CUBA

Cuban dissident rejects offer, continues hunger strike

 

jtamayo@ElNuevoHerald.com

The wife of a Cuban dissident and rapper hospitalized amid a lengthy hunger strike said Friday that he rejected an offer by a top State Security official to fully investigate his complaint that he was unfairly jailed if he first dropped the protest.

Angel Yunier Remón Arzuaga, 30, was fitted with a large-bore port on his neck Friday at the Carlos Manuel de Céspedes Hospital so he can receive more intravenous liquids, said his wife, Yudisbel Roselló Mojena.

Doctors told her that he remains in critical condition in an intensive care unit and could fall into a coma because his vital signs are dropping, the 20-year-old Roselló told El Nuevo Herald by phone from the hospital in the eastern city of Bayamo.

Remón is coordinator for the dissident Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU) in the cities of Bayamo and Manzanillo, and goes by the name of El Critico in the rapping duo Los Hijos que Nadie Quiso – The Sons that No One Wanted.

A State Security lieutenant colonel who arrived from Havana told the dissident Wednesday that his complaint that he had been unfairly jailed since March 26, but could not be properly investigated unless he halted the hunger strike, Roselló said.

Remón told the officer that he would not call off the hunger strike unless he is freed unconditionally, she added.

He stopped eating solid foods in mid-September, stopped taking liquids two weeks ago but later resumed, and was taken from prison to the Carlos Manuel de Cespedes Hospital on Oct. 29, according to reports from fellow dissidents.

Prosecutors accused Remón of repeatedly kicking State Security Maj. Julio Cesar Sánchez Fonseca, who led police and a riot squad on a raid of his home on March 26. They are seeking an eight-year prison sentence.

Roselló said her husband did not attack Sanchez and did not try to defend himself as the State Security official and others forced him to the ground and wrested away a camera that Remón was using to film the raid.

Government-organized mobs had staged what are known as “acts of repudiation” outside his home four days in a row, throwing rocks, chunks of asphalt and a dead cat at his house, according to UNPACU executive secretary Jose Daniel Ferrer.

An UNPACU video of the confrontations posted on You Tube shows several bystanders applauding as Remón used the asphalt to write “Down with the dictatorship” on huge letters on the street, Ferrer added.

Roselló said her husband had been beaten in prison by guards and prisoners, had been confined in windowless punishment cells and had come down with a case of cholera, a serious diarrheic disease making the rounds of Cuba.

Three imprisoned dissidents have died amid lengthy hunger strikes in the past three years: Orlando Zapata Tamayo in 2010 and Wilman Villar in early 2012. Opposition activist Juan Wilfredo Soto died in 2011 after complaining of a severe police beating.

Read more Cuba stories from the Miami Herald

  •  
Sixteen migrants are found crammed in this tiny boat around Alligator Lighthouse, which is about four miles offshore of Islamorada in the FLorida Keys.

    IMMIGRATION

    More than a dozen Cuban migrants rescued at sea in Keys; several taken to hospital

    A small blue homemade boat with a blue-and-white sail was discovered floating near Alligator Reef Lighthouse, about four miles offshore of Islamorada, on Wednesday. Crammed inside the motorless vessel were 16 Cuban migrants lying down, suffering from dehydration, according to the U.S. Coast Guard.

  •  
Elsa Lopez looks at her clothes and shoes she wore when she left Cuba with her parents at the age of two at the time. Her items are among several donated by Exiles on display at the VIP opening and presentation of the The Exile Experience: Journey to Freedom, at the Freedom Tower. The exhibit is a pictorial account of the struggles that the Cuban exile community has endured since Fidel Castro's rise to power, and the successes they have achieved in the United States, organized and curated by the Miami Dade College and The Miami Herald, on Wednesday September 10, 2014.

    MIAMI

    Exhibition chronicles Cuban exiles story

    More than 1,000 people crammed into the Freedom Tower Wednesday night for a peek at an exhibition that honors one of the city’s oldest buildings – and captures the tales of hundreds of thousands of Cubans who fled the island and made Miami their new home.

  •  
This is the raft on which 16 Cubans sailed from Cuba to Alligator Reef Light off Upper Matecumbe Key this week.

    THE KEYS

    Cuban migrants found suffering from dehydration off the Keys

    Sixteen Cuban migrants were intercepted off the Upper Keys on Wednesday afternoon, and seven of them needed medical attention after suffering from extreme dehydration.

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category