Dissident press winners announced, pastors arrested

HAVANA, Cuba, June 8 (Leafar Pérez / – The dissident Foundation for Freedom of Expression (Fundación por la Libertad de Expresión) yas announced the winners of its 2009 awards.

Independent journalist Lucas Garve, who established the awards six years ago, named the following winners: independent journalist Jorge Olivera Castillo for “his commitment to the defense of freedom of expression in Cuba,” Periódico Consenso, “for its quality and efforts to reach a professional level;” and Semanario Primavera, a blog, for its contribution to the development of a free press.

Thirty evangelical pastors arrested

HAVANA, Cuba, June 8 (Juan Carlos González / – Thirty evangelical pastors were arrested last week by State Security agents and members of the National Police in Santa Cruz del Sur, Camagüey, preventing them from holding a convention.

Several of the pastors called the dissident Council of Human Rights of Cuba, asking that news of the arrests be made known.

“The world should know that the Cuban government continues to pursue Christians,” said Bernardo de Quesada Salomón, leader of the group. “The only thing we’re doing is getting together 200 pastors to praise God.”

De Quesada Salomón has been arrested several times.

Bad cheese causes two deaths

HAVANA, Cuba, June 8 (Roberto de Jesús Guerra / – Two persons died after some 100 became sick and were hospitalized June 1 after eating bad cheese sold in Güines in Havana province, according to reports.

According to human rights activists, the dead included a minor. Julián E. Martínez, secretary of the Pro Human Rights party, “The Leopoldito Martínez hospital is full of poisoned people and many have been sent to hospitals in the capital because of the state of their health.”