Thursday, January 25, 2007


( Version en español abajo )

“ The traveling dissidents Ramon Velazquez Toranso, his wife Barbara Gonzalez Cruz, and their daughter Rufina Velazquez González, were arrested on January 23rd at 7:00 a.m. at the bus terminal in Ciego de Avila as they were on their way to Havana…”

By independent journalist, Tania Maceda Guerra
Noticuba InternacionalCiego de Avila, January 25, 2007

Rufina Velazquez notified Guillermo Fari~nas, director of the independent Press Agency Cubanacan, that they were returned, for the seventh time, inside a caged vehicle to the province of Las Tunas where they were shut up in the Police Station # 3 in the city of Las Tunas.
Rufina added that after a while, both her, and her mother were released, while her father remains imprisoned.

Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva, president of the Cuban Foundation for Human Rights, who provided this information, stated that Velazquez Toranso and his family set off traveling on foot from El Cobre, in Santiago de Cuba on December 10, 2006, to Havana, across the Carretera Central (main highway). The objective of this family is to demand that the Cuban government release all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience and that they also put an end to all repression against the dissidents in the island whom they call on to unite.

Gonzalez Leiva concluded that Velazquez Toranso and his family have been constantly harassed by State Security, including being the victims of a summary trial in the Municipality of Las Tunas that condemned Velazquez Toranso to three years of ' limited freedom ' based on a Cuban decree that categorizes citizens as ' socially dangerous with a disposition to commit a crime ' ( 'peligrosidad social pre-delictiva' ).

Ramon Velazquez Toranso, Barbara Gonzalez Cruz and their daughter Rufina reside in Domínguez, Yarigua, in the city of Las Tunas, Cuba.When this report was written, Ramon Velazquez Toranso continues imprisoned in the Police Station # 3 in the city of Las Tunas where, as a sign of protest, he is carrying out a hunger strike.

FURTHER INFORMATION: Juan Carlos González Leiva in Ciego de Avila, Cuba – Tel: + 53 33 222235
TRANSLATION: Coalition of Cuban-American Women/ LAIDA CARRO -

Desde Cuba - Represion'..Los caminantes disidentes Ramon Velazquez Toranso, su esposa Barbara Gonzalez Cruz, y su hija Rufina Velazquez Gonzalez, fueron arrestados este 23 de enero a las 7:00 am en la terminal interprovincial de omnibus de Ciego de Avila...'

Por Tania Maceda Guerra / Noticuba InternacionalCiego de Avila, 25 de enero del 2007

Rufina Velazquez dijo a Guillermo Fari~nas, Director de Cubanacan Press, que fueron devueltos por septima vez en un carro-jaula hacia su provincia, Las Tunas, y que los encerraron en la tercera Unidad de la Policia Nacional de esa ciudad.Añadio Rufina, que un rato mas tarde la pusieron a ella y a su mama en libertad, dejando a su papa preso.

Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva, presidente de la Fundacion Cubana de Derechos Humanos, quien brindo esta informacion, dijo que Velazquez Toranso y su familia partieron del Cobre, en Santiago de Cuba, el 10 de diciembre pasado para protagonizar una caminata a traves de toda la carretera central hasta la capital cubana, la cual tiene como objetivo exigir al regimen cubano la inmediata libertad de los presos politicos y de conciencia, el cese de la represion contra la disidencia interna, y para hacer un llamado a la unidad a la disidencia interna. Concluyo diciendo Gonzalez Leiva que Velazquez Toranso y su familia han sido victimas del constante asedio de la Seguridad del Estado, incluyendo un juicio sumario en el tribunal municipal de Las Tunas que lo condeno a tres a~nos de limitacion de libertad, por un indice de "peligrosidad social pre-delictiva".

Ramon Velazquez Toranso, Barbara Gonzalez Cruz y su hija Rufina residen en Dominguez, Yarigua, en la ciudad de Las Tunas, Cuba.Al redactarse esta nota Ramon Velazquez Toranso se encuentra en la Tercera Unidad de la Policia Nacional de la ciudad de Las Tunas plantado en huelga de hambre.
PARA MAS INFORMACION: Juan Carlos Gonzalez Leiva en Ciego de Avila, Cuba – Tel: + 53 33 222235
Noticuba Internacional un medio informativo al servicio de quienesentregan lo mejor de si por un futuro democratico y libre de totalitarismopara todo el continente Latinoamericano.


Direct from Cuba, The Damas de Blanco have launched their own website. These brave women, wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters of Cuban political prisoners have created solidarity and awareness across the world about the plight of their loved ones in prisons across Cuba. The site contains information about the group, as well as articles written by some of the women and other prominent Cuban dissidents.



NOTE: Click on the photos to see an enlarged version.

