.- A prominent dissident who has been involved with the Christian Liberation Movement's (CLM) Varela Project, was condemned to two years in prison after a summary trial by the Communist government on Thursday.
The Christian Life Movement denounced the trial of Agustin Cervantes, who was not allowed to testify in his own defense, as a “farce in which the Cuban police, the State security and the courts participated in order to destroy the CLM and avoid at all cost the spread of the Varela Project and the collection of signatures.”
Cervantes was detained several days ago and accused of assaulting a man who approached him and attempted to stab him with a knife. During his detention government officials warned Cervantes he “would not see the next set of Varela Project signatures turned in.”
The coordinator of the CLM, Oswaldo Paya, lamented the repression of those “who are only exercising their constitutional rights to present legal initiatives.” Paya insisted that the Varela Project would continue until all Cubans obtain their rights.
The trial came just weeks after a visit by Spanish Foreign Affairs Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, who said he had no intention of meeting with the Cuban dissidents.