Dogs live better than Cuban political prisoners

I’m sure even fleas live better than anyone imprisoned in Castro’s gulag, simply for what he believes in. Just ask Mr. Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta, prisoner in Castro’s Kilo 8 Prison in Camaguey, Cuba:

I’m letting it be known that my state of health is failing at an extremely dangerous pace. My physical well-being remains under the Sword of Damocles, and I could die. My days are slowly coming to an end because of the various dangerous illnesses from which I suffer: high blood pressure, a right bundle branch block in my heart, hypertensive retinopathy, a heart murmur, a pyloric-duodenal prolapse, chronic dermatitis, asthma, cervical arthritis, lumbo-sacral arthralgia, vitiligo, kidney and liver disorders, and an obvious immunological deficiency. I’m extremely underweight, which is quite worrisome.

Faced with this dangerous picture, prison authorities have demonstrated a policy of disinterest and indifference until last October 23rd when I sewed my mouth shut as a fair complaint against the violation of my rights and the awful living conditions under which I am kept as if I were a wild animal while the prison officials’ dogs live under exceptional conditions.

Mr. Herrera was one of the 75 dissidents imprisoned by the Castro regime in 2003, while the world’s attention was focused on the U.S. on the eve of the Iraq war. Read the rest of this brave man’s testimony at Marc Mas Ferrer’s Uncommon Sense.



The Miami Herald, Babalu Blog and other blogs are reporting a new initiative to help those repressed by the Castro government in Cuba. The initiative was launched by the Cuban Democratic Directorate (Directorio Democrático Cubano in Spanish), so I looked them up and found the press release here.

Basically, they plan to staff (24 hours a day) an international toll-free hotline where Cubans on the island can call to report any acts of political persecution by the Castro regime. The hotline number is 1-877-303-YONO (“Yo no” is Spanish for “I won’t” or “Not I” and is an allusion to the Directorate’s “I will not cooperate with the dictatorship” campaign).

According to the press release, “(t)his initiative from several pro-democracy exile organizations is a response to the increase in resistance actions on the Island such as protests by young Cubans wearing bracelets with the word CAMBIO, or change, as well as the public dissatisfaction demonstrated regarding Chinese buses recently bought by the Havana regime.”

This is awesome. This is incredible. The concept seems so obvious, I had a “Gee, I could’ve had a V-8” moment when I first read about it.

But now, for the benefit of anyone reading this in Spanish (mostly, on the rare off-chance someone in Cuba might actually be able to read this blog), I’ve reproduced the entire press release in Spanish, below.

EXTRA: I found the following video (Spanish) on the “Cambio” and “Yono” campaigns on Youtube.

07/11/2007 | Directorio Democrático Cubano

Organizaciones del exilio cubano encabezadas por ex presos políticos dieron a conocer durante una conferencia de prensa hoy miércoles, que reconocerán como perseguidos políticos a todo cubano que, por no cooperar con la dictadura y rechazar la farsa electoral, sean reprimidos o detenidos. También reconocerán como prisionero político todo aquel que sea encarcelado por los mismos motivos.

Durante la conferencia, que tuvo lugar en la sede de Los Municipios de Cuba en el Exilio, se hizo pública una línea telefónica internacional que estará disponible las 24 horas del día para informar los actos de no cooperación que se lleven a cabo en la Isla, y por las cuales personas caigan presas o sean víctimas de persecución política por desarrollar nuevas formas de resistencia cívica dentro de la campaña de la no cooperación.

El teléfono, 1-877-303-YONO, estará disponible a todo el público a partir de este viernes y será atendida por el Presidio Político Histórico Cubano. Esta iniciativa de distintas organizaciones pro democráticas del exilio es una respuesta de ayuda por el aumento de actos de resistencia: las protestas por los jóvenes con las manillas CAMBIO y el descontento público demostrado hacia los autobuses chinos recién comprados por el régimen de Cuba.

“Nosotros nos encargaremos de documentar y publicar estas acciones, de dirigir a los organismos internacionales de los derechos humanos hacia el respaldo a estos perseguidos, y de hacerle llegar asistencia económica recaudada privadamente en las comunidades cubanas en el exilio a aquellos compatriotas que la necesiten al estar luchando por la libertad dentro de Cuba,” expresó Angel De Fana, de Plantados Hasta la Libertad y la Democracia en Cuba.





Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet receives Presidential Medal of Freedom

President Bush awards Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dr. Biscet
President George W. Bush presents the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Yan Valdes Morejon and Winnie Biscet in honor of their father Oscar Elias Biscet during a ceremony Monday, Nov. 5, 2007, in the East Room. “Oscar Biscet is a healer — known to 11 million Cubans as a physician, a community organizer, and an advocate for human rights,” said the President about the imprisoned physician. “The international community agrees that Dr. Biscet’s imprisonment is unjust, yet the regime has refused every call for his release.” White House photo by Joyce N. Boghosian.

President Bush awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet yesterday. Of course, because Dr. Biscet is locked in Fidel Castro’s gulag, the President had to present the award to Dr. Biscet’s son and daughter.

There’s not much for me to add to this, other than to say if anyone deserves the Presidential Medal of Freedom, it’s Dr. Biscet. I’ll leave you with a few links below.