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Posted April 23, 2007 by publisher in Cuba Human Rights

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Reuters

A Cuban dissident who wrote “Down with Fidel Castro” and other opposition slogans on walls of public buildings was sentenced to 12 years in jail, a human rights group said on Monday.

Rolando Jimenez had been held without charges in a jail on the Island of Youth off Cuba’s southern coast since his arrest in March 2003, the Cuban Commission for Human Rights said.

Amnesty International declared Jimenez a prisoner of conscience in 2004.

Jimenez, a 36-year-old lawyer, was not allowed to defend himself in court and was sentenced in a secret trial to 12 years for disrespecting the Cuban leader and divulging secrets of the state security police, the rights group said.

Veteran rights activist Elizardo Sanchez, who heads the illegal but tolerated commission, said Jimenez was the second dissident to be tried secretly this month by Cuba’s communist authorities.

“This is a clear sign than they are getting tough on dissident activity again,” Sanchez said.

Dissident journalist Oscar Sanchez, who reported for a Miami-based Web site called CubaNet, was arrested at his home April 13 and sentenced to four years in jail on a charge of “social dangerousness,” he said.

He was not allowed a lawyer and his family was barred from attending the brief trial in the town of Matanzas, unlike previous cases of dissident trials, Sanchez said.

In a March 2003 crackdown, Cuba rounded up 75 dissidents and tried them for collaborating with the United States. Only 16 have been freed, for medical reasons.

Castro’s government, in power since a 1959 revolution, says there are no political prisoners in Cuba and labels dissidents “counter-revolutionary mercenaries” on Washington’s payroll.

  1. Follow up post #1 added on April 24, 2007 by Frank Lee

    Over the years, I have followed the news about Cuba & the continued political as well as outright attempts to subvert, overthrow & assassinate it’s liberator & leader.  I may not know all the details of these & the recent “political dissidents”,(were they receiving funds from the US?) nor do I claim to be some expert about Cuba, Cubans & their way of life.  I can only pray that in spite of all the attempts of the Powerful Elite & their henchmen that the common man in Cuba will have a better life. I will have to agree with Colin Powell, former US Secretary of State, as he conceded in congressional testimony,“He’s (Castro) done some good things for his people.” Perhaps one day others will come forward to commend the good that Fidel Castro has done. One thing I’m sure of & that I am certain about.  The Bush administration in the past 7 years has done far more evil to other countries & their peoples in the name of Democracy, while in truth only seeking to exploit for gain, be it oil or stratigic location etc. The recent debacle in Irac & before in Afganistan makes me ashamed to tell others that I am an American. I pray that the American public, long blinded by the controlled media, will realize & begin to right the wrongs perpetrated by our government & it’s agencies, armies & media.  “With liberty & justice for ALL!” I hope one day to visit this island nation that has suffered so much for so long.


  2. Follow up post #2 added on April 25, 2007 by Don

    To make a long story short:


    If a person acts against the USA government, seeks to overthrow the USA, excites to riot, criminal activity as defacing property, vandalism, or seeks to harm others, seeks to disrupt the normal flow of peaceful society, willfully provides or collects funds, assets, moneys of any kind for subversive activity,  criminal activity (crimes against persons or property),  by speech of violence or other wise to intimidate a population, to force governments to act by intimidation or coercion:


    The penalty is:


      (d) Penalties.—
          (1) Subsection (a).—Whoever violates subsection (a) shall be
      fined ($10,000…Don) under this title, imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or
      both.


          (2) Subsection (c).—Whoever violates subsection (c) shall be
      fined under this title, imprisoned for not more than 10 years, or
      both.

    (See below for reference of the USA code.)


    These penalties are per-offence, and multiple charges are common i.e. a person could easily end up doing life in prison.


    The point being, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Cuba is constitutional state, a person seeks to over throw the Cuban government by any means listed above, and below, 12 years imprisonment is a light sentence.


    This hogwash of “prisoners of conscience” is garbage and far from a real world. I do not believe the acused by Cuban law werer denied an attorney, or the right to make a defense, (as that is contrary to the Cuban constitution) and he very well of pleaded guilty, that would by pass a legal defense.