Monday, January 15, 2007

PRESS RELEASE: The Assembly to Promote Civil Society in Cuba / The Death of Miguel Valdés Tamayo

(English translation of the original document sent to the Coalition of Cuban-American Women by Martha Beatriz Roque)

The Assembly to Promote Civil Society in Cuba

The Assembly to Promote Civil Society in Cuba wants to call attention to a deplorable situation. Political prisoner and prisoner of conscience, Miguel Valdés Tamayo, who was conditionally released for medical concerns (licencia extrapenal) , died during the night on January 10, 2007 at Julio Trigo Hospital from cardiac arrest that followed a previous episode he had lived through. Tamayo was one of the 'Group of 75' who were arrested in the wave of repression in Cuba in March, 2003.

Miguel, 50, was admitted into the hospital on December 31, 2006, for severe cardiac arrhythmia. He was kept in intensive care until January 5, 2007, and was then moved to Ward 1C, Bed 9, where he was awaiting a possible medical discharge since there had been no water in the hospital for two days. A doctor had ordered a discharge for all the patients in the Ward, according to what Valdés Tamayo’s wife, Elisa, reported. There will be a vigil in the Mauline Funeral Home (Ma. Auxiliadora Ave., No 7, Arroyo Apolo), and his burial is scheduled for 1:00 PM on January 11th.

The Cuban government kept Valdes Tamayo, who had two visas for travel outside of the country, under constant harassment, and despite his serious state of health that was known perfectly well by the authorities who granted his conditional release, his white card (exit visa or freedom letter for Cuban slaves) was not authorized. The rest of Miguelito’s (as he was affectionately called) family had already left for exile. As an example of the cruel harassment to which he was subjected, it can be pointed out that last October (2006), in spite of his evident delicate state of health (he took up to 25 pills a day),State Security detained him on several occasions and beat him up:

-Monday, October 2, 2006: Upon leaving an Internet session at the U. S. Interest Section, they (State Security) drove him to the Police Station located at 21 and C in el Vedado. He was interrogated over the course of two hours, and they confiscated all his belongings.

-Wednesday, October 4, 2006: He was detained on G Street in el Vedado when he got out of a car to go back to his house. State Security confiscated all his belongings and his money.

-Friday, October 6, 2006: He was detained at the Embassy of the Netherlands at 4:00 PM, and later at 8:00 PM when he was leaving Martha Beatriz Roque’s home, he was arrested and driven to the Police Station on Ave. de Acosta in la Víbora.

-Wednesday, October 18, 2006: He was detained on 17th and L Streets in Vedado and taken to Police Station located on 21 and C, where he stayed for two hours. State Security seized his papers and his money, as well as submitted him to a strip search.

-Thursday, October 10, 2006: Upon finalizing an event in the BI Ladies in White, he was retained on the street by State Security, and they told him that they would visit him at home that night.

-Thursday, October 27, 2006: A Rapid Response Brigade in front of his house tried to prevent him from attending an Internet session. The members of the Brigade, among them women, inflicted several blows to his chest and face; they tore his sweater, and he was left with scratch marks on his swollen skin.

These examples of what occurred during the month of October are more than sufficient to appreciate and understand the level of stress under which this peaceful defender for the freedom of Cuba lived.

The Assembly to Promote Civil Society in Cuba holds the Cuban government responsible for the death of Miguel Valdes Tamayo and asks for solidarity from the internal opposition movement, the exile community, organizations that are defenders of human rights throughout the world, Christians, democratic countries, and everyone who recognizes that this as a political crime. The Assembly makes the request so that an end can come to the harassment to which the internal dissidence is subjected simply because it does not share ideas with the government. In addition, the Assembly urges the aforementioned groups to advocate for all those who choose to leave the country to have the right to do so freely, and to fundamentally demand immediate freedom for political prisoners in order to avoid other deaths

The Assembly to Promote Civil Society in Cuba
Havana, January 11, 2007

Sent from Cuba by Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello to the Coalition of Cuban-American Women / LAIDA CARRO / Email:
Translation: The Coalition of Cuban-American Women / TANYA WILDER / Email:

Friday, January 12, 2007


Síntesis biográfica de Miguel Valdes Tamayo
Nació el 20 de diciembre de 1956.Presidente del Movimiento "Hermanos Fraternales por la Dignidad"
Condenado a 15 años de prisión: Kilo 8, en Camagüey. Dir.: Calzada de San Agustín #691 e/ San Miguel y Gustavo, Reparto Párraga, Arroyo Naranjo, La Habana. Esposa: Barbara Collazo Portillo.

Fallece Miguel Valdés Tamayo
por Juan Carlos Linares Balmaseda
11 de Enero de 2007

La Habana – – El opositor pacífico Miguel Valdés Tamayo falleció este miércoles 10 en horas del atardecer, víctima de un infarto en el miocardio.
Valdés Tamayo, de 50 años, había sido condenado a 15 de prisión en marzo del 2003, pero tuvo que ser liberado debido a su mala salud.
Al morir estaba visado como refugiado político por la embajada de Holanda y la de los Estados Unidos de América, mientras que el gobierno de Cuba le negaba el permiso para salir desde hacía más de año y medio.