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Jorge Olivera Castillo (1961) - Biography

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Edgar Allan Poe imagined all those sinister things. I lived them in person

Jorge Olivera Castillo was born in 1961 the neighborhood of Belén in Old Havana, Cuba. He is a Cuban poet and dissident. For ten years he worked as an editor at the Cuban television station ICRT, but after an unsuccessful attempt in 1991 to leave Cuba on a raft, he was relegated to an inferior post, and so he decided to quit his job as a television editor. In 1993 he made his first report for the Miami-based Radio Martí and joined the opposition. In 1995 he and other journalists founded Havana Press, a free journalism agency of which he later became director. He was prosecuted during the Black Spring of Cuba in 2003 and was part of the Group of 75 imprisoned opponents; he spent nine months in solitary confinement. At the trial, he was sentenced to 18 years in prison, but this was changed to a conditional sentence for health reasons after 18 months. His literary work is based on his prison experience; he focuses on short poems and stories.

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