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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Friday Mass for Innocent Cuban Martyrs

Harold Cepero Escalante and Mario Manuel de la Peña
The Cuban Democratic Directorate and members of the exile community are offering a Mass officiated by Father José Luis Menéndez to pray for the souls of Harold Cepero Escalante and Mario Manuel De la Peña on Friday, December 28, 2012 at 8pm at the Corpus Christi Catholic Church located at 3220 NW 7th Avenue Miami, FL.

December 28 is the Day of the Holy Innocents and is a religious holiday named in honor of the young children slaughtered by order of King Herod around the time of Jesus’ birth. These young victims were called“Holy Innocents” because they were too young and innocent to have committed any sins.  

Tomorrow we will pray for two young men whose lives were taken before their time who dedicated themselves to serve others and make the world a better place dedicated to defending human rights and saving the lives of others. 

On Friday, December 28, 2012 Mario Manuel de la Peña, who was born in the United States in the township of Weehawken, New Jersey in 1971, should have been 41 years old.

One month and a day later on January 29, 2013 Harold Cepero Escalante, who was born in Cuba in the municipality of Chambas in the province of Ciego de Ávila in 1980, should be celebrating his 33rd birthday.

Sadly, neither young man will have the opportunity to do so. 

Mario Manuel de la Peña was one of four men shot down by Cuban MiGs on February 24, 1996 while searching for Cuban rafters in the Florida Straits in international airspace. Mario was 24 years old when he was killed.

Harold Cepero Escalante was a youth leader in the Christian Liberation Movement and died under suspicious circumstanceswith its founding leader Oswaldo Paya Sardiñas on July 22, 2012. Harold was 32 years old at the time of his untimely death. Family members are demanding an international investigation into the deaths of Harold and Oswaldo.

Although the Free Cuba Foundation is not organizing this event, it does call on members to attend and honor these two young men who gave their last full measure in the defense of human rights and dignity.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Father denounces daughter's persecution on Human Rights Day

Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia and his daughter Martha Beatriz Ferrer
How did officials of the regime in Cuba observe international human rights day on December 10, 2012 in a local school? Officials celebrated the dictator who ruled the island for the past half century as a human rights champion while at the same time targeting a young girl for refusing to participate and threatening her friends. Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia described over twitter the campaign government officials are waging against his 15 year old daughter:
Martha Beatriz Ferrer, my daughter of 15 years, was the victim yesterday of deception, harassment and ill-treatment at her College Prep school in Palmarito de Cauto. Cuban communist party leaders in the Mella municipality harassed Martha Beatriz for refusing to participate in a political action for Human Rights Day. In the political act that my daughter refused to participate in they began claiming that Fidel Castro was a champion in the defense of human rights. The actions against my daughter Martha Beatriz at school are increasing. Because of her charisma and courage she greatly concerns the political police. The political police, Cuban communist party and education leaders pressured Martha Beatriz's classmates not to involve themselves with her.

They are pressuring parents of the classmates of my daughter Martha Beatriz. Students from the College Prep school have been threatened with measures in their school record if they visit our home in Palmarito de Cauto. The campaign against Martha Beatriz intensifies so that her friends not attend her 15th birthday.
 The original Spanish is available below:
Martha Beatríz Ferrer, mi hija del 15 años, fue víctima ayer de engaño, acoso y malos tratos en Pre-Universaritario de Palmarito de Cauto. Dirigentes del PCC en el municipio Mella acosan a Martha Beatríz por negarse a participar en acto político por Día de los Derechos Humanos. En el acto político que mi hija se negó a participar comenzaron afirmando que Fidel Castro era un paladín en la defensa de los d. humanos. Las acciones contra mi hija Martha Beatríz en su escuela van en aumento. Por su carisma y valor preocupa grandemente a la policía política.  La policía política, dirigentes del PCC y Educación presionan a compañeros de aula de Martha Beatríz para que no se relacionen con ella. Presionan a padres de los compañeros de clases de mi hija Martha Beatríz.

 A los alumnos del Pre-Universaritario le han amenazado con medidas en su expediente escolar si visitan nuestro hogar en Palmarito de Cauto.  Se intensifica la campaña en contra de Martha Beatríz para que sus amigos no asistan a su 15 cumpleaños.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Take Action on International Human Rights Day

The human rights situation in Cuba is grim and getting worse. Women are being beaten up and detained for exercising their rights. The United Nations ignores the violence committed by agents of the Cuban government. A young girl was repeatedly knife attacked for defending these women. Opposition leaders have been murdered in actions organized by State Security and covered up. Meanwhile another prisoner of conscience is being denied water by prison officials in an effort to either kill him or break his spirit on day 29 of a hunger strike. An American and a Spaniard are held hostage and used to blackmail the United States and Spain. A cholera outbreak that threatens countless lives is downplayed by the dictatorship.

This is Cuba in 2012.

What are you willing to do about it?

Can you take two minutes of your time and demand justice, freedom and an end to the repression of human rights defenders in Cuba?

Then take action and do it:


Petition Demanding International and Transparent Investigation into the deaths of Paya and Cepero


Government of Cuba: Free Calixto Martínez Arias, and Stop Harassing Journalists and Dissidents

End Repression: 

Protect Human Rights Defenders in the Americas