Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

Sept. 20, 1999.


HAVANA - "I am Catholic and I will never make an attempt against my life. Only God may take it." That message is what prisoner Marta Beatriz Roque Cabello wrote on two small pieces of paper. She gave one piece to her niece and god-daughter, María de los Angeles Falcón Cabello, and the other to Lt. Col. Juan Soroa, chief prosecutor in the "Case of the Famous Four Dissidents."

Her simple statement was made July 22, 1999, a week after she had decided to fast later and make a vow of silence. Marta Beatriz wanted to clarify the record in view of her double disadvantage of serving jail time and being an in-patient in the prison wing of a military hospital.

She also made her will. She left to 6-year-old Flavio Fuentes Falcón, the son of her only niece, María de los Angeles, her most valuable possession, a small apartment in Santos Suárez, Havana.

Marta now waits for the answer promised by her captors. She interrupted her fast - begun Sept. 2 - when she realized that fasting was not enough to cause the judicial authorities to respond to the appeal presented in April by her lawyer, Dr. Amelia Rodríguez.

Officials of the Office of State Security (OSS) who frequently visit her and make statements in various tones ranging from persuasive to threatening, recently told the economist that the Cuban government accepts no kind of pressure.

Trying to "relax" her even while demoralizing her, last week they promised to take her to the beach to see the ocean and walk on the sand. Suspicious that their hidden purpose was to photograph her with a video camera during her walk on a nice area of the coast, Marta Beatriz refused.

During a September 16 visit with her family, Marta Beatriz did not want to tell her niece what her plans were. Meanwhile, she believes the political police as well as the state are trying to use the almanac in any way they can to apply more pressure on the prisoners.

Time, the unforgiving entity which leaves its footprints on all things, has another meaning for economist Marta Beatriz. In a note on Sept. 13 from the OSS prisoners' wing of the Carlos J. Finlay Military Hospital in Marianao, Havana, she wrote, "Only 16 more months. For the prisoners that is nothing. Imagine the one who has a 25 or 20-year sentence. Sixteen months is nothing. In a way it gives one endurance. But to hear from you gives me the most endurance."

When this well-known dissident writes the word "you" she means those who inside or outside of Cuba are concerned about her as well as the other three famous dissidents, Vladimiro Roca, René Gómez Manzano and Féliz Bonne Carcassés, the four "delinquents" as they are called by the Cuban government. They have been under arrest since July 16, 1997 because of publicly disagreeing with their rulers and jointly writing a document called "The homeland belongs to all of us."

Tania Quintero, Cuba Free Press.

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