Raúl Rivero, disenchanted poet of the Cuban revolution, dies at 75

He and Ricardo González Alfonso founded the Association of Cuban Journalists in 2001. The following year they managed to publish two issu...

He and Ricardo González Alfonso founded the Association of Cuban Journalists in 2001. The following year they managed to publish two issues of the magazine De Cuba before a crackdown by the Castro regime as part of the so-called Black Spring, who crushed the petition campaign by the movement of dissident intellectuals.

Dozens of political renegades have been arrested, including Mr. Rivero, who was charged in March 2003 with “spreading false news about the current situation of our government, as reported by the US government”.

Cuban officials said he was detained not for his opinions, but for being a paid aide to a hostile country – the United States. Mr Rivero said the fees he received came from publishers for his writings.

“It’s so arbitrary for a man whose only crime is to write down what he thinks,” his wife said. The New York Times in 2003. “What they found on him was a tape recorder, not a grenade.”

Mr. Rivero has been condemned to 20 years in prison. He was confined for nearly a year in a cramped, windowless one-person cell and was prohibited from contact with anyone outside. In November 2004, he was among half a dozen political prisoners released in what was interpreted as a gesture of favor to the European Union.

“There, at the age of 57, condemned to spend two decades behind bars (it’s like eight thousand nights), I wrote down every day in a lined notebook the memories of past episodes of my life, and I drew pictures of them. ‘Others I wish liked to happen to me,’ Mr. Rivero recalled, referring to his anthology of poems, ‘Life and Offices’ (2006), written while in prison.

“Every morning I tried to erase the reality of the environment in which I lived,” he told his fellow journalist Wilfredo Cancio Isla on cibercuba.com, a website founded in Spain by Cuban exiles. “Several times, almost always, I have succeeded. It allowed me to experience this extravagant situation: to be imprisoned as a journalist and as a citizen and to be, as a poet, a free man.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Raúl Rivero, disenchanted poet of the Cuban revolution, dies at 75
Raúl Rivero, disenchanted poet of the Cuban revolution, dies at 75
Newsrust - US Top News
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