Prisoner in Canaletas on Hunger Strike

For an audio recording of Pedro’s phone call dictating this post, CLICK HERE

The 43-year-old prisoner Rene Valle Ibarra, also known as “El Bimbo”, who is from Zero Street number 2355 between 4th and Lindero, Luyano Moderno, in the municipality of San Miguel del Padron, declared himself on hunger strike this past February 22nd, demanding his right — according to the regulations set by the Director of Penitentiary Establishments of the Ministry of the Interior within the jail system — to progress to being considered a minimum severity prisoner and to be able to enter work camps and to enjoy furloughs.  However, the penal leadership from this Ciego de Avila prison alleges that he cannot be considered minimum severity because he has yet to serve 5 years to achieve conditional freedom.  Valle Ibarra has responded to this by displaying a list of various prisoners who are in the same exact conditions as his and are already taking part in the work camp. So then, why yes for some but not for him?  Perhaps it has to do with the fact that Rene Valle Ibarra, “El Bimbo”, is black and poor.

Pedro Arguelles Moran
Group of the 75
Provincial Prison of Canaletas, Ciego de Avila

Zapata Forever


For the members of the 2003 Black Spring Group of 75 who still remain as hostages of the Cuban totalitarian regime, this February 18 will mark 7 years and 11 months since their having been kidnapped by Castro’s political police. Five days later I will turn 63, and the same day will be the first anniversary of the infamous murder or the martyr of democracy, our beloved brother of ideas and civil struggle Orlando Zapata Tamayo, left to die on his heroic hunger strike to reclaim the rights and freedoms inherent in the dignity of the human person. But Zapata lives and will live forever in every man and woman who peacefully fights for respect for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to achieve the long-awaited democratic transition toward a new Cuba where the ideals of Marti and Christianity reign: Truth, Freedom, Justice and Love. Amen!

Pedro Arguelles Moran
Prisoner of Conscience

Canaleta Prison, Ciego de Ávila

Decisions

This past 18th of January, it was the 7th year and 10th month anniversary since we 8 members from the group of the 75 were kidnapped by the communist political police.  During this entire time, we’ve been hostages of the totalitarian Cuban regime.  Two days later, at around 7pm,  they took me to the office of the chief director of Canaleta Prison, the penitentiary where I am jailed.  The chief was there along with a gorgeous psychologist from the Interior Ministry.  They both tried to convince me that, given my age and state of health, the best option for me would be to depart from the island and into exile.
A few days ago, a doctor casually performed a medical check-up on me, informing me that my liver was inflamed and that I could not participate in hunger strikes.  I told her that I have no interest in leaving my homeland, for I was born here and I wish to die here.  At some point during the exchange of opinions the prison chief informed me that he had contacted me so that I could speak on the phone with Cardinal Jaime Ortega.  Ortega, who is also the archbishop of Havana, wanted to speak to me.  I made it clear that I didn’t have anything to talk to his Eminence about.  During July 10th of last year I already made it clear to him when I spoke to him on the phone that I was not going to leave my country.
The psychologist told me that people change opinions and, in turn, their decisions.  I replied to her that yes, she was correct, and that in fact, in the year 1961 (when I was only 13 years old) I joined the Conrado Benitez Brigade in order to work on the literacy campaign.  I was also a militiaman, for I had enlisted in the army, as I pretended to be older than I really was.  I belonged to the Association of Young Rebels and I considered myself a full-fledged “Country or Death” revolutionary.  Today, however, I am anti-Castro and anti-communist, and I am deeply convinced and committed to the honorable civil struggle in order to achieve that democratic transition which we so long for.
The good-looking psychological professional emphasized that the opportunity I was turning down was an opportunity that others were desperately crying out to have.  I flat out told her that I was the one who was going to desperately cry out if I were exiled from the largest of the Antilles.  In sum, I told the chief of Canaleta that I was going back to my cell and that if Cardinal Ortega called for me, to tell him, on my behalf, that “I do not want to leave my country.”  This is a decision I have developed over time and with much conscience ever since 1993, when I actually took part in an attempt to leave the country illegally via Havana.  I learned that, amid all the processes against me, my destiny was to remain in my country and to peacefully struggle for the human rights and freedoms which are inherent to human dignity.  And this is a decision I will maintain until the very last consequences because my life choice is to continue onward and to uphold the philosophy of Marti, which states, “the duty of a man is to reside where he is most useful.”  Amen.
Pedro Arguelles Moran
Prisoner of Conscience
Provincial Prison of Canaleta, Ciego de Avila

