Will Yávelín Delgado’s unlikely rebellion continues.
Delgado, a prominent dissident and blogger, has been outspoken in his opposition to the Castro regime’s Internet restrictions. A freelance journalist, he is regularly forced to shut down his blog when he is arrested. He also is known for having spent close to a decade jailed in what the Cuban government has called a “hostage” case, one involving his role in the failed CIA-backed Operation Mongoose.
That history prompted the government to launch what were described as “aggressive” cybercrimes investigations last week. Following interrogation, Yávelín was sentenced to four years in prison on the first of those charges, according to the group Cuban bloggers, which first reported the news.
His brother, Ramón, said the punishment is particularly heavy, considering that authorities have not shown Yávelín any evidence of the crimes for which he was originally charged. Ramón noted that most of the Cuban media is quiet on the topic because it too believes the ongoing investigations are just a form of intimidation.
But Yávelín is not going down without a fight. Hours after his conviction on Jan. 11, he tweeted a picture of the prison door with the message, “Free me!” Then he tweeted again: “Today is day 2 of my sentence – nothing happened to me. Today I am alive.”
Not allowing for a hiatus of two days before an imminent release, he continued his broadcast during his latest incarceration.
He said he would not give up, especially considering that his activism has been at the foundation of his livelihood. He has run a weekly roundtable show on the World Associated Broadcast Network where he hosted a range of guests, including fellow bloggers who have taken on the Cuban government.
As he sat in his room in the Pacaraima prisons complex that served as a common prison for dissidents during Cuba’s most tumultuous years, he updated the world on his release status, pledging to continue to speak out even if he faces even longer jail time.
“I am not going to cry, the Cuban people are still with me, the people of this entire world are with me,” he said. “I am going to be a voice of the Cuban people, not only for me but for all the other people who are suffering in this country.”