While the release of all the independent librarians in Cuba sentenced to 
long prison terms in 2003 has been announced, this welcome news is clouded by 
the pressure being placed on prisoners to go into exile in exchange for 
their liberation. The librarians who refuse to leave their homeland remain 
behind bars.

And threats against libarians, library raids, book confiscations and other 
violations of freedom of expression continue their dismal course in the 
island nation. Printed below are recent reports gathered by the Friends of Cuban 

Panicky informers working overtime at the Book Institute

HAVANA, Sept. 22, 2010 ( Pablo Borrazá) - At the 
publishing house of the Cuban Book Institute, located on Carlos III Avenue, the 
workers are wasting no time in denouncing each other for whatever reason, 
with the goal of keeping their jobs following the announcement by Raul Castro 
that half a million Cuban workers will be laid off.

Those who once called each other "comrade" are now sworn enemies. The 
situation is getting difficult, and there is no room left for loyalty among 
friends. Anyone can be thrown out into the street. It doesn't matter if an 
employee is a good worker; it is enough to get someone fired if an informer 
reveals some criticism made against the government, or some other indiscreet 

This atmosphere of uncertainty, corruption and informing is what is 
happening today in our workplaces. The workers don't seem to have believed Raul 
Castro when he gave assurances that "nobody will be abandoned...." 

The speed with which they are undertaking the process of laying off half a 
million workers is impressive in a country where the liberation of fifty 
prisoners has been delayed for four months.... Clearly, our leaders want to 
"perfect socialism" at an accelerated rate, but I doubt if they will achieve 
it. After all, the Commander-in-Chief recently said that "the model doesn't 
even work for us any more."

Librarian in Palma Soriano threatened with imprisonment

SANTIAGO DE CUBA, Sept. 1, 2010, (Magaly Norvis Otero Suárez/Hablemos Press 
Agency) - On August 25 independent librarian Rolando Reyes Brin was 
threatened with imprisonment by the [police] chief of the sector, according to the 
librarian's wife, Yuleisis Garcel Pérez.

"This forms part of the strong repression directed against my husband and 
family," said Ms. Garcel Pérez. "We are threatened, mobbed and repressed by 
the military in the locality where we live, and principally by the chief of 
the sector."

"To be an independent librarian in a closed society is very risky; you can 
go to prison for providing the neighbors with information that the regime 
considers censored," she added.

Rolando Reyes Brin is the director of the Mario Chanes de Armas Independent 
Library, located at 119 Máximo Gómez Street, in the Santiaguero district of 
Palma Soriano.

( ) 

Gay Foundation libraries seized by police

HAVANA, May 25, 2010 (LGBT Cuba News Today/Mario José Delgado González) - 
Last Monday, May 17, at approximately 11:23 A.M., the complete LGBT book 
holdings of Henry Solís Estévez, coordinator of the Gay Freedom Party, Dunia 
Ortega, lesbian activist, and Aliomar Janjaque were confiscated by the State 
Security police during raids of their homes.

According to Dunia Ortega, "The first thing they did was to dismantle our 
libraries. Many gays and lesbians would ask us to loan books. We had all 
kinds of books, but the ones that caused the most annoyance [to the police] were 
the collected works of the emblematic author Reinaldo Arenas. Each of us 
had built up a mini-library in our houses which were collected with great 
effort. They [the secret police] respect nothing; the only thing that interested 
them was messing us up and being a wet blanket. But we will reconstruct 
[the libraries] again, little by little...."

Source: (

Independent library raided in Cienfuegos

HAVANA, May 19, 2010 ( Martin Valero) - The 
Mario Chanes de Armas Independent Library in Cienfuegos was raided by the 
political police on Friday, May 14.

Bartolo Joaquin Palomares Sánchez, the director of the library, provided 
information by telephone that agents of the State Security police carried out 
a search of his residence and confiscated 360 books and some office 

In the presence of his small children and his elderly grandmother, a dozen 
officials entered his home at 6:00 A.M. and arrested him; they took him to 
the Department of Technical Investigations in Cienfuegos.

The State Security agents issued him a warning notice for being "an enemy 
of the revolution," which he refused to sign. He was released 24 hours later.

The independent library is located at 69 Logia St., between Vila and 
Citrico Streets, Cienfuegos Province, and is part of the Cuban Independent Library 
Project which is directed by Gisela Delgado Sablon.....