"Here the New Catholic brothers will have to face the risks and consequences, whether prison, illness or death, there is no alternative. Whoever asks for political asylum in an embassy or who is preparing to flee the country, can no longer join our ranks. We do not want anyone using our name or our sacrifices as an excuse for desertion. Some may throw us with the insane for saying that, but in any case, blessed be our madness." — Augusto Guerra Márquez, vice president of the New Catholic Party of Cuba and political prisoner.
Augusto Guerra Márquez has repeatedly faced the risks and consequences for his opposition to the Castro dictatorship. He was arrested in July 2004 and was jailed until April 2006. A few months later, in July 2006, he was arrested again and eventually sentenced to 6 years in prison.
In prison, Guerra has faced a new set of consequences for his opposition to tyranny, namely added time to his sentence. Cuban independent journalist Lilvio Fernández reports that Guerra earlier this month refused to be handcuffed so he could be transferred to another unit at the Canaletas prison in Matanzas. Guerra objected to being restrained because he knew the guards would be escorting him through an area occupied by dangerous criminals and he wouldn't be able to defend himself. (Cuban prison guards routinely use common criminals to terrorize political prisoners.)
When a guard assaulted Guerra because of his refusal, Guerra fought back.
And had 3 years added to his sentence.
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 at email@example.com
For profiles of imprisoned Cuban journalists and related information, read the March 18 Project.