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Students Expelled from Cuban University for Peaceful Protest
By Movimiento Cubano de Jóvenes por la Democracia

Press Release by the Cuban Youth for Democracy Movement (CYDM)

 

Rolando Rodríguez Lobaina, Director of the CYDM Center for Alternative Studies and leader of the University Students without Borders initiative

 

Santiago de Cuba, 19 November 2007.  Ten Cuban university students have been expelled for leading peaceful protest activities on September 18-20 at the universities of Santiago de Cuba and Oriente as well as Julio Antonio Mella Superior Polytechnical Institute. University Rector Zaida Valdés Estrada applied the following penalties to the students based on Resolution 980 of 2007 and announced on November 12:

 

Waldon Verdecia San Emeterio, 2nd year telecommunications student: expelled for 3 years

 

Andrés Frías, 4th year electrical engineering student: expelled for 2 years

 

Alexei Aranda Bonney, 5th year mechanical engineering student: expelled for 2 years

 

Yoandi Alcoloa Pérez,  5th year mechanical engineering student: expelled for 2 years

 

Magela (last name unspecified, known as “la china”), 3rd year mathematics student, was detained at a police station, and was permanently expelled from all Cuban institutions of higher education as a result of the aforementioned incidents

 

In order to return to their studies, all will be required to work during the time of their expulsión. They will be required to present a letter from their workplace vouching for their good behavior halfway through the time of their penalty. The rector advised them to remain silent, not to appeal, and to accept culpability. The remaining students have yet to be located.

 

Some 300 students took part in the peaceful protest requesting a greater degree of security at the university, after one student was raped without any subsequent action being taken by the authorities. University authorities promised the students that they would solve the problem.

 

The Cuban Youth for Democracy Movement and the University Students without Borders initiative  publicly condemn the Island’s government for these repressive measures and for condemning the students, a decisión which has been rejected by the students’ classmates.

 

Today’s University Student Federation of Cuba (USF) is subservient to and complicit with the fundamentalist laws appled under the direction of the extremist youth wing of the only student organization in Cuba: the Young Communists’ Union (YCU). For this reason, we do not recognize the legitimacy of the YCU, nor of today’s USF, but rather that of the USF that was an exemplary symbol of the student striggles against tyrannical regimes before 1959. The only ones responsible for the incidents that took place in September are the leadership of the University of Oriente.

 

I call upon the international community, and all the world’s governments and universities, to condemn these apartheid measures against Cuban students and to join in solidarity with this noble and just cause.

 

XXX

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