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Two more Cuban dissidents allege abuse by former prison official now living in Miami

Posted on Sunday, 11.11.12

Two more Cuban dissidents allege abuse by former prison official now
living in Miami

Crescencio Marino Rivero, a former Cuban Interior Ministry colonel, is
now living in Miami.
By Juan O. Tamayo
jtamayo@ElNuevoHerald.com

Two more Cuban dissidents have alleged that they were abused personally
or on the orders of a former Villa Clara provincial prison chief
Crescencio Marino Rivero, who now lives in Miami.

Rivero, 71, and his wife Juana Ferrer, both former officers in Cuba's
Interior Ministry and members of the ruling Communist Party, appear to
have obtained their U.S. visas and residency without revealing their
activities on behalf of the Cuban government.

Wilfredo Allen, one of the two Miami lawyers who referred the
allegations against Rivero to U.S. prosecutors two weeks ago, has asked
for the start of deportation procedures against the couple. Rivero has
denied committing any abuses.

Arturo Conde Zamora said he was 12 or 13 years old and was being held in
a reformatory when Rivero hit him with a stick two or three times on his
back and legs. Rivero was in charge of the lockup in the Villa Clara
village of Maleza.

"He beat me with a stick and then threw me into a cell," Conde, now 47,
told El Nuevo Herald by telephone from his home in the Villa Clara town
of Placetas. "He tied me up with a rope and left me in a tapiada" – a
cell with a solid steel door instead of bars.

Rivero has been identified as provincial head of youth reformatories and
reeducation programs in the 1980s before he was promoted to head Villa
Clara's overall prison system.

Conde said he was sent to a reformatory for chronic school skipping, and
was beaten by Rivero and two or three reformatory "re-educators" in 1981
or 1982 because he had fought with one of the other 100 or so youths in
the Maleza lockup.

A decade later, Conde added, he was serving a new prison term in the
maximum security Alambrada de Manacas prison in Villa Clara when Rivero
turned up there following a clash between prisoners and guards.

"Not even 30 minutes later, they brought in dogs to attack the
prisoners." Conde was bitten on the thigh, he said.

Another Placetas dissident, Jorge Luis García Pérez, known as Antunez,
said he never saw Rivero personally abuse prisoners. "Officers of that
rank don't have to," he said, because they can order guards to abuse the
inmates.

Antunez alleged that on Feb. 19, 1991, while serving a 5?½-year sentence
for "enemy propaganda" at the La Pendiente prison in Villa Clara, he was
taken to see Rivero for his refusal to wear prison uniforms — a type of
protest used by many political prisoners.

"Look, you black counterrevolutionary, we're not going to allow that
here," Antunez, who is black, quoted Rivero as telling him.

Rivero told the guards "take him to the cell and if he takes off his
clothes, bust his head," the dissident added in a phone interview with
El Nuevo Herald. Antunez said he did try to take off his clothes and got
such a beating that he remembers the exact date.

Antunez and Conde's allegations, and similar previous accusations
against Rivero by three other dissidents, could not be independently
confirmed. Rivero did not return an El Nuevo Herald call to his phone
last week, and his daughter said he would not speak to the newspaper
because his previous comments to other journalists were "distorted."

http://www.miamiherald.com/2012/11/11/3093011/two-more-cuban-dissidents-allege.html

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