Desde Dentro de Cuba

Distribuído por Cuba Free Press, Inc. -

La Habana, July 15, 1998, Cuba Free Press.

Social Democrat Quotes Fidel Castro, Requests Public Trial By Ana Luisa Lopez Baeza, Cuba Free Press.

HAVANA - From his cell at the Ariza jail in Cienfuegos Province, President Vladimiro Roca of the Cuban Social Democratic Party has requested a "clean and transparent" public trial.

Roca is one of four leaders of the Domestic Dissidents Working Group who were arrested a year ago for "investigation for counterrevolutionary activity." (The other detainees are Martha Beatriz Roque, director of the Cuban Institute of Independent Economists; lawyer Felix Bonne, president of Cuban Civic Mainstream; and Rene Gomez Manzano, president of the independent lawyers group Agramontist Mainstream.

Roca wrote his own news release in his cell and was able to give it to a member of his family, who then delivered it to a Cuba Free Press reporter.

The text reads as follows: "After living in jail for a year without being prosecuted or given an explanation about my judicial status, I do not wish to defy or confront the authorities. My position continues to be reconciliation, tolerance, pardon, and the reunification of all Cubans in an environment of non-violence.

"We want to call attention to our situation and request a public trial, with the assistance of the foreign press and any diplomats accredited in Cuba who wish to do so.

"We urge a transparent and clean process, so that the words of President Castro, during the farewell of His Holiness John Paul II, ring true: 'Cuba knows no fear, despises lies, hears with respect, believes in your ideas, defends your principles unconditionally and has nothing to hide.'

"If these words were not improvised, I trust that the process will be carried on as here proposed or, otherwise, that we will be given an appropriate answer and solution.

>"Vladimiro Roca Antunez, Ariza Jail, Cienfuegos, Cuba."

Ana Luisa Lopez Baeza, Cuba Free Press.

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