This post will remain at the top of the page through Friday, events allowing.
On Feb. 1, 2003, about six weeks before the start of the "black spring" crackdown on Cuban dissidents, the police arrested human rights activist Félix Gerardo Vega Ruiz. Charged with the supposed crimes of "disobedience," "resistance" and "disrespect" — that is, disobedience and disrespect of and resistance to a tyrannical dictatorship — Vega was sentenced to 7 years in prison.
The dictatorship's message to Vega, the son of husband-and-wife human rights activists, apparently did not take, because later six months was added to his sentence because of his "disrespect" for prison authorities. Since being arrested, Vega has been jailed in six different prisons.
Various available reports detail that he has been assaulted several times by prison guards and common prisoners. For example, in May 2004, a common prisoner stabbed Vega as he was making a telephone call from the Guanajay prison in Piñar del Rio.
One of the surest indicators of the repressive nature of the Castro regime is the jailing of more than 275 political prisoners. To illustrate that reality, Uncommon Sense each week profiles one prisoner. There also is a Political Prisoner archive on the left sidebar. To suggest a prisoner for a profile, send me an e-mail.
For profiles of imprisoned Cuban journalists and related information, read the March 18 Project.