Protest posters calling for release of Libertarian political prisoners in Cuba show up in Havana

For those of us who live in free and democratic societies where freedom of speech is a protected right, seeing a political poster put up in public denouncing a government action or policy is nothing out of the ordinary. In apartheid Cuba, however, it is unheard of. Not only is it illegal to voice an opinion contrary to what the State demands, even thinking anything counterrevolutionary is a punishable offense in Castro’s Cuba.

For Cuba’s Libertarian’s, they are not only thinking counterrevolutionary thoughts, they are expressing them. Overnight, posters calling for the release of two Libertarian political prisoners sprang up in Havana. The two Libertarian activists are in prison suffering beatings and torture at the hands of Cuban State Security.

Nelson Rodriguez Chartrand reports in PanAm Post:

A New Dawn in Havana: Claiming Freedom for Jailed Libertarian Cubans

Havana woke yesterday morning to posters demanding the release of political prisoners.

As the world knows, and those who don’t will soon find out, since February 2, Cuban libertarians Ubaldo Herrera Hernandez and Manuel Velazquez Visea have been unjustly imprisoned for the sole reason of defending and disseminating the ideas of freedom to people who have been misinformed and indoctrinated for more than half a century with a collectivist and exclusionary ideology, which has annihilated the freedom and even the will of the Cuban people.

During all this time, both Ubaldo and Manuel have been subject to beatings and torture. Days after their arrest, Herrera received a beating at the San José police station. While, the Interior Order (FOI) officials extinguished a cigarette on Velazquez Visea’s lips in the South Melena prison.

In spite of the great solidarity that this injustice has engendered among libertarians worldwide and the actions carried out such as letters to Congresses, protests before Cuban embassies and a letter to the Attorney General demanding the immediate liberation of these two Cuban libertarian detainees, the Cuban regime has ignored this, keeping them imprisoned without a justification, flagrantly violating the principles of self-ownership and all rights derived therefrom, including the right to freedom of expression.

However, freedom, reason, and justice always survive the forces of repression and censorship: yesterday, May 17, 2017, the citizens of Havana woke up to posters plastered around the city demanding the liberation of political prisoners.

The Cuban capital proudly displays Ubaldo and Manuel’s picture all over the city with a sign that says, “Freedom for Ubaldo Herrera Hernández and Manuel Velázquez Visea, libertarians unjustly imprisoned for defending the ideas of freedom.”

“The Cuban Libertarian Party – Jose Marti, takes full responsibility and pride in the authorship of this peaceful demonstration of freedom, fully aware of the right that we have as human beings to express ourselves freely; at the same we hold the Cuban government entirely accountable for any retaliation that may be brought against any member of our organization,” said its president, Caridad Ramírez Utria.

Caridad was part of the influential group Ladies in White (Damas de Blanco) who fight for the freedom of political prisoners.

About a year ago, while marching with the Ladies, she received such a beating from state forces that she spent 10 days in intensive care.

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