Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

March 8, 1999.


CIENFUEGOS - The Political Prisoners' "Presidium" of Las Villas sent the following letter to the Bishop of the Diocese of Cienfuegos and gave Cuba Free Press a copy:

"Cienfuegos, February of 1999.

"Dear Monsignor Emilio Aranguren Echevarría, Bishop of the Diocese of Cienfuegos:

"We pray to God to keep you in His peace and good health.

"The signators write to you because we wish to share our worries with you about the deplorable actions conducted by the authorities in charge of the provincial prison of Ariza. "Since the beginning of our imprisonment, we encountered problems with the practice of religious ceremonies, studies and prayers.

"Confronted with all kinds of threats, we persevered with the intent of obtaining acknowledgement of our constitutional rights to profess and practice with liberty the creed of our preference.

"Despite an the apparent tolerance, the prison authorities continued with their repressive measures, beginning to register the names of those who attended the religious ceremonies. This measure caused fear to the newcomers who easily were deterred.

"Even more deplorable and worrisome is the practice of certain officers to express dissent with the principle of respecting religious dignity.

"With open provocation, Héctor Martínez and Veneraldo Caballero Corbellar, officers of reeducation have pronounced blasphemies in the presence of the Christian participants. These officers have kept these attitudes and expressed them even stronger when confronted with our claims for respect of Christian religiousnes.

"Our faith moves us to forgive those who do not know what they are doing but our protest and claim for the cessation of this so-offensive practice is also our obligation as Christians.

"We have already written to the prison authorities demanding respect for our faith but there has been no answer to the letter or to the request for a meeting.

"We have forwarded our claims to Mrs. Caridad Diego of the Department of Religious Affairs of the Council of State, with the hope of having some response.

"We deposit our trust in you, while we will continue praying for the cessation of these practices against us and for the prison authorities to respect the religious inclination of each prisoner.

"The signatories request your attention to this matter, and above all, your prayers.

"Glory and honor to our Savior Jesus Christ; as it was, is and always will be, and may the peace of God enhance your virtues.

"Benito Fojaco Isser, Luis Mariano Ramos Morales, Vladimiro Roca Antúnez, Bernardo Rogelio Arévalo Padrón, Pedro Genaro Barrera Rodríguez, Juan de Dios Medina Vázquez, Juan Carlos Vázquez, Augusto César San Martín Albístur."

Marvin Hernández Monzón, Cuba Free Press

P.O. Box 652035
Miami, FL 33265-2035
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