Monday, August 19, 2013

Cuban Dissident on Hunger Strike Since July 30: SOS Free Ivan Now!

"SOS: Free Ivan Hernandez De Pestre." - Jorge Luis García Pérez "Antúnez" , August 19, 2013 over twitter

Iván Fernández Depestre on hunger strike
Over twitter today, Cuban opposition activist Jorge Luis García Pérez "Antúnez" tweeted that Iván Fernández Depestre is "dying before the complicit indifference of the accredited press in Cuba." Why is this man in danger of dying? It is due to a combination of factors: a cruel dictatorship, non-interest by the press, and the lack of familial support for Iván. Amnesty International recognized 5 other Cubans as prisoners of conscience but has still not designated him as one. Hopefully, the won't do it posthumously as they did with Wilman Villar Mendoza who died in January of 2012.

Iván Fernández Depestre is a Cuban national of 42 years of age born on October 28, 1971 with identity card number: 71102805363 who lives in the interior of Cuba in  Placetas, Villa Clara province. He has been unjustly imprisoned since July 30, 2013 under circumstances where anywhere in the world would just be the exercise of one's civic duty. Although not formally recognized, he is a prisoner of conscience.

On the afternoon of July 30, 2013 Iván together with other nonviolent opposition activists
Loreto Hernández García, Yuniel Santana Hernández, así como Yaite Diasnelli Cruz Sosa, Xiomara Martin Jiménez and Donaida Pérez Paseiros carried out a march in memory of the Cuban martyr Frank País, who was killed in the struggle against Fulgencio Batista (the prior dictator to the Castro brothers).  Portions of the demonstration were recorded and posted on youtube in the video below.

The women involved in the march were able to complete it on this occasion while the men were detained and abandoned in different parts of the city, with the sole exception of Iván Fernández Depestre who was taken to police headquarters in Santa Clara and accused of social dangerousness, an Orwellian form of "precrime" and tried on August 2, 2013 in a secret, closed door and summary trial in Placetas, Villa Clara and condemned to 2 years in prison.

He is being targeted for two reasons 1) being a member of the Opposition Movement Youth Awaken, affiliated to the Central Opposition Coalition (CCO) and the Orlando Zapata National Civic Resistance and Civil Disobedience Front and 2) having a difficult family situation that does not support him. State security is targeting him because with the lack of family support they view him as a weak link and are trying to break him.

Iván in protesting this injustice has been on hunger strike since the day of his arrest demanding freedom and today marks 21 days and their is fear for his life. An S.O.S. has been issued from Cuba fearing for Iván's life.

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