Anyone with a mami or abuela won't be surprised, but women are a powerful force in the Cuban dissidence movement. Martha Beatriz Roque is one of Cuba's most courageous advocates for change, and the Damas de Blanco are moral force beyond compare, as they march and pray and stand witness on behalf of their imprisoned love ones.
And women, too, are jailed in Fidel Castro's gulag.
Women like María de los Ángeles Borrego Mir.
Borrego, 47, in December 2005, was convicted of being a "pre-criminal social danger," and sentenced to 4 years in prison. (PCSD is the Orwellian "crime" the dictatorship made up as an excuse to silence its opponents.) At the time of her arrest, Borrego was vice president of the Children of the Virgin of Regla.
Being a female political prisoner has not protected her from the worst the dictatorship has to offer. Like other political prisoners, her health has been poor, and her jailers have denied her the medical care she needs. And as independent journalist Belinda Salas Tapanes reported last week, she is housed at the “Manto Negro” with dangerous common prisoners who, at the behest of prison guards, constantly threaten her with physical harm.
Jesús Adolfo Reyes Sánchez, told Salas that his wife's cell is drenched with water that leaks from upper floors.
"She is exposed to much danger," Reyes said.
One of the surest indicators of the repressive nature of the Castro regime is the jailing of political prisoners. To illustrate that reality, Uncommon Sense each week profiles one prisoner. There also is a Political Prisoner archive on the right 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.