December 2009


One-year sentence for shouting “Down with Fidel”

HAVANA, Cuba, Dec. 22  (Juan Carlos González / www.cubanet.org) -  Dissident Orlando Triana has been sentenced to one year in prison for insult because he shouted “Down with Fidel” in public.

Dissident Jorge Luís García Pérez, known as  Antúnez, said Triana was sentenced by the Municipal Court in Camajuaní and imprisoned in the Guamajal prison in Villa Clara.

Triana is a delegate of the Presidio Político Pedro Luís Boitel, which supports political prisoners, and belongs to the Central Opposition Coalition.

Dissident sentenced to 2 years as danger to society

CAMAGÜEY, Cuba, Dec.  22 (Pedro Enrique Martínez / www.cubanet.org) -  Dissident Omar Vidal has been sentenced in Santa Clara to two years imprisonment as a danger to society, according to independent journalist Carlos Michael Morales. 

Morales said Vidal, 37, was sentenced December. Vidal belongs to the Central Opposition Coalition.


Bread vendor hit by police cruiser during chase

CAIBARIÉN, Cuba, Dec. 17 (María Caridad Noa / www.cubanet.org) - Ramón Morales says his right wrist was broken when he was tossed onto the hood of a police cruiser driven by an officer who was chasing him because he was selling bread on the street.

Morales said as soon as he saw the cruiser he started to run. “They reached me as I was turning the corner and I went up on the hood,” he said.

Morales said the police took the seven loaves of bread in his sack and fined him 200 pesos, the equivalent of about two weeks’ average salary for Cubans.

The incident occurred last Sunday. A doctor put his right arm in a cast.


Dissident sends greetings on state radio stations

HAVANA, Cuba, Dec. 17 (Iván Sañudo Pupo, ALAS, www.cubanet.org) – Gladys Escandell Martínez says she was threatened by police after she called three radio stations last week and sent on-air greetings to two jailed fellow dissidents.

Escandell, a member of the Republican Party of Cuba and the Latin American Federation of Rural Women, said she called Radio Rebelde, Radio Coco and Radio Metropolitana and sent the greetings to Oscar Elías Biscet and Darsi Ferrer, both medical doctors.

 She said two State Security agents later went to her home and threatened her with arrest for “civil disobedience” because of her calls to the radios stations.


Cameras banned in hard currency restaurants to thwart dissidents

HAVANA, Cuba, Dec. 4 (Belinda  Salas Tápanes, www.cubanet.org) – Dissidents say their demand that foreign currency restaurants accept payment for meals in pesos has resulted in a ban on cameras in such places to prevent publicity for their campaign.

Marjore Moreno, spokesperson for the Latin American Federation of Rural Women (FLAMUR), which has undertaken the campaign, noted the restriction on cameras. She said Café TV, one of its targets, no longer lets people with cameras enter.

“We’re convinced that the government is trying to counter our initiative by limiting the possibility of pictures of what’s happening,” Moreno said.

Representatives of FLAMUR go to hard currency restaurants, dine and produce pesos when the bill is brought.


Dissident, 80, hurt in police crackdown

 HAVANA, Cuba, Dec. 1 (Lamasiel Gutiérrez Isla Press / www.cubanet.org) -  Alfredo Guillaume, an 80-year-old dissident, says he was beaten by a member of the government’s rapid response brigade last weekend during an attack on Reinaldo Escobar, husband of blogger Yoani Sánchez, at a university book fair in Havana’s Vedado district.

Guillaume said he was hit in the ribs and chest when he and others tried to protect Escobar.

A police agent visited Guillame the following day at his home and told the dissident that he was too old to be involved in street demonstrations against the government.

 “I threw him out of my home,” Guillame said, “But not before reminding him that even if I lost my life I was going to continue fighting for democracy and human rights in my country.”


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