March 3 2009

Dissidents prevented from attending study group

HAVANA, Cuba,March 3 (Juan Mario Rodríguez / – State Security agents last week prevented two dissidents from participating in a study group at the headquarters of the Hard Line Front (Frente Línea Dura) movement.

Humberto Martínez and Roberto Arruebo were 150 feet from the headquarters when agents dressed in civilian clothing detained them.

The agents demanded identification and told the pair that the session had been suspended. The study group meets every Thursday.

Two agents then led them away from the immediate area and warned them against participating in future meetings.

Workers complain of poor quality boots

HAVANA, Cuba, March 3 (Leafar Pérez / – Farm and construction workers have been complaining that work boots provided by the government come apart after two weeks of wear.

Workers at the Saturnino Aneiro shoe factory in Morón said the poor quality of the boots is due to the poor quality of the leather and the fact that the machinery used is 30 years ago and in bad conditions.

Víctor Pérez, director of Empresa de Calzado y Cuero, said there’s a similar situation at 10 other shoe plants in Cuba. “We’re working with what is assigned us by the Ministry of Light Industry,” he said.

Dissident jailed in Baracoa for public remarks

HAVANA, Cuba, March 3 (Tania Maceda, – Dissident Alejandro Blanco, who was arrested February 14 in Baracoa while protesting against the government in a public park, has been transferred to the Pasos de Cuba Prison in Baracoa.

Blanco, a member of the Young Cubans for Democracy Movement, has been detained many times in the past. He once told the head of the municipal political police, “I don’t know where you Communists are going to go when the government falls. The people are going to look for you under rocks.”

Kéiber Rodríguez, human rights advocate and president of the John Paul II Reconciliation and Peace Movement, said he hopes Blanco will soon be put on trial. He’s accused of attempts against the government and faces a possible five –year sentence.