Mises Institute Cuba
Benjamin Franklin Libertarian Library
For immediate distribution:
Yesterday, April 5, at approximately 12:30pm, two State Security agents were came to the home of libertarian activists and spouses, Heriberto Pons Ruiz and Caridad Ramírez Utria, looking for Heriberto. The home doubles as Headquarters for the Benjamin Franklin Libertarian Library.
Hours earlier, the Heriberto and Caridad had left with Nelson Rodriguez, the lawyer and co-founder of Mises Cuba, to log onto the Internet (which in Cuba is limited and actually does require traveling) and do libertarian work. The evidence of their activity is in many chatroom meetings on Facebook with international libertarian activists Carlos Tuñon, Mamela Fiallo, And Zach Foster (among others). On returning home at approximately 9:20pm, wary neighbors gave them news that the political police had been around.
According to the neighbors, a police car was parked with the number 1179, from which two men dressed in civilian clothes emerged and, seeing that no one was in the house, they asked the neighbors if they knew the whereabouts of Heriberto Pons Ruiz. (Heriberto Pons' activism is much of the reason libertarians in over a dozen countries now know the names of the libertarian political prisoners, Ubaldo Herrera and Manuel Velazquez.)
No one knows what strategy State Security will follow regarding the Benjamin Franklin Libertarian Library, but this State Security showing up with the National Revolutionary Police does not look good. We must all be on alert, as this could be the beginning of another repressive wave against Cuban libertarians and other dissidents.
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This is not the first time State Security has gone looking for Mises Cuba members at their homes, nor the first time they've done so dressed in civilian clothes. However, this comes the day after the dramatic Spanish-language announcement of the U.S. Libertarian National Committee's condemnation of the arrest and incarceration. The list of known prisoners in the Melena II labor prison who are libertarians or libertarian sympathizers, has grown to include Ubaldo Herrera Hernández, Manuel Velázquez Visea, René Ronco Machín, Rolando Guerra, Roser Ayala García, and Rafael Averof Rodríguez.
Cuba's libertarians have officially asked the international libertarian community for help. You can write to several human rights watch groups with the names of the libertarian prisoners. We recommend Amnesty International, The Cuban Observatory of Human Rights, Human Rights Cuba, and the Cuban Commission of Human Rights and National Reconciliation. You can also directly contact Cuba's Ministry of Foreign Relations on Facebook and call for the immediate release of the libertarian political prisoners (@CubaMINREX on Twitter). Finally, you can visit MisesCuba.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to donate Bitcoins to Mises Cuba snd the Benjamin Franklin Libertarian Library.
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Image courtesy of Secure Privacy. LP Nevada encourages republication of this news release.