    The article above is nothing but propaganda of the most vial kind, plays on ignorance, as the Cuban constitution prohibits mingling (influence) of political leaders with the power of Cuban courts and legal procedures. The Cuban courts operate “independently” as a division of powers of the Cuban government, just as in the USA.


    Cuba does not want their courts in these matters (mentioned above and below) to be turned into public spectacles, criminal activity is advertised, propaganda, same as with the USA courts.  Not all trials in the USA are held in public and the judge has control of who will be in his courtroom as a guest that includes banning of the USA press.


    In addition, if a person sends money to Cuba, and that money is used to subvert the Cuban government, finance criminal activity by Cuban laws, you may very well add many years to criminal sentences of the person in Cuba. In addition, such USA person sending money, or assets, to Cuba may very well be in violation of USA laws that prohibit the private undertaking of over throwing a foreign government. 

     

    Don

     


  3. Follow up post #3 added on April 25, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Don,

    I will give you one last warning. I am tired of your comments on a subject you know little to nothing about…Cuba.

    Why do you refuse to learn about a subject before you make “factual” comments?

    You say

    “This hogwash of “prisoners of conscience” is garbage and far from a real world. I do not believe the acused by Cuban law were denied an attorney, or the right to make a defense, (as that is contrary to the Cuban constitution) and he very well of pleaded guilty, that would by pass a legal defense.”

    Don’t be an idiot by trying to compare US law to Cuban law.

    And, please don’t make such a long post. I have deleted your chapter and section references.



    Cuba consulting services

  4. Follow up post #4 added on April 25, 2007 by Don

    My mistake for the long post, I will be careful and understand the limits of this board.


    Is it OK to quote excepts of the Cuban constitution, if I keep it short?


    I have a very strong argument that is hard to beat, and fairly conclusive and for the most part go beyond any one person’s opinion. The reason why laws and constitutions are written down in common language is so the common person can read them, understand, and act accordingly.


    Though I regret making such a long post, I could have shortened it, I stand by the points that I have made. There is a comparison of the USA laws and the laws of Cuba, thought there is a matter of jurisdiction but NOT a mater of a state protecting itself from subversive activity, as clearly expressed in what you deleted.  People say they want “democracy” in Cuba, democracy is expressed by the rule of laws, the authority of the government based on an electorate (common people) as Cuba is a constitutional state and NOT a dictator state.


    My reference of USA laws regarding, and against, subversive activity in the USA can be found at:


    From the U.S. Code Online via GPO Access
    [wais.access.gpo.gov]
    [Laws in effect as of January 20, 2004]
    [Document not affected by Public Laws enacted between
      January 20, 2004 and December 23, 2004]
    [CITE: 18USC2339C]


  5. Follow up post #5 added on April 25, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Again Don, you don’t know anything about Cuba yet you act like some expert.

    You say

    “...the authority of the government based on an electorate (common people) as Cuba is a constitutional state and NOT a dictator state.”

    Just because there is a constitution in Cuba and just because you read it doesn’t mean you know what you are talking about.

    Did you know that about five years ago there was a constitutionally approved petition submitted to the Cuban government called the Varela Project that would allow for discussion about democracy?

    You know what Fidel did? He amended the constitution to make socialism permanent in Cuba. I think it took a couple days for the amendment to pass.

    So, please Don, AGAIN, stop trying to sound like an expert on Cuba when you have never been there and no nothing about the culture.

    I give people lots of room here to make their points and you have consistently made wrong factual statements.

    Now, this thread is WAY off topic. It should be about Mr. Jimenez.



    Cuba consulting services

  6. Follow up post #6 added on April 25, 2007 by Don

    The reason why I highly suspect Castro to being marginalized, out side of his health, is the “Republic Of Cuba” (that is its proper name) has outgrown him by leaps and bounds.


    Cuba is faced with militant subversive activity from the USA, as expressed and funded by the Helms Burton Act, The Bush plan of foreign policy regarding Cuba, militant Cuban exiles, fraud as people in Cuba are looking for funding for riot and rebellion: all told makes a real “mess” for the Cuban courts and law enforcement to deal with.


