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Marc R. Masferrer
I'm a career newspaper journalist. I also blog.
Recent Activity
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Kudos to the New York-based Human Rights Foundation, which has named Cuban prisoner of conscience Danilo Maldonado one of the three 2015 recipients Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent. Maldonado, nicknamed "El Sexto," is a graffiti artist was arrested... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Uncommon Sense
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Barack Obama on Saturday sold out the cause of Cuban freedom and made a final break with this campaign promise from 2008: "My policy toward Cuba will be guided by one word: 'libertad.' ... "The road to freedom for all... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Máximo Pradera Valdés Cuban political prisoner Máximo Pradera Valdés, in jail since after he and two others were arrested in 2001 while trying to sneak onto the island, has died, according to Cuban independent journalist and former prisoner of conscience... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Cuban people Sunday arrested more than 50 opposition activists, including members of the Cuban Ladies In White, after they displayed photographs of political prisoners while riding a bus in Havana. It is is the least-surprising news of the day after... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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It's now official: A free, democratic Cuba is no longer the goal of United States policy toward the island. After this weekend's bro-fest in Panama, it's not exactly clear what has replaced it after 50 plus years, except for maybe... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
The whole world is watching -- or at least it should be -- after a pro-Castro mob in Panama City, Panama, attacked a group of peaceful anti-Castro activists trying to pay attribute to Jose Marti in a park near the... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Cuban opposition activists in Cuba are routinely attacked by the police and/or their flunkies when they try to carry out peaceful demonstrations and protests in Cuba. Because Cuba is ruled by a communist dictatorship, which controls most methods of communication,... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
Rosa Maria Paya, the daughter of slain Cuban civil rights leader Oswaldo Paya, was detained Sunday at an airport in Panama, the site of this week's Summmit of the Americas. Paya tweeted details of her detention as it happened, and... Continue reading
Posted Apr 5, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
[View the story "Cuban activists violently arrested in Santa Clara on Good Friday" on Storify] Continue reading
Posted Apr 3, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
Cuban police in March made more than 600 politically motivated arrests, according to two human rights monitoring groups based on the island. Those are the highest monthly counts so far in 2015, which coincide with continuing normalization talks between Washington... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Ciro Alexis Casanova Perez Amnesty International on Thursday named Cuban opposition activist Ciro Alexis Casanova Pérez, in jail since last June, a prisoner of conscience and demanded the Castro dictatorship release him immediately. Amnesty presents the facts of Casanova's case:... Continue reading
Posted Apr 2, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Jorge Luís García Pérez “Antunez” * Egberto Ángel Escobedo Morales Iván Fernández Depestre Three former Cuban political prisoners -- Egberto Ángel Escobedo Morales, Jorge Luís García Pérez “Antunez” and Iván Fernández Depestre were arrested Wednesday as they left the Panamanian... Continue reading
Posted Apr 1, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Cuban Ladies In White march Sunday in Havana. (Photo by Angel Juan Moya via ICLEP.org) Twenty members of the Cuban Ladies In White and other opposition activists were arrested Sunday after they threw photographs of Cuban political prisoners out a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
From prison, Cuban political prisoner Angel Santiesteban notes how the U.S.-Cuba rapprochement has led to unequal treatment of Cuban dissidents: If you support the re-establishment of diplomatic relations, you're pretty much left alone. If you don't, it's more of the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
After 90 days of imprisonment, there is no formal accusation against the artist, Danilo Maldonado. Cuban independent lawyer Laritza Diversent writes, via Translating Cuba: Authorities are still imprisoning the artist, Danilo Maldonado, known as “El Sexto” (The Sixth), who was... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
Cuban artists, including punk rocker Gorki Aguila and his band, Porno Para Ricardo, have launched an online campaign to demand that the Castro dictatorship release from jail the graffiti artist Danilo Maldonado, better known as El Sexto. As the group... Continue reading
Posted Mar 21, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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José Leonel Silva Guerrero Reporters Without Borders on Tuesday condemned the arrest last week of Cuban indpendent journalist José Leonel Silva Guerrero, a correspondent for the Hablemos Press news agency. Silva last week said his arrest and subsequent 10 hours... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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UNPACU activists march in Santiago de Cuba. (Photo via UNPACU and Martinoticias.com) Just in time for Round 3 of negotiations between American and Cuban officials aiming for an already determined result -- full diplomatic relations between Washington and Havana --... Continue reading
Posted Mar 15, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
Cuban police in Camaguey on Sunday, March 8, arrested nine members of the opposition Rosa Parks Feminine Movement and 10 other activists as they tried to commemorate International Womens Day. "How sad and embarrassing that the government sees as a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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José Leonel Silva Guerrero Independent journalist must be one of the most challenging, and most dangerous, jobs in Cuba. After all, your mission -- to speak truth to power -- is mortal threat to the Castro dictatorship, which in turn... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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One of the best websites for news and information about and from Cuba, and produced by Cubans, is the Centro de Informacion Hablemos Press (CIHPRESS), led by editor Roberto de Jesus Guerra. It has proven to be an invaluable source... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Jesús Noel Carballeda and his family. (Photo via Christian Today) Like other types of repression, religious repression by the Castro dictatorship in Cuba is rampant. Christian Solidarity Worldwide has the latest example: The family of Rev. Jesús Noel Carballeda, the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Yoandri Montoya Avilés Cuban independent journalist and activist Yoandri Montoya Avilés faces the possibility of being sentenced to several years in prison, after police officials warned him this he could be prosecuted on a charge of "enemy propaganda" for possessing... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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Cuban police arrest members of the Damas De Blanco ("Ladies In White") in San Miguel de Padron. (Photo via Hablemos Press) At least 200 Cuban opposition activists and dissidents were arrested in the first eight days of March, according to... Continue reading
Posted Mar 10, 2015 at Uncommon Sense
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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 Mar 3, 2015 at Uncommon Sense