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Scene from the Cuban crackdown

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Claudia Márquez Linares, an independent Cuban journalist, wrote a version of this article for CUBANET.ORG on March 20, two days after a roundup of dissidents began. Her husband, Osvaldo Alfonso Valdés, president of the opposition Liberal Democratic Party, was one of 75 journalists and activists sentenced to prison for their pro-democracy work last week. Mr. Valdes showed repentance and was given an 18-year term.

An authoritative fist knocked on our apartment door.It was State Security with a search warrant to look for what they called, "material proofs of an offense."

The head of the search, who said his name was Pepe, came in at 4:10 p.m., ignoring the fact that I was in my underwear. He stayed watching me, and I had to throw him out of my room to dress. He told me to be quick because he had a search warrant.

For 10 hours, 12 officers, two of them armed, searched our home. The fruits of their literary looting, now in a crammed warehouse of the Cuban government, were: hundreds of newspaper articles, journalism manuals, 150 books (politics, law, economy, social sciences), more than 50 envelopes containing Internet printouts, a video camera, a digital camera, an old laptop, 36 diskettes with the testimonies of victims of the legal whims of the Cuban government, and six compact disks, some containing the underground journal "De Cuba" published by our independent journalists' association, others containing the Encyclopedia of the European Union for Young People.


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