Half a Year

Six months have passed since I turned down the opportunity to go into exile. During all that time, the communist Cuban regime has been breaking its own promises of releasing us—the members of the group of the 75 who have decided not to abandon our homeland. On numerous occasions during this half year they have moved away from shattering the infamous gates that separate us from our family and social environment. Clearly, the totalitarian Castro regime does not have the least will to free us and they intend to banish us at whatever cost. There is simply no possible justification to hold us hostage as prisoners. There is no pressure that can possibly force me to abandon my country, and much less to abandon the exalted and dignified civil struggle for the respect of human rights and freedoms inherent to the dignity of all human beings. In a very stubborn way, these rights and freedoms are being systematically and institutionally violated, from the very moment the government seized power by force of arms, intimidation, and terror in 1959.We will continue working peacefully to achieve the so yearned and suffered democratic transition to a state where rule of law, civil society, and social justice all thrive.

Pedro Arguelles Moran
Prisoner of conscience, Canaleta provincial prison in Ciego de Avila.

Arguelles: “The Habit of Lying”


“Looped Chain”- by Scott Geyer

Once again, the totalitarian Castro regime has not kept its promises- because lies, demagogy, populism, hypocrisy, and cynicism all compose its very essence and nature. Recently, the regime’s Minister of Exterior Lies declared, somewhere in New York at the United Nations, that the members of the group of the 75 who still remain kidnapped as hostages, would be released under extra-penal licenses before the 26th of October. Of course, that was just another lie.

Now, this past November 7 was the four-month deadline for our release, according to a press release issued by the archbishop of Havana which was published in the official communist newspaper, Granma, this past July 8, and which the Latin Press also reported. That was yet another lie. From the group of the 75, there are still 13 of us who remain behind the bars. We are the ones who do not accept abandoning our country, but everything seems to indicate that the Cuban communist regime is bent on banishing as many dissidents as possible from the country, while more than one million of its this worker’s “Eden” current slaves are going to be thrown into the street. Personally, I do not have the least bit of interest of leaving to any other country. I only wish to continue here in my country, as a peaceful fighter for the rights and freedoms inherent to the dignity of the human person.

Pedro Arguelles Moran
Group of the 75
Provincial Prison of Canaletas, Ciego de Avila

Beating a Prisoner


Ciego de Avila. The inmate Pento Ariel Garcia received a beating, August 16, 2010, by the two heads of internal order, subordinates of the Minister of the Interior Roberto Mesías y Rigoberto, who is better known as El Indio. Both have stood out for beating prisoners while they are handcuffed. Pento García, 34, resides at No 7612 Ave 105, between 76th and 78th streets in Güines, Havana Province, and has been beaten by officers on several occasions and confined in solitary confinement even though he suffers from psychiatric disorders.

Report: Pedro Argüelles Morán, from the group of 75, from Canaleta provincial prison in Ciego de Avila.

Lion Prophet


“Confusion Painting” by Keenya Woods

After nearly 200 years since humanity has known a prophet, the earth has one, his name is: Fidel Castro Ruz. This aged prophet is trying to write an epilogue to the Apocalypse, although much more catastrophic. To do this he called an extraordinary session, on August 7, of the one-party National Assembly, of the so-called People’s Power, and met with four Venezuelan journalists the following day. This allowed the official communist organ, the newspaper Granma, in its August 10 edition, to devote seven pages to the interview.

At the same time, said organ of the State press has been publishing for some months the so-called “Reflections of Comrade Fidel.” Here he analyzes the problems of the entire world, expect the urgent — problems of every kind — the Cuban ones.

Also this neo-prophet tries to present himself as a champion of peace, but he forgets that in the early years of the decade of the sixties of the last century, during the October Missile Crisis, he then asked the Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev to launch a first strike nuclear attack against the United States of America. That during the sixties, seventies and eighties of the same century, he tried to export the socialist revolution to different cardinal points, sending Cubans into guerrilla wars or training guerrillas here in Cuba, and providing them medical care. He also sent regular troops to the Republic of Angola and to Ethiopia in Africa, just to cite two examples. Perhaps now the prophet Castro would like to get another Nobel Prize, this time for peace, along with the Nobel Prize in Chemistry he got years ago for turning the entire country into scrap metal.

