During President Barack Obama's visit to Cuba in March 2016, dictator Raul Castro said he would be willing to release all political prisoners; all he needed was a list of names.
Only the biggest fool would believe him, but several groups almost immediately released their lists. Of course, there was no mass release.
On April 25, the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation, one of the most credible sources in Cuba for information on political prisoners released its updated list of 93 political prisoners.
A major goal of this blog since its inception more than 10 years ago is to recognize those brave Cubans imprisoned because of their opposition to, and their actions in service of their beliefs, against the Castro dictatorship. It is one small step to ensure that they, and their oppressors, know that they are not forgotten.
In that spirit, Uncommon Sense has revived one of its most important features, the Cuban Political Prisoner of the Week.
Alexander Alan Rodriguez, Carlos Amaury Calderin Roca, Jordys Manuel Dosil Fong, Isain Lopez Luna and Ernesto Ortega Sarduy, all activists with the Patriotic Union of Cuba, were among demonstrators arrested last summer while carrying out peaceful anti-Castro protests in the Parque Central in Havana.
According to the human rights commission, Alan, Calderin, Lopez and Ortega face charges of "disrespect," while Dosil has been found to be a "pre-criminal social danger," the Orwellian "crime" the Castro regime brands many of its political opponents, and sentenced to 3 years in prison. The others have not been sentenced.
Soon after they were arrested, Alan, Calderin, Lopez and Ortega were among several activists jailed at the Valle Grande prison who went on hunger strike to demand the end of political persecution and repression of opposition activists; elimination of the "pre-criminal social danger" law; and the release of all political prisoners.
Jordys Manuel Dosil Fong