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Marc R. Masferrer
I'm a career newspaper journalist. I also blog.
Recent Activity
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In the same month that celebrities the like of Conan O'Brien and Paris Hilton partied in Havana and American diplomats worked feverishly to seal a diplomatic deal with the Castro dictatorship, the Cuban secret police went into overdrive in its... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Uncommon Sense
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There are two reasons I will not visit Cuba while the Castros and their communist successors are in power, regardless of how cool President Barack Obama tells me it would be. First, I will not dishonor my parents, grandparents and... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Uncommon Sense
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On the eve of the second round of negotiations between American and Cuban diplomats, Cuban police Thursday attacked activists with the Patriotic Union of Cuba, the largest opposition group in the country, gathered in a home in the town of... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Uncommon Sense
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Just shy on the two-month anniversary of the arrest of Cuban artist Danilo Maldonando, aka El Sexto, People In Need, a Czech non-governmental organization active in Cuba, on Tuesday demanded El Sexto's immediate release: Danilo Maldonado, known as El Sexto... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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FANTU activists in Santa Clara (Photo via Martinoticias.com) Thirty-two Cuban opposition activists, including 13 women, were arrested in Santa Clara on Tuesday when they tried to march to a cemetery to pay tribute to the four murdered Brothers to the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Many in Congress and the rest of the U.S. government care little for the human rights of Cubans. Fortunately, Amnesty International is not swayed by visions of agricultural sales and Cuban beach vacations but instead remains committed to highlighting the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Numerous reports from Cuba this Sunday morning suggest the Castro dictatorship's police are preparing to move against Damas De Blanco ("Ladies In White") and other activists trying to march to Sunday Mass. [View the story "Cuban police target Ladies In... Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Yoel Bencomo Martínez Cuban independent photojournalist Yoel Bencomo Martínez earlier this month was sentenced to 1 year in prison, in apparent retaliation for taking photographs the Castro dictatorship did not like. In the months leading to his arrest on July... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Ramón Alejandro Muñoz Four days after Cuban State Security warned former political prisoner Ramón Alejandro Muñoz to "stay calm" and avoid any political activities, a thug on a bike cut Muñoz with a broken bottle. Muñoz, the husband of Cuban... Continue reading
Posted Feb 19, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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That a Cuban opposition activist might almost be beaten to death in his own home by a Castroite thug after President Barack Obama on Dec. 17 announced his rapprochement with Havana, comes as absolutely no surprise to anyone familiar with... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
Martinoticias.com has details on a Twitter-based campaign to demand the Castro regime release from jail Cuban writer Ángel Santisteban and graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado; and end its prosecution of performance artist Tania Bruguera. Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
Martinoticias.com has details on a Twitter-based campaign to demand the Castro regime release from jail Cuban writer Ángel Santisteban and graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado; and end its prosecution of performance artist Tania Bruguera. Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Cuban democracy activists Rosa Maria Paya, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez, aka Antunez and other dissidents were on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., to testify before several congressional panels about what they think of the recent rapprochement between the United States... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Ivan Hernandez Carrillo Independent journalist and former prisoner of conscience Ivan Hernandez Carrillo was arrested and detained for several hours, and had some of his belongings, including copies of a dissident magazine, confiscated Thursday in Havana. After his release, Hernandez... Continue reading
Posted Feb 7, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Berta Soler Berta Soler, leader of the Cuban Ladies In White, summed up what Cuba truly needs near the conclusion of her testimony before a U.S. Senate subcommittee on Tuesday: Our demands are quite concrete: freedom for political prisoners, recognition... Continue reading
Posted Feb 4, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
Cuban police in January made at least 178 politically motivated arrests, according to the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National Reconciliation. It's the lowest monthly count by the group since September 2010, perhaps giving reason to trust that the... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Sonia Garro Alfonso Sonia Garro Alfonso may have been released from jail last month as part of the Obama-Castro deal for closer ties between the United States and Cuba, but that doesn't mean she's still not a prisoner in her... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Cuban activist Rosa Maria Paya's prepared statement delivered to a U.S. Senate subcommittee on Tuesday is a must-read to understanding why the Obama administrations rapprochement with the Castro dictatorship falls so far short of what Cuba and Cubans truly need.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 3, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Leudi Reyes Cusa Leudi Reyes Cusa's name probably will never come up with American and Cuban officials face each other across the negotiating table, but what happened to him last is important for what it says about the situation on... Continue reading
Posted Feb 1, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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El Dkano Capitol Hill Cubans has another example of how Cuba uses its Orwellian laws to declare someone to be a "pre-criminal social danger": Today, the Castro regime handed rapper, Maikel Oksobo (known as "El Dkano"), an arbitrary one-year prison... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Jose Marti Nothing is sacred to the Castro dictatorship, not even Jose Marti whose legacy has been claimed both by the regime and those who oppose it. Maybe it's because they realize the influence and inspiration that the Cuban Apostle... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
Christian Solidarity Worldwide has the details on how the regime targets organized religion with repression: Violations of religious freedom in Cuba continued to rise in 2014, according to a new report by Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) detailing 220 separate violations... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Journalist Ernesto Diaz, left, interviews former Cuban political prisoner David Piloto. (Photo: Martinoticias.com) The 53 Cuban political prisoners released under the Obama-Castro deal of Dec. 17, 2014, may be out of jail but they are not out of danger. That... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
In an interview with the independent Hablemos Press news agency, former Cuban political prisoner Rolando Reyes Rabanal, released under the Obama-Castro deal announced Dec. 17, describes some of the tortures he suffered while at the Valle Grande prison. "I was... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
Cuba may be "negotiating" with the United States, but political repression is still part of daily life on the island. In this Hablemos Press report, Cuban couple describes how they were arrested and detained Sunday while trying to attend Mass... Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2015 at Uncommon Sense