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Category Archives: Cuba

Cuban Prisoner Released

Leonardo Bruzón Avila, an independent Cuban librarian jailed for more than two years without charge or trial, has been released from prison for reasons of poor health. Mr. Bruzón Avila, the director of the 24th of February Library, has been diagnosed with a case of paraplegic muscular dystrophy. He is third independent librarian to be […]

New Appeal for Cuban Librarians Launched

To celebrate National Library Week, a new free speech campaign, FREADOM, has launched with a special letter-writing appeal on behalf of the independent Cuban librarians jailed in March 2003. Check it out at (Yes, I am part of this group, but not its leader, and this group is unrelated to any other group.) I […]

HBO Special: Human Rights in Cuba

Blogging my impressions of Waiting for Fidel: A chill down my spine to see and hear Oswaldo Pay of the Varelas Project; Fidel as a stubborn old man; Oliver Stone looking his age; The ills of micromanagement (a thought that bubbled to the surface as I listened to Castro read from the sentencing documents of […]

Hey, But Tell Us What You Really Think!

Mark Rosensweig’s latest post, about an “On My Mind” piece I did on Cuba that AL published in its last issue. I don’t mind the swipes at me (and I’m flattered to be compared with Nat Hentoff), but I will say that AL is one of the finest and fairest publications I have ever had […]

Write the Times: Ask for Release of the Prisoners

Instructions for writing the Times: The New York Times has a wonderful editorial today, March 26, condemning the March, 2003 crackdown in Cuba. The editorial specifically mentions the independent librarians now languishing in prison, along with journalists and writers, and goes on to describe the other “crimes”: “writing for Web sites based abroad, setting […]

UNESCO Award goes to Jailed Cuban Journalist “The Cuban journalist and poet Raúl Rivero Castañeda, in jail since last April, was today awarded the annual Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). “UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said the award was a tribute to Mr. Rivero’s ‘brave and longstanding commitment to independent reporting, […]

NY Times Editorial about Anniversary of Free Expression Arrests

Yesterday the NY Times ran an editorial by Vladimiro Roca, a spokesman for Todos Unidos, a coalition of Cuban dissident groups. He concludes: “On the one-year anniversary of the crackdown, I want to pass along a message to those behind bars: we will not give up in our fight to bring democratic change to our […]

Two Great Books

I recommend these titles for anyone interested in learning more about Cuba: Isadora Tattlin [pseud.]. Cuba Diaries: An American Housewife in Havana. A view of Cuba during the worst part of the “Special Period.” While the writer had unusual privilege, her camera’s-eye view of Cuban life at many levels is interesting and valuable. This is […]

75 Imprisoned Cuban Dissidents Cited in Parade Magazine

The spring, 2003 arrests and lengthy prison sentences of the 75 Cuban journalists, writers, and independent librarians receive some much-needed attention this Sunday, February 22, in a Parade Magazine article, “The World’s 10 Worst Dictators,” by journalist David Wallechinsky. The reporter interviewed human rights organizations to determine this year’s list, and focused on the spring, […]

Acosta’s Latest

I received another letter from Acosta, which I’ll simply post verbatim, as I believe it speaks for itself. I’m rather flattered that this humble blog is worth even a nanosecond’s time of any national librarian, let alone lengthy, scolding messages at fairly regular intervals. Once again, I haven’t censored any comments about Cuba on this […]