Pedro Argüelles Morán, from the group of 75, from Canaleta provincial prison in Ciego de Avila.

Here I Am


Photo: Pedro Arguelles Moran

This past July 10 I chose not to travel to Spain because I do not wish to abandon my country — I am Cuban, and very proud of it. I was born here, as were my sisters, relatives, parents, and my paternal grandparents. My maternal grandparents were not born here, they were Spanish, however, they are buried here, as are all my other loved ones, and I shall also be buried here one day.

I could have accepted to depart to the Iberian peninsula after that option was presented to me on the telephone by Cardinal Ortega, but due to the love that I have for my country, my history, my culture, my individual character, and my traditions, I have decided to stay and continue with this peaceful struggle for freedoms and rights that are inherent to the dignity of human beings, as long as I have the strengths to continue the noble and dignified civil struggle, or until that long awaited democratic transition occurs in Cuba. Perhaps, upon not accepting the offer of exile, I will be kept as a hostage of the totalitarian Castro regime as a form of punishment for not fleeing from my own country. Back in mid-1992 I joined the Cuban Pro-Human Rights Committee, and I was well aware of all the risks and sacrifices I would have to face, for I knew I was going to more than likely be a victim of all sorts of beatings, whether physical or spiritual. I could, and would, be treated as something other than a human by those who perpetuate themselves in power through terror and strength.

Here I am, and I will continue being here because this is where I belong. This is my totally sovereign decision and comes from my personal desire, which through wind or rain, will continue moving towards promoting the ideal shared by Marti, “Freedom is very expensive, and it is precise — either give in and live without it, or make up your mind and pay the price for it.”

Pedro Argüelles Morán
Grupo de los 75
Prisión Provincial de Canaleta, Ciego de Ávila

Hunger Strike

The prisoner Luis Alberto Rodriguez Camejo declared himself on hunger strike this past July 20th in the detachment known as Pending Trial No. 6, in cell 14 of the provincial prison of Canaletas in Ciego de Avila.  Rodriguez Camejo is 43 years old and is a resident of 1st street on No. 75 South,  between Honorato del Castillo and Paseo (in the central city neighborhood of Ciego de Avila).  He finds himself rejecting any foods as a form of protest against his alleged conviction of armed robbery in a plastic arts warehouse.  The actual thief, however, confessed to the crime and yet he is out in the street under a fee and owes 6 years of conditional freedom.  He also has 9 other armed robberies under his belt that can be confirmed.  It seems that the thief was released from accusations because his skin color is white while Rodirguez Camejo’s is black.

According to Luis Alberto Rodriguez Camejo, he only did him the favor of watching over the frames without even knowing that they were robbed.  He actually has witnesses that have told stories that benefit him.  The wife of Rodriguez Camejo finds herself in City of Havana trying to help with her husband’s situation but they have only sent her from the General Prosecutors  of the Republic to the State Council. 

This report is by:  Pedro Arguelles Moran from the group of the 75 of the Black Spring of 2003 .  Provincial Prison Cell in Canaletas, Ciego de Avila.

Beating of a Prisoner; Ciego de Avila


Painting by Ahmad Abu Hannya

This past April 21st the prisoner Disley Mancilla Lopez was victim of a beating by the functionary of Interior Order, Pelsido, and the chief of the detachment, the so called re-educator, Isaiin, both whom are sub-officials of the direction of penititiary establishments of the Ministry of the Interior.

The 35 yeard old Ciego de Avila resident, Mancilla Lopez, is currently in provincial prison while waiting for a trial and is confined to detachment 7 of this Provincial Prison of Canaletas in Ciego de Avila. After the beating he cut himself in one of his arms.

This cruel, inhumane, and degrading act constitutes the unpunished violation of articles 58 and 30 of the Socialist Constitution, number 11 of the draconian penal code, and number 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Pedro Argüelles Morán, grupo de los 75, Prisión Provincial de Canaletas, Ciego de Ávila.

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