    USA citizens most certainly should be aware that funding terrorist (subversive) activity in Cuba is not only against Cuban law but also against USA federal codes and statutes.


    There is in the USA, a right way and a wrong way to make social changes, these paths or right and wrongs are also in the Cuban constitution. As in the USA every day is a legal battle over what the USA constitution means, regulations and enforcements, I see no difference in Cuba.


    It is also nonsense to hold our own country USA as an example of the authority of government, that is wide sweeping and conclusive beyond most peoples wildest dreams, but deny the same to Cuba. This makes NO sense at all.


    Cuba is a nation of laws, and people have to act within the confinements of those laws, just as in the USA, France, Germany, Japan,  UK, Russia, or in any other modern country, or there are penalties.

    Don


  7. Follow up post #7 added on April 25, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Don,

    Are you trying to get banned from this site?



    Cuba consulting services

  8. Follow up post #8 added on April 25, 2007 by Don

    No Sir I am not trying to be banned, but we disagree. I use laws and other creditable sources (for the most part) and to support my stand and I have not made our conversations “purposefully hurtful”, nor have I attacked you.


    Could you provide a copy of the Cuban constitution, point in question criminal law.


    In the USA, points are made by stating the constitution, state the codes, regulations, and then see the precedence of previous court rulings—that is the way it is done in the USA to be persuasive.


    The article above lacks any of these formats. The conclusion is obvious—it is a propaganda article.


    Don


  9. Follow up post #9 added on April 25, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    “The conclusion is obvious—it is a propaganda article.”

    Propaganda?

    A Cuban citizen being sentenced to 12 years for disrespecting Fidel Castro is propaganda?

    Also, quoting the Cuban Constitution is meaningless. About as good as citing the Iraqi constitution when Hussein was President as far as being relevant to everyday life on the street in Cuba.

    You need to go to Cuba.



    Cuba consulting services

  10. Follow up post #10 added on April 25, 2007 by Don

    For me to respond to your last post, I would have to move off topic. But I do thank you for the space to write or as you put it, I thank you for the ink.


    I hope we can get along, exchange views not being combative, as I would truly loose. This is your board not mine.


    Don


  11. Follow up post #11 added on April 25, 2007 by Pete Chavez

    Publisher,
    Ever get the feeling that DON’S job is to sit in a cubicle for 12 hours at a time, blogging from some grey Soviet style rectangular, windowless government building; somewhere behind 10 de Octubre?  That’s just a joke.  I honestly wish you would not ban people or threaten to ban people in spite of this being your site.  I feel that there is always something one can glean even from the most fanatical/fantascist idealogues.  He clearly wants to get your goat, why let him?  Besides aren’t people silenced enough all over the place lately?  Just don’t let him post those long epic “Homer” style examples of his reasons supporting his crack pot claims.  Please, don’t silence extremists, it’s always very sobering to hear what’s out there.
    Sorry for digressing and for the unsolicited advice.  My question regarding the thread: Why does this news surprise anyone?  This has been going on since 1959.  As for all these constitutional citings, the constitution of 1940 (which by the way was democratically ratified) was illegally dissolved and later replaced with a document that was voted in by an undemocratically installed communist party.  So how is it that the so-called constitution is binding when the very people that drafted it and ratified it never imagined respecting it themselves as we all have seen with the Varela project.


  12. Follow up post #12 added on April 26, 2007 by Don

    to Publisher:

    Now isn’t that off topic, you attacking me as a person, trying to explain to others my motivations, and you never ask me directly.


    I am not here to fight with you Publisher.  There is a far greater cause I endorse, and though I am not perfect, I express myself as I can.


    I accept you, with your limitations, as any other, but some how you have it in for me. That is OK, have your way, I bring life where ever I go, and by the looks of this board, it could use some life.


    How can you fault me? I get off topic, because I responded to post being off topic. How do you respond to propaganda, as anything said is off topic.


    I make long post, that is a fault.  I type fast, indeed my income depends on my typing skills, and everything in real life, is with me,  is edited for errors, and I edit attorney briefs before court, as what one person sees another does not, and perhaps perfection can be had, but not likely. 


