UPDATED, July 5, 2010 -- Jorge Ramírez Calderón was released from prison June 28.
Jorge Ramírez Calderón has had a target on his back for at least the past 15 months. As he actively opposed the Castro dictatorship, the regime continually cranked up the pressure to shut him up, with no success.
In May 2007, Ramírez, an activist with the Frank País 30th of November Democratic Party, was sentenced to 2 years of house arrest, after he filed a complaint against the police chief in Trinidad, in Sancti Spiritus province. He could leave his home only to work his job mowing grass — a job he lost last December, because of his continued anti-government activism.
In February, Ramírez and six other members of the M-30-N, were arrested and threatened with prosecution under the notorious Law 88, before being released. Police also warned Ramírez that his status as a "parolee" could soon be revoked.
Earlier this month, the dictatorship made good on that threat when it arrested Ramírez on a charge of "disrespecting of authority," after he intervened on behalf of a street vendor being abused by police officers in front of Ramírez's house a week earlier. On July 10, he was tried by a secret court — only 4 family members were allowed to attend — convicted and sentenced to 2 years in prison.
Nélida Lima Conde was able to visit her husband at the Nieves Morejón prison in Trinidad on July 16. She reports that her husband was being kept in a tiny cell — 1.5 meters wide by 2 meters long (about 5 feet by 7 feet) — apparently as punishment for his bad behavior during his trial, including a hunger strike and a refusal to sign a record of the proceedings.
Ramírez also encouraged his wife to continue with the struggle for liberty and democracy in Cuba, as he is more committed than ever to the cause.
Try as it might, the dictatorship has failed to break Jorge Ramírez Calderón.
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 protected]
For profiles of imprisoned Cuban journalists and related information, read the March 18 Project.