Ángel Antonio Blanco Rodríguez wants no one to be confused about his political stance: He hates the Castro dictatorship.
And he'd rather be naked than to wear clothes that suggest otherwise.
Blanco, who is in his early 20s, first rejected the dictatorship and its garb when he deserted the military in 2006. He was arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to 6 years in prison for desertion, as well as for unlawful possession of a weapon and for trying to leave Cuba without permission.
An inmate at the Mar Verde prison in Santiago de Cuba, Blanco on Nov. 10 was sent to a tiny, dark punishment cell after he refused to wear a uniform identifying him as a common criminal, and not a political prisoner. It was the latest in a series of abuses by Blanco's captors — denial of family visits, verbal insults and threats of beatings, etc. — in retaliation for his political position against the regime.
In response, Blanco has started a hunger strike that has left him weakened, according to a report from fellow political prisoner Luís Enrique Ferrer García.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
For profiles of imprisoned Cuban journalists and related information, read the March 18 Project.