    How else do you want to fault me, I being passionate,  but I am not the topic, nor the issue. I sincerely thank you for the space to write, I do not want to be banned, I still think you are a good person, and your site is above average, so I hang around.


    You condense knowledge to a degree, and I just assume write stupid essays in my spare time that I think are of value. My researches gives me new insights, and when I write, I clarify my knowledge, and studies,  to myself for myself examination, and I welcome feed back, as in real life. I am the winner in this,  so fault me, as nothing is worse than loosing in court, nothing what so ever, so you pale in comparison—We do not loose often and even rarely.

    Cuba interest me, has interested me for many years, the cesspool of USA propaganda, (federal, state, and privet) in real life and in real time. It is a rare opportunity to live in. Of all the things and cases I have unraveled, as a tangled ball of yarn, Cuban propaganda, misinformation, distressed humans wanting freedom, hurts all over the place, even in the USA, it is very hard for me to resist and not speak out for good things. I bring hope and a path to liberty, justice, using the courts, and I relent not.


    So I hope you allow me the space to post, with limitations, I will do away with my sarcasms, and hold to me no harm, as I have none to you. I will stay focused as I can, enjoy the freedom to write, and make a written record that may, at some time, cause the world powers, of wealth and politics,  to take notice of a common human as myself and others like I—or take them to court, fine and penalize till they do.


    Don


  13. Follow up post #13 added on April 26, 2007 by Don

    On topic and response to the publisher:


    No Sir, go back and read the article. You said to quote, “A Cuban citizen being sentenced to 12 years for disrespecting Fidel Castro is propaganda?”


    There was the destruction of property, and other messages written; that alone called graffiti, this is a misdemeanor in USA state laws. That is a year in jail plus fines,  posibly a felony with up to five yeas. 

    But had you not deleted my reference of US codes, and applying Cuban law,  you would see that making statements as “down with Castro” is a direct attack to the lawful leader of Cuba, as the legitimate vote of the Cuban “Peoples Republic” that clearly states that, subversion to the state using foreign funds and assets is ILLEGAL—and in the USA the same crime gets you 20 years, plus 10 grand fine.

    As to quote the Miami Harold, “5 to 10 dollars” (that is a bunch in Cuban standards) per article were paid to people by Americans (some how) to write subversive articles against the state of Cuba.


    The article above also said, “There were warnings” by the Cuban authorities to “stop”, but such warnings were not listened to. NO such warnings are given in USA law, as ignorance is NO excuse—NOT ever in US laws! So what did you or any one expect Publisher?

    What dam good is any reporter in prison? NO damn good at all. In addition, by common state laws for over 5 thousand years,  common to every state in the world, as the USA, such subversive activity that takes foreign moneys and assets to over throw a government, defaces property, causes social disruptions— The man is guilty, he got what he begged for.


    I should have defended him, I would have loved to. I would keep his tail end out of prison by good advice—STOP,  comit NO crime to property, as there is a safe way to protest, with by far greater impact than going to prison for 12 YEARS!


    UDHA! I’m not impressed by stupidity.


    Don.


  14. Follow up post #14 added on April 26, 2007 by Don

    Pete Chavez:

    …for all these constitutional citings, the constitution of 1940 (which by the way was democratically ratified) was illegally dissolved and later replaced with a document that was voted in by an undemocratically installed communist party. 


    Don:


    The last major Cuban constitutional revision was in 1979, and another five years later. All of these revisions, as the USA constitution is revised, was by the vote of the Cuban “People’s Assembly” that about half of the elected officials were NOT even a member of the communist party. As in deed, NO political party is allowed to advertise candidates in Cuba.


    May I also state that communism is the same as socialism, by historic definitions (Marx), and Cuba has developed its own “brand” of each, just as democracy has many definitions. However, the stupidity is, if any reads Marx, it is basic knowledge of the relationship of labor to manufactured goods and to that of the over-all economy. This is common knowledge taught in any USA high school—-so what is to fear? Nothing at all.


    I welcome corrections as to dates, but the basics can not be denied, or show me something of value, as I quote from memory.


