Declaration of Cuban Civil Society Activists Joining Forces in Madrid

ReunionenMadrid

Cuban activists meeting in Spain

Madrid, February 26, 2014

For recognition of the legitimacy of Cuba’s independent civil society

We, activists of independent civil society, have agreed to promote a representative group to act as a channel of dialogue with international institutions and other potential partners.

Since the ratification of our commitment to peaceful methods to achieve the Rule of Law, we demand from the government of Cuba and before the international community:

1.  The unconditional release of all political prisoners , including those under extra-penal license (on parole).
2.  The end of political repression, often violent, against the peaceful movement  for human rights and pro- democracy.
3.  Respect for the international commitments already entered into by the government of Cuba, the ratification – without reservations – of the International Covenants on Human Rights and compliance with ILO conventions on labor and trade union rights.
4.  Recognition of the legitimacy of independent Cuban civil society.

Subscribed:

Yoani Sánchez – Blogger

Berta Soler – Spokesperson of the Ladies in White

Elizardo Sanchez – President of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and Cuban National Reconciliation

Juan Felipe Diaz Medina – Christian Liberation Movement (MCL )

Guillermo Fariñas – UNPACU

Manuel Cuesta Morúa – Progressive Arc

Reinaldo Escobar – Journalist

Antonio Guedes – President of Ibero American Association for Freedom (AIL)

Guillermo Gortázar – President of the Cuban Hispanic Foundation

Javier Larrondo – UNPACU Representative in Spain and EU

Virgilio Toledo – President of Coexistence Spain

Frisia Batista – President of Roots of Hope Spain

Elena Larrinaga – FECU

Alejandro González Raga – Cuban Observatory for Human Rights

Blanca Reyes – Ladies in White

Eduardo Pérez Bengoechea – Coordinator of International Human Rights Platform of Cuba

Tomás Muñoz and Oribe – Cuban Liberal Union

El Critico Stops Hunger and Thirst Strike / UNPACU

Free Critico poster created by his supporters during his hunger strike.

Free Critico poster created by his supporters during his hunger strike.

The political prisoner Ángel Yunier Remón Arzuaga, the rapper known as El Critico (The Critic), decided to abandon his hunger and thirst strike after authorities committed to “do justice” in the case, according to the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) the opposition organization to which he belongs.

Remón Arzuaga began the protest nearly a month ago in Las Mangas Prison in Granma province. At the end of October he was admitted to the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Hospital in Bayamo, due to a serious health condition.

In a press release, UNPACU explained that agents of the regime agents traveled from Havana to Granma to “negotiate” with Remón Arzuaga.

“The commitment of the authorities is to do justice which in his case had not been done, and  in his case had not been made and Ángel Yunier has taken the word of the authorities, who under heavy pressure from the international reaction and acceleration of the popular uprising in Cuba,” said the organization.

Remón Arzuaga’s wife, Yudisvel Roselló Mojena, was able to visit him in the hospital after he ended the strike.

“He will live to keep fighting for the rights ( … ) There is much still to do and he will do it with his life,” she said.

The UNPACU warned, however, that two other activist prisoners Roilán Álvarez Rensoler and Marcelino Abreu Bonora, are still on hunger strike and their situation worsens.

Álvarez Rensoler is in “critical condition” and hospitalized, said the organization.

Source: DiariodeCuba, 12 November 2013

More than 200 UNPACU dissidents visit the Virgin of Charity / UNPACU

More than 200 Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) activists joined 57 Ladies in White on 8 September 2013 on a visit to the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity of Cobre in Santiago de Cuba, on the 401st anniversary of her appearance. They asked her for freedom and democracy for Cuba.

Translator’s note: This un-subtitled video of human rights activists, openly demonstrating with their fingers making L’s for Liberty, refutes the idea (among some) that there are only a few, mostly Havana-based, Cubans willing to publicly stand up for their rights.

8 September 2013

“I am not afraid to die for my father’s freedom”: Youngest hunger striker speaks / UNPACU – Patriotic Union of Cuba

In a video recorded by the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), Enrique Lozada speaks during his third week on hunger strike, a protest started to demand the release of his father, activist Luis Enrique Lozada Igarza, violently arrested by the political police last April 9th in Maffo, Contramaestre.  Luis Enrique is also on hunger strike and is being confined in inhumane conditions in the Aguadores Prison of Santiago de Cuba.

More than 60 other dissidents have declared themselves on strike with the same motive, including dissident leader Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia.  At age 17, Enrique is the youngest striker of the group.  In this video, one can see that he is clearly weakened and already affected, health-wise, by the protest.

His spirit, however, remains intact.

Please read the rest of this post on “Pieces of the Island” where you can follow the daily struggles of democracy and human rights activists across the island.

“We demand the release of Luis Enrique Lozada”. Artwork by Rolando Pulido

“We demand the release of Luis Enrique Lozada”. Artwork by Rolando Pulido

30 April 2013