Raúl Rivero Died: What Was His Cause Of Death?

Cuban writer and dissident Raúl Rivero died this Saturday at the age of 75 in Miami after suffering from cancer, Ramón Saúl Sánchez, personal friend, and director of the Democracy Movement informed.

The dissident, who according to Sánchez preferred to keep a low profile in Miami (USA) after living in Spain, fell ill in recent months and died early today.

Born in Morón, on November 23, 1945, he studied in his hometown, and in 1964 he moved to Havana, where he graduated in Journalism.

He worked in the publication ‘Juventud Rebelde’ and in its supplement ‘El Caimán Barbudo’, which from 1966 became an independent medium and in whose founding he also participated.
That last year he was one of the signatories of the ‘Young Poets Manifesto’, published in this critical cultural magazine.

Editor of the official Prensa Latina agency, between 1973 and 1976 he was a correspondent in Moscow, and on his return to his country he directed the Culture and Science service.

In 1988 he began his political dissidence while he stopped working for the official media and a year later he broke with the Union of Writers and Artists.

In May 1991 he confronted the regime by being one of the signatories of the ‘Declaration of Cuban intellectuals’, in which they asked the Government to hold a national debate and amnesty for prisoners of conscience.

In 1995 he founded and since then has directed the independent press agency CubaPress.

Harassed by State Security, in January 1996 he was arrested along with other journalists. Warned three times by the authorities for the illegality of his journalistic work, in August 1997 he was again arrested and after four days he was released.

In 1998, the Independent Union of Journalists (IAPA) appointed him Cuba’s second regional vice president of its Committee on Freedom of the Press, from which he denounced the pressure to which independent journalists were subjected.

Despite enjoying the coverage of the IAPA and Reporters Without Borders, on March 20, 2003, he was arrested after Cuban Security initiated a massive arrest of opponents.

Thus, on April 4, he was subjected to a summary trial in Havana for violating the “independence and territorial integrity of the State” and sentenced to 20 years in prison, which was denounced by international organizations and parliaments.

Considered the best poet of his generation, he won the 1969 David Prize for his work ‘Papel de hombre’ (1968) and the UNEAC Poetry Prize in 1972 for ‘Poetry on Earth’. In addition, in 1970 he published ‘Near Vietnam’ and ‘So that you gain clarity’.

His dissidence led him not to be able to publish in his country, so the Benemérita Universidad Autónoma de Puebla published his collection of poems ‘Guitar Bridge’, which was followed in the United States and France ‘Signed in Havana’, a selection from his collection of poems. ‘Estudios de la Naturaleza’, and in Spain ‘Heresías elegidas’ (1998), a selection of poetic work published in Cuba.

On November 30, 2004, he was released with an ‘extra criminal leave’ for health reasons.

Rivero arrived in Spain in 2005 with his family with the intention of fighting for the release of Cuban prisoners and where he has participated in poetry contests and journalistic forums to denounce the situation of dissidents in Cuba.

Editorial advisor in the magazine ‘Encuentro de la cultura cubana’, he has received various recognitions, including the Ortega y Gasset Prize for Journalism in 2007 for his professional career.

In 2005, he presented his first report on freedom of expression in Cuba before the Assembly of the Inter-American Press Association in Indianapolis, after having tried for more than ten years and thanks to his work, the originals of the book left the island ‘ Radiography of fears in Cuba ‘, by also dissident, Guillermo Fariñas, which was published in Spain in 2010.

He was married to Blanca Reyes, spokesperson for the Ladies in White in Europe

Amelia Warner– After graduating from NYU with a master's degree in history, She was also a columnist for many local newspapers. Amelia Warner mostly covers Entertainment topics, but at times loves to write about movie reviews as well.

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