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This report is taken from PN Review 178, Volume 34 Number 2, November - December 2007.

Normando Hernández González Val Warner

Imprisoned Cuban journalist

Thank You

the dead die
so that with them
I die
you have caged me.

days become eternal
and the soul is harrowed
you have committed me.

Where I can see no light,
where sadness grows,
where life ends
you have confined me.

You have also cloistered me
where everything begins,
where love ascends,
where God is discovered.

Thank you,
thank you for having incarcerated me
and making me different,
since I
I forgive you.
(translated from Spanish by Susana Medina)

This poem, dated 29 December 2005, was emailed to a campaigner in England by the wife of its author, the journalist Normando Hernández González, still being held, very sick, now in another Cuban jail.

Director of the Camagüey College of Independent Journalists, Hernández was among the 75 journalists, writers, librarians and other alleged dissidents arrested in March 2003 - reportedly, he delayed a day before giving himself up: it was his daughter's first birthday. One-day court hearings for these people were held behind closed doors, without the defendants being allowed time to prepare a defence. All were given long sentences for acting against the state - having, it was said, conspired with the US Special Interests Section in Havana. ...

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