Desde Dentro de Cuba.

Distribuido por Cuba Free Press, Inc. - http://www.cubafreepress.org

28 de Enero del 2000

TRIBUNAL REJECTS APPEAL IN CASE OF TOYS FOR POOR KIDS. By Orestes Martin Perez for Cuba Free Press.

Pinar del Rio.- The provincial appellate tribunal on Jan. 24 refused to allow Victor Rolando Arroyo to prove that he was collecting toys so as to give them to local poor children for Christmas. As Cuba Free Press reported earlier, Arroyoo, well known as a dissident, had been sentenced to six months in prison on charges of "hoarding" toys. He bought the toys at a local store with donated money.

The prosecutor said Rolando bought the toys with the intention of selling them later at an exorbitant price and asked for a sentence of one year. The defense tried to prove Rolando's intention was to give the toys away by introducing witnesses whose children had received toys as gifts from Rolando.

The appeals tribunal ratified the sentence and Rolando was handcuffed and transferred to the provincial prison.

Dissidents contend that the government intended to punish Arroyo irrespective of his guilt or innocence, noting that the prosecutor in this case was the same one who had handled charges against another dissident, named Gustavo Elias, and had acquired notoriety in cases involving pacifist dissidents.

In this case, despite attempts by agents of the Office of State Security and the Rapid Response Brigades to occupy all seats at the courtroom, some dissidents managed to get seats and show their support for him when Rolando had his appeal rejected.

Orestes Martin Perez, Cuba Free Press.


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