The Human Rights Oral History Project digital collection of the Cuban Heritage Collection includes videos and outlines of oral history interviews with Cuban dissidents. In its first phase, the project focuses on the Black Spring of 2003 when the Cuban government arrested 75 activists. Interviews were conducted with a number of the dissidents who served time in prison as part of the Grupo de los 75 (Group of the 75) and with members of the Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White), an organization of the wives, mothers, daughters, and other female relatives of jailed dissidents. The Human Rights Oral History Project was launched in 2013 with funding from the Marlins Foundation.
These oral histories express the views, memories and opinions of their respective interviewees. They do not represent the viewpoints of the University of Miami, its officers, agents, employees, or volunteers. The University of Miami makes no warranty as to the accuracy or completeness of any information contained in the interviews and expressly disclaims any liability therefor.
Copyright to these materials lies with the University of Miami. They may not be reproduced, retransmitted, published, distributed, or broadcast without the permission of the Cuban Heritage Collection. For information about obtaining copies or to request permission to publish any part of an interview, please contact the Cuban Heritage Collection at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Below is information on the interviews that are currently available.
Interview with María Elena Alpízar, an independent journalist who wrote an article in May 2003 introducing the Damas de Blanco. She also marched with the female relatives of jailed dissidents and continues to support Cuban dissidents following her immigration to the United States.
Interview with Pedro Pablo Álvarez Ramos, who served as a labor union member and president of the Consejo Unitario de Trabajadores Cubanos. He was also an active member of the Varela Project and was arrested during Cuba's Black Spring in 2003.
Interview with Margarito Broche and his wife María de la Caridad Noa. Broche founded the Asociación Nacional de Balseros, Paz, Democracia y Libertad to monitor violations of immigration agreements between Cuba and the United States, and Noa is an activist and member of the Damas de Blanco.
Interview with Henry Constantin, a Cuban journalist who writes for blogs, news sites, and on twitter about the realities of Cuban life.
Interview with Carmelo Díaz Fernández, an independent Cuban journalist who founded and served as the director of La Agencia de Prensa Sindical Independiente de Cuba until his arrest in 2003 during Cuba's Black Spring.
Interview with Guillermo Fariñas, a Cuban dissident and independent journalist known for his hunger strikes in protest of the Cuban regime's censorship and violation of human rights.
Interview with Luis Enrique Ferrer García and his wife Milka Peña Martínez, who were both organizers in the Varela Project. García was arrested as a political prisoner in 2003 during Cuba's Black Spring and Martínez became a member of the Damas de Blanco.
Interview with Alejandrina García de la Riva, a human rights activist and co-founder of the Damas de Blanco, she is the wife of Cuban dissident Diosdado González Marrero, who was imprisoned as one of the Grupo de los 75 during Cuba's Black Spring of 2003.
Interview with Jorge Luis García Pérez and his wife Iris Pérez Aguilera, who are human rights activists in Cuba. Pérez, also known as Antúnez, was released from prison in 2007 after serving a 17-year sentence. Aguilera founded the Rosa Parks Feminist Movement for Civil Rights, a human rights movement in Cuba.
Interview with José Luis García Paneque, a medical doctor, independent journalist, and activist who was member of the Varela Project and was arrested during Cuba's Black Spring.
Interview with Normando Hernández González, an independent journalist and activist who was arrested as a political prisoner in 2003 during Cuba's Black Spring, and his wife Yaraí Reyes Marín, who is a member of the Damas de Blanco.
Interview with Regis Iglesias Ramírez, a member of the Christian Liberation Movement who worked with founder Oswaldo Payá as a spokesperson, council member, and organizer of the Varela Project, a petition calling for free elections and improved human rights in Cuba.
Interview with Roberto de Miranda and his wife Soledad Rivas. De Miranda was a professor in Cuba who founded the Félix Varela Independent Library and was arrested during Cuba's Black Spring, and Rivas was a founding member of El Comité de Madres, which grew into the Damas de Blanco.
Interview with Sayli Navarro, a leader of Las Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White) in Matanzas, Cuba, whose father was imprisoned in 1993 and 2003.
Interview with Orlando Luis Pardo Lazo, a Cuban dissident writer, journalist, and artist who in 2010 founded Voces, one of the earliest independent blogs in Cuba to openly criticize the government.
Interview with Rosa María Payá Acevedo, an activist in the Christian Liberation Movement who did an international tour promoting an independent investigation of the events leading to the death of her father Oswaldo Payá and Harold Cepero in July 2012.
Interview with Janisset Rivero, a Cuban activist and founding member of Directorio Democrático Cubano who in 1994 initiated Operación Boitel, a campaign of travel to other countries to incite support for the Cuban opposition movement.
Interview with Adolfo Fernández Saínz and his wife Julia Núñez Pacheco. Saínz was one of twenty-four independent journalists arrested in 2003 during Cuba's Black Spring, and Pacheco is a member of the Damas de Blanco.
Interview with Yoani Sánchez, a leading Cuban dissident blogger who gained international fame for her critical portrayal of everyday life in communist Cuba.
Interview with Berta Soler, who is a founding member and acting leader of the Damas de Blanco, an organization formed by the female relatives of jailed dissidents that has become a nonviolent protest group calling for the improvement of human rights in Cuba.
Interview with Dagoberto Valdés, a Cuban Catholic leader and founder of the magazines Vitral and Convivencia, who was involved in preparations for Pope John Paul II’s 1998 visit to Cuba.