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Jorge Olivera Castillo

El Festival del Arte y la Literatura de Miami, Vista, celebrará los días 15 y 16 de este mes de julio su sexta edición con un programa que incluye presentaciones de libros, performances y paneles de debate.

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El exprisionero de conciencia del Grupo de los 75 Jorge Olivera Castillo, se ha incorporado al programa "Académicos en riesgo" del Departamento de Literatura Comparada de la Universidad de Harvard, según informa la Harvard Gazette.

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Conversamos con el miembro del Grupo de los 75 sobre episodios de su vida, su obra literaria y su pasión por la música Continue reading
Diario de Cuba, Jorge Olivera Castillo, Havana, 23 April 2015 — According to a close friend, no fewer than half of the graduates of Cuban universities during the last 50 years, have been graduated in vain.” Such an assertion might … Continue reading Continue reading
[caption id="attachment_39841" align="aligncenter" width="600"] [1] Ernesto Perez Chang, writer and journalist CubaNet (Internet photo)[/caption][2]Cubanet, Jorge Olivera Castillo, Havana – The sensation that the Cuban regime is counting on a kind of blank check to carry out its abuses is increasingly apparent.The monthly reports of the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN), which expose to the world the repressive actions of the political police against pro-democracy activists, are ignored by the majority of international organizations responsible for monitoring this topic, flashing past their computer screed and being archived as soon as they read the headlines.It is logical, before the avalanche of events that anyone with a minimum of responsibility would classify as cruel, inhumane and degrading, without the intervention of censorship which contributes to its relevance. Month after month the arbitrary and violent arrests are repeated, the acts of repudiation that often include vandalism, and the drama of the political prisoners whose incarceration exposes them to a major dose of arbitrariness. The international interest in the face of these episodes is markedly declining, fortunately always with exceptions, which to some extent helps the issue from disappearing from some agendas.A method within the scientific repression applied by the Ministry of the Interior in its effort to prevent the growth of protest movements, are its veiled threats, blackmail, and covert actions that end with the loss of a job, or the impediment to occupy a certain place, all lined up against the friends and family members of the “counterrevolutuionary.”In this jurisdiction of State terrorism we now find the writer Ernesto Perez Chang [3] who decided to inscribe himself on the roll of independent journalists. It is only the beginning of his ordeal. He knows it and assures that he will not go back on his decision. Something truly meritorious in the scenario that demands the complex and inexorable combination of talent and courage.His work leaves no room for doubts. Along with his pedigree as an excellent storyteller, he has exhibited in his still short journey in the unofficial press, his gifts for reporting and background. Without pretensions of turning myself into the bird of ill omen, nor to assume pedagogical poses, I would suggest not underestimating the capacity of the common adversary to do him harm, with its lack of scruples and determination to take the most misconceived reprisals.I say is with knowledge of the cause. In the blink of an eye, I was arrested on 18 March 2003 [4] and one month later I was sentenced to 18 years in prison for writing outside the established lines. It is often alleged that times have changed, but the criminal nature of the Power has not. Prison may be used as a last resort corrective, but the manual of the G-2 political police agents overflows with “persuasive” tactics.Before concluding I reiterate my support for a colleague who had the courage to jump the barriers of fear and censorship. It doesn’t matter when he did it, what matters is that we are sharing a necessary and enriching and spiritual experience. Hopefully other government writers will decide to take off their masks and start to publish in the pages available to them to write with objectivity and transparency. That have nothing to do with obeisance to illegitimate and excluding Powers.[1] [2] [3] [4] Continue reading
