May 1, 2003

Worldwide indignation is growing over the wave of repression being unleashed
against Cuba's dissident movement.  The Friends of Cuban Libraries have
learned that the ten independent librarians tried in Cuba on vague charges of
"undermining Cuba's national sovereignty" have been sentenced, after one-day
trials, to a total of 196 YEARS in prison.  Details are being posted on our
website: (

In other news, Encuento en la Red ( announced today
that American intellectuals are now joining in the worldwide protestes
against the current crackdown in Cuba.  Today's edition of Encuentro reports
that Noam Chomsky, Cornel West and Ariel Dorfman (who has long been a
supporter of Cuba's independent librarians) have signed an open letter
protesting the mass arrests of Cuban dissidents.  Earlier signers of similar
petitions include Charles Faulhaber, the director of the Bancroft Library at
the University of California at Berkeley and Jon Juaristi, the former
director of the National Library of Spain.

In a turnaround, numerous European and Latin American intellectuals who until
now have staunchly supported the Castro government have now repudiated the
regime.  Among these prominent persons are Jose Saramago,  Eduardo Galeano
and Carlos Fuentes.

For additional details, please refer to our website.

(Latebreaking News:  On April 25, for the first time, President Fidel Castro
denounced the independent libraries in a speech responding to the growing
worldwide outcry against Cuba's repression of dissidents.)

In Solidarity,

The Friends of Cuban Libraries