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HavanaJournal.com: Cuba Politics

Cuban dissident Roberto de Jesus Guerra released from prison

Posted May 09, 2007 by publisher in Cuba Politics.
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Reuters

Cuba has released a dissident reporter who spent nearly two years in prison for joining an anti-government protest, an opposition group said on Wednesday.

Roberto de Jesus Guerra, who reported for US-based Web sites, was freed on Tuesday, the group Assembly to Promote Civil Society said in a statement.

The 28-year-old dissident was arrested on July 13, 2005, during protests marking the anniversary of the 1994 drowning of 37 people who tried to leave for the United States in a tugboat that was rammed and sunk by the Cuban coast guard.

He was held without trial until February this year, when he was sentenced to 22 months in prison for disorderly conduct in public.

Twenty dissidents have been released from prison since ailing Cuban leader Fidel Castro handed over power to his brother, Raul, nine months ago, according to the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation.

The commission, which is illegal but tolerated by the communist state, estimates that 280 Cubans are in prison for political reasons.

The one-party government has virtually no tolerance for dissent and calls opposition critics mercenaries on Washington’s payroll.

Before his arrest, Guerra wrote for a Web site run by Cuban exiles from Miami, and contributed to Radio Marti, an anti-Castro radio station funded by the US government.

The press watchdog Reporters Without Borders, based in Paris, said 25 dissident reporters are in prison in Cuba.

Member Comments

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On May 09, 2007, Pete Chavez wrote:

“during protests marking the anniversary of the 1994 drowning of 37 people who tried to leave for the United States in a tugboat that was rammed and sunk by the Cuban coast guard.”

If that’s not terrorism, I don’t know what is.

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On May 10, 2007, MiamiCuban wrote:

I do feel for the victims, and that’s an incident that should never have happened.  But there IS a difference between that and terrorism.  Planes slamming into buildings is terrorism.  The bombing of hotels filled with innocent people going about their normal routine is terrorism.  A tugboat that is stolen, and as a result the situation escalates and gets out of hand and ends in deaths…..that’s TRAGIC….but not terrorism.

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On May 10, 2007, Pete Chavez wrote:

“tragic”?, “escalates?,” “ends in deaths?,” “gets out of hand?”
Wow, you sound just as crazy as your old exile relatives, are these the same adjectives they use when defending Posada ?

Sinking a ship full of women, children and the aged because they’ve stolen a rickety old tugboat (which by the way was willingly sunk, so I don’t know how valuable the vessel was to them at the end of the day) is absoluteley terrorrism.  The message behind the act is not punishement for the purportrators of the theft of the boat but a clear message to the pueblo Cubano that this is what will happen to you if you defy them.  That is terrorrism!
And in the case of the actual punishment carried out on the 37 men, women and children,  in this civilized country it is known as cruel and unusual punishment and in case you did not know it, here we are protected against cruel and unusual punishment in our constitution.