"Working together for a free Cuba"




Open letter to Public Opinion from the wife of Dr. Oscar Elias Biscet.

Havana, March 10, 2004  (www.cubanet.org)  

My name is Elsa Morejón Hernández. I am a Christian woman and a defender of
human rights in Cuba. My hope is that this message will serve as a testimony
to the world about the injustices that we, the men and women who are
struggling peacefully in our country for the freedom of all Cubans, are suffering.

My husband, Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet, who is 42 years old, a Christian, a
married man, and the father of two children, is imprisoned in Cuba in the maximum
security prison, Kilo 8, in Pinar del Río, 162 kilometers from Havana where his
family lives. He was sentenced on April 7, 2003, along with 75 other
peaceful dissidents, in a summary trial under Article 91 of the Cuban constitution.
The article states that he violated the sovereignty and integrity of the Cuban

On October 13, 2002, my husband completed a three-year prison term, in the
maximum security prison, Cuba Sí, 768 kilometers from his family. He was
sentenced only because in November, 1999, he publicly convened a peaceful march,
asking the Cuban government for an end to the death penalty and for the freedom
of political prisoners in Cuba. On December 6, 2003, he was again arrested
when he went to the home of a colleague for a discussion about human rights. He
was kept illegally in Combinado del Este prison in Havana for the alleged
crime of public disorder. On March 29, 2003, he was moved to the Department of
State Security in Havana, where he was subjected to interrogation, and where he
was isolated until his summary trial on April 7, 2003. At the same time, we
were the object of searches of our home by Castro's State Security. The only
dangerous weapons the State Security agents found in my home were books by
Martin Luther King, Jr., Newsweek magazines, articles about human rights, an old
computer from 1995, two CD's about medicine, and an authorized permit to the
U.S. Interests Section in Havana. The last item was the greatest find for the
State Security, about which my husband responded openly on April, 7: "I visit
them (the US Interests Section) because they are my friends, and they love
freedom and justice like I do. I take them documented violations of human rights
committed by the Cuban government. We have never bow to a foreign government;
we have appealed to diplomatic headquarters seeking solidarity and expressing
our desire to live in freedom in our own country."

Dr. Biscet was confined in the prison, Kilo 5, in Pinar del Río, after the
summary trial and was forced to remain in a punishment cell for seven months
without proper clothing, wearing only his undergarments. He was denied family
visits, was isolated, and was out of contact with his family because he refused
to wear the common prisoner's uniform. On November 13, 2003, the authorities
moved him to Kilo 8 prison in Pinar del Río, where he is presently detained.
Since his arrival there, State Security kept him isolated in a cell without
windows for two months, with restricted food, without family visits, without
reading material, and without sunlight, only because he refused to share a cell
with a prisoner sentenced for murder. On January 16, 2004, he was taken from
the punishment cell and placed in the same jail in a cubicle next to twelve
hardened (common) prisoners without high prison sentences Neither the sanitary
conditions nor the food there is acceptable. He does have the right to family
visits every three months (only close family, two people), reading material
that does not contain anything different from communism, personal toiletries,
and some food as allowed by the prison, but limited in quantity. He cannot have
a radio or any contact with his family by phone-only letters that have to be
handed to the guard. These letters are sometimes read by prison officials,
and depending on their content, they are sent to the family and vice versa.

Dr. Biscet joined the human rights movement in Cuba in 1990 and founded his o
rganization for human rights in 1997 with the sole purpose of defending the
right to life and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. That same year, he
and his wife both lost their jobs because he publicly opposed abortions in
the hospital where he was working.

Before going to prison, my husband had no dental problems. As a result of
prolonged incarceration and the lack of dental care, his teeth are in very poor
condition. He has no confidence that there is any good intention on the part
of State Security concerning this matter. In addition, he suffers from high
blood pressure, in spite of being treated for it with a restricted diet and
Atenolol. He refuses much needed medical tests, because he distrusts State
Security. In spite of everything, his mother and I saw him on February 26, 2004,
and he mentioned that he felt better since he was out of the punishment cell.
He says that the authorities take him out in the sun daily,that he walks a
little bit on the patio during exercise time, that he gets along with the other
prisoners, and that they respect and appreciate him. In the five years that he
has been in prison, Dr. Biscet has maintained a true unshakeable spiritual
strength; in the last communication he wrote to me on the eve of his anniversary
in prison, he said, "I am a man who is guided by my ethical principles. The
suffering of another is also my suffering. I cannot calmly accept evil because
doing so would eat away my bones, and my mind would never live in peace. I
oppose injustice so that it will not prevail. Non-violent resistance to evil
dignifies the human spirit and at the same time fulfills me as a person. For
this reason, I will be here in prison as long as God so desires." (Dr. Oscar
Elías Biscet)

We are convinced that this man is innocent, as God also knows. The
accusations imposed upon my husband to jail him have nothing to do with the true
peaceful public activities that he carries out in defense of life and human rights.
My husband is in prison as a result of the lack of freedom and justice in my
country, Cuba. For this reason, we appeal to the conscience of all men and
women of good will, to organizations of human rights, the international press,
and nations that they demand the immediate release of Dr. Oscar Elías Biscet
and all political prisoners, whose only crime has been and is to honor the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We thank you in advance for your solidarity,

Relatives of Dr. Biscet and Lic. Elsa Morejón Hernández, his wife
Address:Avenida Acosta #464, Entre 8va & 9na Lawton, Havana, Cuba

Havana, Cuba
March 10, 2004

Testimony obtained from Cuba by Cubanet.org.  Translation by Tanya Wilder,
Human Rights Committee of the Coalition of Cuban-American Women. Email: