Luis Felipe Rojas is one of Cuba's most accomplished independent journalists and bloggers on the island. With each post, his blog slices through another strand of the barbed wire that has imprisoned Cuba for more than 53 years.
Which is why tonight Rojas is in jail, in to prevent from traveling from his home in Holguin, in eastern Cuba, to Havana to attend the papal Mass on Wednesday. In response, Rojas has started a hunger strike.
The author of the blog “Crossing the Barbed Wires“, Luis Felipe Rojas Rosabal, is still detained since last Saturday, March 24th. Just days before his arrest, he had confirmed that his name was finally included on the list of those who would be allowed to travel to the Mass of Pope Benedict XVI on March 26th. This occurred after communist functionaries had told him that either his wife or him could go, but not both. After demanding his rights, they added both their names, as well as the names of their young children. It seems that this, however, was just a taunt because the blogger was rapidly detained on the afternoon of the 24th.
Considering that the majority of telephone lines of dissidents on the island remain blocked, the information that has come out of Cuba has been scarce. Together with Luis Felipe Rojas, there are countless other activists detained but very little information is known about their situations. In the case of Rojas, the Baptist Cuban Pastor, Mario Barroso, managed to send out some Twitter messages(@maritovoz) detailing that the blogger remains detained “without having ingested any food or liquid”. Barroso added that Rojas’ brother was “desperate” as he was very worried about his brother’s health. In addition, the Pastor denounced the situation, explaining that Luis is a “devout Catholic” and was arrested “in order to keep him from assisting the Pope’s Mass”. Meanwhile, Rojas’ wife, Exilda Arjona, and their two small children, Malcom (8) and Brenda (3) are surrounded in their own home in the town of San German by political police guards, under the threat that if they step out, they will be arrested.
This is just one of the many cases of in-communications, detentions, threats, and harassment against Cubans who demand freedom during these days in which Pope Benedict XVI travels throughout the island.