2008 Man of The Year at Rafaelmartel.com: Juan Carlos Herrera ~ Prisoner of Conscience

“I began to experience changes in my opinion of the reality in Cuba and all that surrounded me. I noticed that the only one who can live under the so called ‘socialism’ are the governmental parasites, i.e. high level government officials and those who have power. I understood the falsity of the state-authored slogans and the unsuccessful five-year plans, the lack of progress, thousands of Cubans trying to flee from the abstractions, the impositions and the supposed uniformity.”

Juan Carlos Herrera

In August, 2008 Cuban political prisoner Juan Carlos Herrera Acosta stated that he was forced to end a twelve day hunger strike on July 31 when military and prison authorities subdued him by force and undid the stitches holding his mouth shut to underscore his commitment to the strike. In his first statements since the strike’s forced end, Herrera Acosta stated that he will take up the hunger strike anew “no matter the cost” and called for an international campaign for the freedom of Cuban political prisoners.

“I am letting the world know that I will not desist in my efforts to continue demanding respect for my trampled-upon rights, and that I will have recourse to the same method no matter the final outcome. If I lose my life, the Cuban regime, and its blood-stained, repressive political police will be responsible. I will not stand by patiently or in a cowardly manner as the ever-ready torturers attempt to subjugate me through coercion and blackmail. I am keeping and will continue to keep my banner high. I will stand up firmly in the face of terror. The military officials employed many psychological techniques in an effort to make me abandon the position I had taken, but in the end that effort was in vain,” stated Herrera Acosta.

He is currently serving a 20 year sentence for expressing his dissenting opinion from Cuba’s reactionary system of government, commonly known as dictatorship. He is willing to die for his democratic ideas. He hope and pray that humanitarian efforts could make his release possible, considering his medical conditions, and the fact that his only “crime” is expressing a different point of view other than the Cuban oligarchy and its petit-bourgeois poppets. He is Rafaelmartel.com Man of The Year.

Read more about this extraordinary man HERE.

To send a message of support for Mr. Herrera contact The US Department of State or the United States Interest Section in Havana, you can also send a note of support to Human Rights Watch.


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