UPDATED, June 12, 2010 — Ariel Sigler Amaya was released from prison June 12, 2010.
If the struggle for Cuban liberty has a "first family," it might be the Sigler Amaya family. God knows the family has paid a high price for its brave efforts.
During the "black spring" of 2003, three brothers — Ariel, Guido and Miguel Sigler Amaya — were arrested. Miguel, now 45, was released after serving a 26-month jail sentence. But his brothers, Ariel, 45, and Guido, 53, are still in the gulag, serving sentences of 25 and 20 years, respectively, because of their opposition to the dictatorship. After his release, Miguel was able to move to the United States. Another brother, Juan Francisco, was almost killed last year as he rode his bike to work by motorists who more than made their intentions clear.
Cuba Archive has more about the family, from a 2006 report:
The Sigler Amaya family, founders of the dissident group Movimiento Independiente Opción Alternativa, has been subjected to violent attacks, reprisals, and harassment for years. Just last week, the family home was subject to a massive act of repudiation organized by the government and Juan Francisco faced an act of repudiation, with physical violence, at his workplace, were he labors in agriculture. He declares: “My life has become a living hell. Our situation — mine and my family’s — is extremely dangerous. But, I will not leave the country, they know it, and for that reason I hold them responsible for anything that happens to me or my family.”
One of the surest indicators of the repressive nature of the Castro regime is the jailing of more than 300 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.