The Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation reported this week that by its count, there are currently at least 114 political prisoners in Cuban jails, up from 102 at the end of 2013. (Read the list of prisoners here.)
Today and on each of the next 100 days or so I'm going to try to honor these brave Cubans by sharing their names and little about their respective stories. Ever since I started this blog, I have felt it vital to remember their names, names the regime would rather have the world never know. That is the only way to fully grasp the injustices they are suffering.
Today's prisoners are Vladimir Morera Bacallao and Jorge Ramírez Calderón.
Via Twitter, former prisoner of conscience Librado Linares reports that Morera --who along with fellow labor activist Ramirez, was imprisoned in 2013 -- has been on a hunger strike since June 16, and that he is being held in an isolation cell at a prison in Santa Clara.
The two were sentenced in November to lengthy prison terms, in connection with how they reacted after the Castro police organized an "act of repudiation" outside of Ramirez's home.
Morera was sentenced to 8 years in prison on charges of public disorder, assault, "disrespect" and "injuries." Ramirez, a former political prisoner, was sentenced to 4 years, and his wife, Nélida Lima Conde was sentenced to 3 years "conditional freedom," or probation.
The act of repudiation took place Feb. 14.
When Morera went outside, a Castro goon cut him on the chin and arm with a knife, but it was Morera, and not his attacker, who was prosecuted. When Ramirez was arrested, police threw him into a patrol car and sprayed him with tear gas.
"This has been a terrible injustice, everything has been a lie," Morera's sister, Vilma Morera, said of the trial and other proceedings in the case.
During another hunger strike earlier this year, Morera vowed to continue his protest until he had achieved his goal of "liberty or death."