The Cuban Black Spring
On the dawn of the 18th of march 2003, independent journalists, trade union activists, and dissidents were arrested along the country.
The Cuban authorities accused them of conspiracy in cooperation with the Director of the US Interest Section in Cuba – James Cason. They were accused of being mercenaries and promised “severe sentences against those who cooperates with the enemy, and tries to destroy us” (BBC)
It was the most drastic attack against the dissidents in Cuba in the last years. 75 dissidents, artists, human rights activists, independent journalists and librarians, were arrested and condemned.
Unjust trials were carried out between the 3d and the 7th of April. Sentences from 6 to 30 years were applied to these 75 people.
Article 91 of the Penal Code and Law 88
Most of the dissidents were sentenced according to Article 91 of the penal code, or to Law 88, or to both of them.
Penal Code – Article 91
Article 91 of the Cuban penal code foresees a sentence from 10 to 20 years in prison or a death penalty for a person that “commits an action that jeopardize the independence of the country, or its territorial integrity, in the benefit of a foreign country”
From 1999, Law 88 foresee many years of prison for people that support US policy against Cuba in „disturb internal order, destabilize the country and jeopardize the socialist order and the independence of the country”. Dissidents call this paragraph „Ley Mordaza”. This article was applied before coming into force, that means that it was applied against the Cuban law.
The Cuban Committee for human rights stated „We cannot hide our frustration. The government does not stop from imposing their totalitarian and repressive regime against the Cuban nation (cubaencuentro.com)