Enrique Figuerola Miranda

* 1978

  • “The regime specifically prohibited me bidding to the Cuban people for the union. ‘Explain this to us please’. This does not comply them. The union of us, Cubans, in the general sense, this does not comply to the regime. The only way we can achieve change is with the union, and that does not comply to the communist Government. ‘And where you can achieve to make this union, how do you do it?’ Through Facebook and social media. I bid all Cubans, and I do it now at this precise moment, to unite. Because being united is the only way we can achieve some change. ‘And what did that officer tell you?’ Nothing, that if I continue with the same slogan of unity, I could go to the prison.”

  • “Because of the second alleged attack on the Cuban state, I was already in prison, Obama came to Cuba [In March 2016, Barack Obama became the first president of the United States of America to visit Cuba since 1928.]. Obama agreed with Raúl Castro, they negotiated, they did a business there. They achieved to agree to release the remaining Cuban spies in the United States of America and in return the Cuban government recognized 53 political prisoners. Among the 53 political prisoners, I was the third to release and the 21st of that list. So, they released me as a political prisoner, they really released me.”

  • “Other hunger strike in prison happened when I was being imprisoned for this same alleged crime of attack. In Boniato jail there existed, well there still exist, I am aware that there is certain arbitrariness at this very moment. I summoned several inmates to a general hunger strike, with the aim of stopping all this arbitrariness. When I declared strike, I was transferred to the other prison in Guantánamo. Fortunately, the same day they returned me to the Boniato prison because of my wife’s demand, she reported mine disappearance. At the end, the objective was fulfilled, that the arbitrariness, mistreatment, torture against the prisoners, in a general sense, not only against the political prisoners, ceased. Either I feel we succeeded, or I felt it at that very moment, that I fulfilled the objective of the hunger strike.”

  • “My wife and I had a camera, so we decided to take a picture of alleged acts of police violence, so that the world knew, everything they did against the activists of “Patriotic Union of Cuba” [Unión Patriótica de Cuba]. That day they detained us, they detained my wife, they detained her, I do not know, I do not remember how long in the ‘Modorizada’ detention center, and I was transferred to the ‘Versailles’ detention center. The other day, I was detained several times, in ‘Cobre’ city in the province of Santiago de Cuba, because we were planning to march in order to demand the freedom of political prisoners, to demand respect of their rights, to demand to cease the oppression against political opponents, and not only against the opposition in Cuba, but oppression against all people. I have been arrested countless times, countless times.”

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    Cuba, 19.07.2020

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“My hatred towards the regime and desire to change Cuba I owe to the Communist Government as such.”

Enrique Figuerola Miranda was born in 1978 in Havana, Cuba. The death of his mother affected Enrique’s childhood as his siblings raised him in Santiago de Cuba. When he was 16 years old, he was confined in the “Boniato” prison for the first time on the charge of robbery with violence. Enrique used to visit his neighbor, a political opponent, Manuel de Jesús Díaz Preval, whom he supported in 2002 by recording audio and video material for the ‘Varela Project.’ For this activity, the regime marked him as a counterrevolutionary that ended in his deprivation of liberty for an attack on the State and the crime of “pre-criminal dangerousness.” He endured torture and repeated threats in prison, the same intimidation he experiences outside of prison for being an active opponent and a human rights rapporteur. He is a member of the “Patriotic Union of Cuba” [Unión Patriótica de Cuba], which he joined in 2011. He resides in Santiago de Cuba with his wife, a member of the movement “Ladies in White” [Damas de Blanco]. Side by side, they fight for the union of all Cubans to confront the communist regime and for democracy in their country.