Desde Dentro de Cuba.

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

19 de Junio del 2001

TWO "NOVEMBER 30" DEMOCRATIC PARTY MEMBERS FACE TRIAL By Maria del Carmen Carro, Cuba Free Press

Havana - The Interior Ministry's Police Operations Instruction Unit will prosecute peaceful opposition activists Belkis Bársaga Lugo and Héctor Ramón Novo Suárez, both 36, at a June 28 trial in the Boyeros Municipal Court on charges of disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

Police arrested Bársaga Lugo and Novo Suárez Dec. 17 when they participated in religious observances at the St. Lazarus Sanctuary in El Rincón, one of the more popular festival attractions.

Authorities accuse Belkis of hanging a poster on a tree that said, "Liberty for Political Prisoners." She is also charged with wearing a black pullover imprinted with the word "Liberty." Novo Suárez accompanied the opposition activist in her action.

The state's indictment names the defendants as members of a "counterrevolutionary splinter group" known as the "November 30 Democratic Party." The two are accused of maintaining relations with "subversives," referring to dissidents.

The state's accusation says the "resistance" of Belkis, member of the November 30 Action and Strategy Front, occurred when, "In a show of force, she made violent gestures with her arms, obligating Interior Ministry authorities to coerce her obedience."

Authorities demand that Bársaga Lugo be jailed 18 months and be fined 500 five-peso payments for Disorderly Conduct and 200 two-peso payments for Resisting Arrest.

The state seeks a one-year jail term and a one-year internment sentence of Novo Suárez for alleged disorderly conduct for hanging a poster and wearing a T-shirt asking for Liberty now. No charges were made that Bársaga Luga commited any violent act or solicited such acts from others.

The defense in this case is based on edict 639 of 2000 and will be conducted by Dr. Amelia Rodríguez Cala whose work in representing opposition activists before the courts has won the respect of the defendants and their families.

Maria del Carmen Carro for Cuba Free Press.


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