    Point being for constitutional revisions, is NOT BAD, as the USA had 10 amendments before the USA nation was even formed, (the 10 bills of rights) and that is just a start of amendments. We should expect constitutions to change with changing times.


    Cuba is a “republic” representative from of government—just as the USA. Democracy is narrowly defined as the vote of the common people give legitimacy to governments. In this regard Cuba is, without doubt, a democracy. We can fight definitions all day long, but you cannot argue with the Cuban common person’s vote and the majority rules.


    Pete Chavez:


    So how is it that the so-called constitution is binding when the very people that drafted it and ratified it never imagined respecting it themselves as we all have seen with the Varela project.


    Don:


    First, by all the information I have (give me more) –Cuba is a constitution state, not a political party state. ANY constitution has it validity in the courts supported by police powers, just as in the USA. No courts, NO police powers, NO constitution, I do not care where you go on this earth.


    The Valera project was nothing but propaganda to gain funds from the USA religious sympathizers (more than likely CIA supported by the Bush plan). It was a money raising fraud based on religion.


    The things they (the Christian Liberation Movement) hoped for, the Cuban constitution already stated, so it was redundancy. The organization was very small, never gained anything but token mention, and plenty of human misery by fraud, and in violation of Cuban laws. I am not here to talk religion, but NO modern constitution is based on religion, not even the USA.


    The rights they (CLM) supported, as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, was never intended to “hurt” the Cuban nation, just as the USA press, and speech, is limited by statute prohibiting crimes and by precedence of USA courts and in civil litigation. Cuba has these rights, but NOT to damage the state of Cuba. What is wrong with this, I see none. The state of Cuba also is world recognized in modern education (free from k to PhD), so how can you keep a good people down with a passion to read? You cannot.


    Basically, the Valera project was and is a fraud, redundant of “freedoms” all ready in the Cuban constitution. It is no wonder the Cuban courts looked at that organization with wonderment in their eyes, but even more over, the reports I have read by the Valera project, Cuban authorities warned them to STOP. They did not stop, and so the heavy hand of law prevailed.


    Now to this date, see this board for reference, the wives of the incarcerated march dressed in white in Cuba—unmolested—and not harmed—- every Sunday in protest. Why hurt these ladies, they did no wrong, are not doing wrong, they have freedoms to protest—- but NOT unto subversive activity taking moneys from foreigners, to over throw the Cuban government with propaganda BS.


    Now to wrap this up: there are tens of millions of worldwide travelers that have been to Cuba in the last 8 years, people from just about all nations, even English speaking people—all I have read with rare exception—-Cuba is a great place. Even their airport gets worldwide recognition for quality.


    However, if all was added up by American propaganda—you might as well visit hell itself as Cuba. The truth is NOT somewhere in between but in the facts and in the evidence.


    Cuba is NOT perfect, has faults, needs improvements, needs world wide input, but it is still an independent nation that wants goods to its citizens, and puts it works where it mouth is. In addition, how can I fault a nation as this? I cannot, nor can the world at large.


    I do not speak Spanish (the Cuban official language) but I do know spanish words when interpreted into English loose meanings. To “cause disrespect” is not the same in English, as stated in the above article. More stuff I have to weed threw. I’m working on it.

    Don


  15. Follow up post #15 added on April 26, 2007 by publisher with 3905 total posts

    Pete,

    You said

    “Ever get the feeling that DON’S job is to sit in a cubicle for 12 hours at a time, blogging from some grey Soviet style rectangular, windowless government building; somewhere behind 10 de Octubre?  That’s just a joke.”

    YES. Good point.

    With his long posts you might think it’s Fidel himself!

    I threaten to ban Don because is makes factual points about Cuba when he doesn’t know anything about the culture.

    I had to start deleting his posts because they were so long winded and mostly irrelevant. I never ban people for their opinions but I started to get the impression that he is just a bomb thrower and will keep going until he gets banned. So, Don, you are on a short leash.

    I regret that such an important article is now so far off topic that there is nothing left to discuss on this news story so I am going to close the comments on this article.



    Cuba consulting services

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