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    The Friends of Cuban Libraries are pleased to announce an important new
development: our website is now online!  Our online presence
(http://www.friendsofcubanlibraries.org) is a major step forward for our
growing organization, enabling us to speak directly, without being censored,
to the entire worldwide online community.

      Please bookmark our website and log onto it for frequent updates on the
alarming and unprecedented efforts of the Cuban government to suppress
intellectual freedom in the island nation.   Among the headlines to be found
in the "RECENT NEWS" link of the new website are the following:

LIBRARY CO-FOUNDERS GRANTED POLITICAL ASYLUM IN THE U.S.: Berta Mexidor and
Ramon Colas, the co-founders of Cuba's Independent Libraries Project, arrived
in Miami on December 27, 2001, after being granted political asylum in the
United States.  The family's arrival at Miami International Airport was
greeted by a number of supporters....

REPRESSION FRUSTRATES INDEPENDENT LIBRARY OPENING:  Havana, December 26
(Reinaldo Cosano Alén / www.cubanet.org) - Officials of the Department of
State Security and the National Police, as well as members of paramilitary
groups organized by the government, confiscated books and attacked
participants at the inauguration of the independent Emmanuel Library while
the Christian communities celebrated the birth of Jesus this 25th of
December....

REINALDO ARENAS INDEPENDENT LIBRARY INAUGURATED IN PUERTO GUAYABAL: Camaguey,
Dec. 17 (Carlos Brizuela Yera, CPIC /www.cubanet.org) - An independent
library named in honor of the banned writer Reinaldo Arenas has been
inaugurated in Puerto Guayabal, a village located in the Amancio Rodríguez
municipality of Las Tunas Province....

POLITICAL POLICE THREATEN INDEPENDENT LIBRARIAN AND HER FAMILY: Camaguey,
December 17 (Normando Hernandez, CPIC / (www.cubanet.org) - Officials of the
Department of State Security (DSE) are harassing the family members of an
independent librarian, Mariza Álvarez Carranza, and threatening them with
imprisonment....