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    Dissident files criminal complaint against Cuba

    Dissident files criminal complaint against Cuba
    By WILL WEISSERT – 4 days ago

    HAVANA (AP) — A Cuban opposition leader said Tuesday she has filed a
    criminal complaint against the communist government for airing on state
    television evidence it collected by bugging her phone, going through her
    garbage and secretly filming her.

    The evidence was used by Cuba's government to build a case that Martha
    Beatriz Roque allegedly took cash brought to the island by the former
    top U.S. diplomat in Havana.

    Roque said that while Cuba's constitution allows state security agents
    to spy on citizens, it prohibits them from making public the evidence
    they collect.

    In May, government television and newspapers dedicated three days to
    presenting e-mails, photos, letters, videos and audio tapes it claims
    prove that then U.S. Interests Section chief Michael Parmly personally
    carried funds to Roque, who allegedly passed them on to other dissidents
    and activists.

    Cuba says the money was donated by a Miami organization headed by
    Santiago Alvarez, a Cuban-American businessman once convicted in the
    U.S. of conspiring to collect military-style weapons to overthrow Fidel
    Castro's government.

    In a Tuesday news conference, Roque claimed that much of the evidence
    presented three months ago was taken out of context or fabricated, but
    she repeatedly refused to confirm or deny whether she took money carried
    by Parmly or to say if any cash came from a group linked to Alvarez.

    "I don't have an answer for that," Roque said. She added that she would
    not address the charges unless Cuban authorities allow her to appear on
    the government's nightly round-table program, which publicized the case
    against her in May.

    Roque is an economist and former government official who was among 75
    opposition leaders and activists charged with working with Washington to
    undermine the communist system and sentenced to lengthy prison sentences
    in 2003. She was eventually released on medical parole.

    She said she filed the complaint Monday with Cuba's Ministry of Justice,
    charging top officials, including Randy Alonso, host of the government
    round-table program, with criminal conduct.

    Parmly, the former top American diplomat, has declined to comment on
    Cuba's charges and left the island in July, at the end of his diplomatic

    Also at the news conference, human rights activist Elizardo Sanchez said
    dissident musician Gorki Aguila was arrested on the charge of
    "dangerousness." The government uses the charge to arrest suspects it
    believes may eventually commit crimes.

    Aguila, 39, has been an outspoken critic of Cuba's government and is the
    lead singer of the rock band Porno para Ricardo, which was banded from
    official airwaves after criticizing life on the island in its songs.

    Cuba's international press office would not comment, but Aguila's band's
    Web site reported that he was arrested Monday, as he was finishing the
    band's latest album.

    "We are in the process of finding a lawyer willing to help him," said
    Sanchez, who said he had spoken with Aguila's family. "If there's a
    trial on Thursday, we will try to be present for that, if we can."

    Sanchez is head of the Cuban Commission on Human Rights and National
    Reconciliation, a leading authority on political prisoners being held on
    the island.


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