there were State Security Agents, their henchmen, and Rapid Brigade repressors waiting for us.  I along with 2 other activists were arrested for simply wanting to throw flowers into the sea to mark this tragic event.


I was taken to the Police Station at Zanja where I was put into a punishment cell for 5 hours.


After I was released, I reunited with fellow activists who waited for us outside the Zanja Station, and we proceeded to finalize the activity that was thwarted due to our arrests.


We returned to the Malecón, where under the vigilance and pressure of the same agents who had earlier arrested us, we remained until we finished our act of remembrance.


Later that evening on my return home, I was arrested and forced into a car model "lada", this time taken to the 11th Police Station in San Miguel del Padrón, where I was kept in a punishment cell until 5 in the morning.


This is a recount of the events that took place on July 13, 2010 in Havana, Cuba.


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Friday, July 2, 2010

Photo Essay: The Trial of Dr. Darsi Ferrer

Photographs by Joel Lázaro Carbonell Guilar
Independent Journalist & President of the Human Rights Organization Free Cubans

Text by Carmen Ferreiro

June 28, 2010

On June 22, 2010, after 11 months of imprisonment, Dr. Darsi Ferrer was finally taken to trial which was held at the 10 de Octubre Municipal Court in Havana.

Friends of Darsi, independent journalists and human rights activists defied the terror of the tyranny’s minions and managed to reach the Courthouse, showing their support for Yusnaimy Jorge Soca, who along with her husband Dr. Ferrer, is brave defender of human rights.

Dr. Ferrer’s supporters who were been denied access to the courtroom, waited for several hours in the heat of the tropical sun. Outside the fenced entry of the Tribunal, they resolutely maintained their peaceful vigilance, despite being surrounded by State Security Agents and their mobs who shouted insults and threats.

Other members of Cuba’s opposition movement and colleagues of Darsi and Yusnaimy attempted to reach the Court, but where prohibited by PNR officers (National Revolutionary Police) and DSE agents (Department of State Security) dressed in civilian clothes who surrounded their homes not allowing anyone to leave and arresting others.

Standing in solidarity with Dr. Ferrer and his family, activists and journalists outside the Court showed the regime that freedom wins when fear is lost. My congratulations and gratitude to my brothers and sisters in Cuba, who day after day with unwavering bravery, struggle for human rights in our beloved Cuba.

Yusnaimy, emotionally embracers her supports before entering the Tribunal to witness her husband’s trial. Photo of the patrol car that brought to Dr. Ferrer to the Tribunal.

Court officials prohibited friends and colleagues of Dr. Ferrer from entering the grounds or courtroom to witness the proceedings.

Pro-government demonstrators and repressors attempt to provoke the peaceful activists, shouting insults and threats. Photo shows how some were allowed access to the grounds of the Tribunal but the same was denied to activists supporting Dr. Ferrer.

Attorney and journalist Michael Iturría Savón along with photographer Joel Lázaro Carbonell Guilar. Joel alongside others showing their support for Darsi and yearn to see him set free.

Despite the warm temperatures (the trial was from 10 in the morning until 1: 30 in the afternoon), activists, journalists, and friends of Darsi, wait with hope for news on the decision of the Court.

Finally the moment so many waited for arrives, as Yusnaimy together with Darsi’s mother, Mercedes Ramirez Mujica and faithful friend and tireless fighter ‘El Viejo Alfredo’ make their way to the Tribunal’s gate, and in hand signs show the letter “L” for Liberty while joy erupts and everyone’s hopes are realized; Darsi is set free!

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Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Photos of the trial and conditional release of Dr. Darsi Ferrer

June 22, 2010

Havana, Cuba

Yusnaimy embraces fellow human rights activists who accompanied her to Darsi's trial lending their support and solidarity. Picture 1: AFP / Picture 2: Getty Images

Besides Yusnaimy and Mercedes (Darsi’s wife and mother) is Dania Virgen Garcia (blogger and independent journalist who recently won her freedom after being jailed and tried) who along with other members of opposition groups were able to reach the outside area of the Tribunal. Pictures 1 y 2: AFP / Picture 3 y 4: Getty Images

Friends and colleagues of Darsi show their support outside the gates of the 10 of October Tribunal, where they demonstrate their solidarity and chant for his freedom, even though government sympathizers try to incite the peaceful activists. Picture 1: AFP / Picture 2: EFE / Picture 3, 4 & 5: Reuters / Picture 6: Getty Images

as he is led away from the 10 of October Tribunal to his home. Pictures 1 y 2: AFP / Picture 3: Getty Images

Darsi together with his wife Yusnaimy, his son Dariel and his mother Mercedes Ramírez Mujica after being granted a conditional release. Pictures 1,2 y 3: AFP / Picture 3: EFE / Picture 4: Reuters

Darsi hugs and carries his son Dariel after being liberated from Valle Grande Prison and put under house arrest, here he is seen together with friends and neighbors at his home. Pictures 1 y 2: AFP / Picture 3: Getty Images / Picture 4: Reuters

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