"He hath sent me to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the
captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound." - Isaiah 61:1
During this holiday season, as our thoughts turn to those less fortunate, we
ask you to send holiday cards to the family of Victor Rolando Arroyo, a Cuban
librarian and journalist whose health is declining as he serves a lengthy
sentence in the Cuba Sí Prison in Holguín, Cuba. In March 2003 the Reyes Magos
Library, of which Victor is the director, was raided by the secret police. The
raid was part of a crackdown against people in Cuba who have opened a network of
independent libraries offering public access to uncensored books. The 6,000
volumes of the Reyes Mago Library were confiscated, and Victor was sentenced to
26 years in prison following a one-day trial. He has been named as a prisoner
of conscience by Amnesty International, which is calling for his release.
Victor Rolando Arroyo is reported to be in poor health. On December 2 the
Villa Blanca press agency reported that Victor is being denied access to any
medical care in prison. His wife and children are very worried about his health.
Victor's wife, Elsa Padrón, has sent four letters to government officials
appealing that he receive medical treatment. No response has been received to these
Victor is not allowed to receive letters from abroad, but his family members
can receive them. Please send brightly colored holiday cards to his family at
La Familia Arroyo
Calle Adela Azcuy 10, entre Gerardo Medina y Primero de Mayo
Pinar del Rio
Provincia Pinar del Rio
Cards in any language are welcome. The Spanish phrase for Merry Christmas is
"Feliz Navidad," and the translation of Happy New Year is "Feliz Año Nuevo"
(and the "~" symbol above the letter n is important). To make delivery of the
cards more certain, do not write the words "library" or "biblioteca" on the
We would like to thank you for your compassionate response to this appeal for
holiday cards to the family of Victor Rolando Arroyo.
The Friends of Cuban Libraries