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Rolando Rodriguez Lobaina (1969) - Biography

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If you want to fight, you have to believe in your case

Rolando Rodriguéz Lobaina was born on 3 May 1969 in the city of Baracoa in Guantanamo province in the easternmost tip of Cuba. He was one of seven children. In 1987, he began studying IT at a university in Havana, which is where he got to understand the very essence of the communist regime. After graduation, he started working as an engineer in an aluminium factory where he got less then a dollar for two weeks. In 1994, he and five other people attempted to flee from Cuba. They used a simple boat to sail out towards the US but were captured. Their prosecution was ceased due to an amnesty. However, in 1996 Rolando was sentenced to time in prison for shouting out publicly: "Out with Fidel!" He spent six years in cruel conditions of Cuban prisons. After release, he became active in the dissident movement. He drafted a critical analysis of university education, which was read by thousands of students. In 2006, he was arrested once again, which sparked a wave of protests both in Cuba and abroad thanks to which he was released a month later. He carried on with protesting against the regime, organized civic resistance and travelled all around Cuba. He was being frequently arrested and had to hide. In 2010, he was exposed to public lynching orchestrated by the secret police, known as a so-called "act of repudiation". In 2011, much of his family including his brother was forced to leave Cuba and move to Spain. Rolando stayed behind and remains active.

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