"Catch, threaten and release," is not good enough for veteran Cuban dissident Juan Pedroso Esquivel. Instead, the dictatorship has shipped him off to prison, in an apparent attempt to make an example out of him.
Pedroso, a member of the Pedro Luis Boitel Democratic Party and a former "guest" of the Castro gulag, was arrested Jan. 7 and charged with possessing "subversive propaganda," after someone posted stickers declaring "CAMBIO," along a street in the San José de los Ramos neighborhood of Colón, in Matanzas province, according to a report by independent journalist Leticia Ramos Herrería, posted at Bitácora Cubana.
Other dissidents arrested recently have gotten off with warnings to stop their activities, but with Pedroso, Cuban State Security is playing hardball. During a Jan. 15 telephone conversation, Pedroso asked his wife to bring him a towel and some personal items, as he was about to be transferred to Canaleta prison, according to Ramos Herrería's report.
Pedroso, a government opponent since at least the late 1990s, speculated he was receiving a harsher punishment — exactly how long his prison sentence might be was not revealed in the report — because of his prominent position among dissidents in Matanzas.
One of the surest indicators of the repressive nature of the Castro regime is the jailing of several hundred 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.