The front lines of the Cuban opposition are jagged, running through and across many facets of Cuban life: Churches, private homes, the streets and even the gulag itself, where men and women continue with their resistance to tyranny, no matter the evils the dictatorship keeps throwing at them.
One of those fighting the dictatorship from behind bars is Brian Rafael Gómez Gómez, who is serving a 4-year prison term for being a "pre-criminal social danger," the Orwellian term for harboring a love of freedom and trying to put that love into action. Cuban jails are full of freedom lovers like Gómez, who has repeatedly resisted attempts by his guards to "re-educate" him.
The dictatorship has pushed back hard against Gómez, the director of the Armando Valladares Democratic Prison Opposition Movement. It has unleashed its guards to brutally beat him, and last month, it ordered him transferred from the 1580 prison in Havana province to the Canaleta prison in Matanzas, away from his family and friends, as punishment for his continued intransigience, according to a report by independent journalist Álvaro Yero Felipe.
In a letter to Yero, Gómez writes that prison officials are retaliating against him for his continual refusal to participate in political events designed to "re-educate prisoners who have a different political ideology than the current government's."
The trouble for Gómez started last fall when he witnessed the deaths of four prisoners who did not receive adequate medical care. Gómez describes in his letter to Yero how he had been thrown into punishment cells on numerous occasions for several days at a time.
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.