UPDATED, March 1, 2009 Víctor Yunier Fernández Martínez was released from prison in February 2009, after completing his sentence.
Víctor Yunier Fernández Martínez is a young man, only 23 or 24.
But already the Cuban dictatorship has declared him to be a "dangerous," deserving of prison time, although it couldn't come up with a more specific charge. The only evidence it could muster against Fernández was its obvious discomfort with his opposition to tyranny.
That was enough in February 2006, however, to convict Fernández, a member of the Popular Republican Party, of being a "pre-criminal social danger" and to sentence him to 3 years in the gulag.
Fernández already had long established his bona fides as a troublemaker, at least in the eyes of the dictatorship. For example, in May 2004, when Fernández was only 20, he and other leaders of the Frank Pais November 30 Democratic Party were rounded up by the Cuba secret police. He was held and interrorgated for six hours at a Havana police station, then released — but not before being warned that he risked a prison sentence of up to 4 years in prison if he continued with his activism.
While his prison time isn't up until next February, Fernández's mother earlier this month expressed hope that he would soon be released because he has completed more than half of his sentence. Minerva Martínez Tamayo said the prospects for an imminent release had left her son in good spirits.
Fidel Castro used to ramble on about the Cuban "new man" who would stand with him at the vanguard of the revolution or other such nonsense. However, the new man, the "new men" with the potential to make history in Cuba, to serve at the vanguard of freedom on the island, are young Cubans like Fernández who recognize that the dictatorship offers them nothing but misery and who dare to stand in opposition.
Dangerous men, indeed.
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.