[Congressional Record Volume 152, Number 30 (Thursday, March 9, 2006)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Pages E332-E333]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                        HON. LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART

                               of florida

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, March 9, 2006

  Mr. LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART of Florida. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to 
speak about Fidel Garcia Roldan, a political prisoner in totalitarian 
  Mr. Garcia Roldan is a pro-democracy activist and a member of the 24 
February Movement, named for both the commencement of

[[Page E333]]

the glorious Cuban War of Independence in 1895, and the day in 1996 
when two civilian aircraft carrying four members of the Brothers to the 
Rescue organization were shot down over international waters by the 
Cuban dictatorship's fighter jets. The 24 February Movement desires, 
and struggles for, freedom in Cuba.
  According to reports, Mr. Garcia Roldan has been imprisoned since 
April 16, 2004 and, after a sham trial, sentenced to 4 years in the 
totalitarian gulag. In the U.S. Department of State's Country Reports 
on Human Rights Practices--2005, it is reported ``On February 19, a 
`reeducation specialist' forced political prisoner Fidel Garcia Roldan 
into a cell, pushed him against the wall, then hit him repeatedly in 
the head.''
  That same report details the abhorrent conditions in the gulag:

       Prison conditions continued to be harsh and life 
     threatening. Conditions in detention facilities also were 
     harsh. Prison authorities frequently beat, neglected, 
     isolated, and denied medical treatment to detainees and 
     prisoners, particularly those convicted of political crimes 
     or those who persisted in expressing their views . . . 
     Prisoners sometimes were held in ``punishment cells,'' which 
     usually were located in the basement of a prison, with 
     continuous semi-dark conditions, no available water, and only 
     a hole for a toilet.

  Mr. Garcia Roldan, despite being imprisoned, despite facing even more 
severe maltreatment in the inhuman gulag, continues to advocate for 
liberty. Mr. Garcia Roldan is a brilliant example of the heroism of the 
Cuban people. No matter how intense the repression, no matter how 
horrifically brutal the consequences of a dignified struggle for 
liberty, the totalitarian gulags are full of men and women of all 
backgrounds and ages who represent the best of the Cuban nation.
  Mr. Speaker, we must speak out and act against this abominable 
disregard for human rights, human dignity, and human freedom just 90 
miles from our shore. It is categorically unacceptable that men and 
women who demand freedom from tyranny are locked in dungeons and abused 
by totalitarian monsters. My Colleagues, we must demand the immediate 
and unconditional release of Fidel Garcia Roldan and every political 
prisoner in totalitarian Cuba.