|Clockwise: Harold Cepero, Sayli Navarro, David Mauri, Fếlix Yuniel, Karla Pérez,|
This is not a new tactic. Expelling students and denying them an education for their political orientation has a long and shameful history, too often ignored. Sayli Navarro was expelled from her university in Matanzas for her political views in 2009. On November 13, 2002 Harold Cepero Escalante and Yoan Columbié Rodriguez, students in their fourth year of Veterinary Medicine, were expelled from the University of Camagüey and subjected to an act of repudiation after having signed a legal petition for human rights reforms called the Varela Project. This practice is not new. Fidel Castro declared in June of 1961 that outside of the revolution there are no rights. The regime also declared that universities are for revolutionaries.
|Prisoner of conscience Eduardo Cardet serving unjust three year prison sentence|
|Pastor Ramon Rigal (on the right) serving a year in prison for homeschooling his kids.|
Peaceful dissent, and self-expression do not only invite expulsion from school and prison but can lead to an untimely death. Harold Cepero, the 2002 expelled veterinary student, was murdered along with Oswaldo Payá Sardiñas, the founding leader of the Christian Liberation Movement, on July 22, 2012. Less than ten years after his expulsion.
This is Cuba today a totalitarian nightmare that many still try to flee and a few remain to courageously resist. There is nothing romantic about a 58 year old repressive dictatorship.