[caption id="attachment_39249" align="aligncenter" width="623"] [1] José Daniel Ferrer, Felix Navarro, Hector Maseda, Jorge Olivera and Librado Linares[/caption][2]14ymedio, Havana, 19 March 2015 -- Twelve years after the Black Spring [3], 14ymedio chats with some of the former political prisoners currently living on the Island. Two questions have been posed to those activists condemned in March 2003: one about their decision to stay in Cuba, and the other about how they see the country today.José Daniel FerrerThe whole time we were in prison, the Castro brothers’ regime did its best to pressure us, to force us to abandon the country. A few of us decided to say no, regardless of the circumstances. Today I am more convinced than ever that my having stayed is worth it. We are doing our modest bit to have a nation where there will never again be something like that spring of 2003, when so many compatriots paid with prison for attempting to exercise their most sacred rights. “Today I am more convinced than ever that my having stayed is worth it” Many things have changed, but they still maintain the repression, and sometimes increase it, against human rights activists and also against the people. Recognizing the changes doesn’t mean we go along, because what we don’t have is a prosperous and democratic Cuba. In the last days when I walked freely on the street, at the beginning of 2003, some people approached us and whispered in our ears, “I heard you,” referring to having heard us on some station like Radio Martí, one of the few media where they could learn about what the pro-democracy forces were doing.Felix NavarroHaving stayed in Cuba after leaving prison is probably the best idea I've had in my entire life. On Saturday July 10, the day on which I spent my 57th birthday in prison, I received a call from Cardinal Ortega. He informed me that he was forming the third group of ex-prisoners and that I could leave together with my family. I thanked him for the gesture and the fact that the Church had always fought alongside the unprotected and against the injustices, but I would not abandon the country even if I had to serve the entire 25 years of my sentence. On 22 March he called me again and the next day they released me from prison. Along with José Daniel Ferrer, I was the last to get home.Right now I’m on conditional release, on parole, but I am convinced that sooner or later they are going to allow me to travel normally like any other Cuban. In my case, I have no intention of traveling abroad as long as the president of Cuba is not a democratically elected member of civil society. "I would not abandon the country even if I had to serve the entire 25 years of my sentence" In my opinion, the country has changed, but for the worse. It is true that since the beginning of December of last year the political police have stopped repressing in the way they had been the expressions of peaceful struggle of the Ladies in White in Cardenas and Colon. Before that, every Sunday they prevented their walking down the street, they were beaten and insulted, put into vehicles and abandoned to their fate at whatever place. This doesn’t happen any more and we believe it is very helpful, but the repression continues in other ways, with police citations and surveillance.Héctor MasedaI was contacted three times by the Cardinal to leave for Spain and I said no. When they told me I could get out of prison on parole I refused, making my point that Raul Castro had announced months ago that we would all be released. I left prison against my will. In September 2014 I made a complaint to the People's Power Provincial Court in the section for crimes against the security of the State and the Council of State for them to release me unconditionally. They responded that the court had determined that I would have to remain under control. I have no interest in leaving the country, this is my decision and I don’t have to explain it to anyone. "I left prison against my will" Some changes have occurred in our country, but I continue to insist that they are not fundamental. The government of Raul Castro maintains very rigid positions. The fact that relations with the United States are being reestablished is perhaps the most notable change, but behind this are the economic interests of the Cuban and American governments. In the case of Raul Castro, what he wants is to extend his dynasty in power, but I can’t see what the benefits are for the Cuban people.Jorge OliveraJust under five years ago I decided not to accept the offer to go into exile in Spain. I received a lot of criticism, but my closest friends, my wife and my family supported me in my decision. At one time I desired to leave Cuba, but one has a right to change and today I have no regrets. In the most difficult moment of the dilemma I chose to stay for many reasons, one of them is the trajectory of the independent press, where I worked with Habana Press since 1995, and also my convictions. After thinking about all aspects, I considered it better to stay here trying to open spaces for independent journalism, to bring our experience to the young people. I am here, happy, although it seems a contradiction in terms, because I am doing what I love and contributing with my modest efforts to a better country. "The country has changed and will change again, perhaps not with the speed we want" Life is dialectical and everything changes. Sometimes we do not notice because we are in the forest, but the world has changed and Cuba as well. The Cuba of 12 years ago was very different. Now, for example, events that no one expected have occurred, like the reestablishment of diplomatic relations between Cuba and the United States. They have opened spaces that were unthinkable back then, there are people who don’t see it that way, people who think it is very little, others say nothing has changed. The country has changed and will change, perhaps not with the speed those of us on the pro-democratic route would like, but there have been changes. Our work is made visible with the existence of new technologies, Internet and cellphones; discreet but important spaces have opened up that have contributed in a greater or lesser way to improving our work, both in the political opposition and in the alternative civil society.Librado LinaresWhen I had been in prison for about a year and a half in Combinado del Este in Havana, some officials from State Security interviewed me to find out my willingness to leave Cuba as a way to be released from prison. I told them flat out no, and their leader assured me I would serve the 20 years without any benefit. I decided to stay because of the commitment I have to the development of a dynamic of change that will do away with the Castros’ totalitarianism and produce a transition to democracy. On the other hand, I greatly identify with and have a great sense of belonging to Cuban culture, with its values, the people in the neighborhood, the climate, with las parrandas de Camajuaní [4]. I can’t find this in any other country. "We are more pluralistic, less monolithic" Some experts in the areas of transition have said that there are four types of non-democratic regimes: totalitarian, post-totalitarian, sultanistic and totalitarian, but in the ‘90s a process of “de-totalitarian-ization” began and this has happened because of the pressure from the internal opposition and internationally and because of other reasons, including biological. The regime has been evolving toward post-totalitarianism and perhaps intends to move towards an authoritarian military regime.They want to stay in power and that has led to allowing certain improvements in freedom of movement, they have facilitated aspects of the issue of ownership and non-state management of the economy, such as land leases and non-farm cooperatives. Despite the enormous repression, the opposition has been gaining spaces. We are more plural, less monolithic. People are forgetting their fear, breaking their chains and learning to speak up in public and to demand their rights.[1] [2] [3] [4] Continue reading
Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, Spanish Foreign Minister, believes that the European Common Position towards Cuba is correct, but can be more flexible HAVANA, Cuba, March — Latin America and now the European Union approach the Cuban dictatorship without great demands. Respect … Continue reading Continue reading
“If I die from drowning, I don’t care, if here I’m dead in life.” HAVANA, Cuba — Although it is increasingly risky, crossing 90 miles on a raft continues to be the dream of the young people. My neighbor Alfredo … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, CUBA – In Cuba, every year hundreds of people die from alcoholism. A recently published study on the issue of alcoholism in the Americas, in the magazine “Addiction,” says that the mortality indices affect mainly Cubans between 50 and … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba – Around 9:00 last night two officials from State Security’s Department 21 presented themselves at my house to warn me that the Second Democratic Forum on International Relations and Human Rights (independent) would not be allowed to be … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba, December, — The Bastion 2013 Strategic Exercises recently concluded with the so-called National Days of Defense. Headlines such as “The Heart of the Country Is Invulnerable,” “The Enemy Will Have No Peace,” “An Unbreakable Coastline” and others … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba , October, – I have heard more than once that the opposition is nothing more than a symbolic “testimonial,” which will fail to turn itself into an important political reference in the short and medium term. Most … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba , October, – In the program “Passage to the Unknown” — Sunday nights on Cubavision — they aired a documentary that showed that young Cubans are last in line in the digital world. Among surprised and crazy … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba , September, – Independent economist Oscar Espinosa Chepe, according to the latest information received, has just died in Madrid. A former liver disease was the trigger for his vital signs to irreversibly decline. The trip to the … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba , September – The musician Robertico Carcassés crossed the line. According to his detractors, he chose the least appropriate time and place to ask for — in addition the release of the four Cuban spies and the … Continue reading Continue reading
HAVANA, Cuba , September, – Raul Castro and those accompanying him in the exercise of power don’t give a damn about the unstoppable population decrease in Cuba. Faced with this unfortunate prediction, revealed by National Bureau of Statistics and … Continue reading Continue reading