Leonel Grave de Peralta

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Leonel Grave de Peralta
Born May 30, 1976
Santiago de Cuba, Cuba
Residence Lancaster, Pennsylvania

Leonel Grave de Peralta (born May 30, 1976) is a Cuban activist and dissident. He was an active member of the Christian Liberation Movement, Varela Project, and Director of the Independent Bartolomé Massó Library.[1][2] He was one of the approximately 75 dissidents arrested, tried, and convicted in 2003 as part of the Cuban government's Black Spring.[3]


Political Imprisonment[edit]

Grave de Peralta was imprisoned in 2003 within the Kilo 5½ Prison in Pinar del Río during the Black Spring. He has been declared as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.[3] Before his imprisonment, he was a multitasking threat to the Castro dictatorship. As a member of the Christian Liberation Movement, Grave de Peralta collected over 100 signatures for the Varela Project's pro-democracy campaign. He had a circulation record of over 700 book loans despite restrictions on independent libraries.[1] During his time as a prisoner of conscience, he was subjected to ill-treatment such as extended periods of solitary confinement and incarcerating in prisons located at extreme distances from his home, breaking many Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners.[3] He received assistance from Rep. Lincoln Diaz-Balart while incarcerated, who petitioned for his release along with the other political prisoners. [4]


He was released in 2010 after serving over seven years of a twenty-year sentence as part of a deal struck with the Catholic Church and the Castro dictatorship to take exile within Madrid.[5] After spending a year in Madrid, he moved to Lancaster, Pennsylvania where he plans to stay until Cuba receives the freedom he initially had fought for: freedom to learn, freedom to worship, freedom to enjoy their inalienable human rights.[4]


  1. ^ a b "Leonel Grave de Peralta Almenares". Cubaverdad. 
  2. ^ "Leonel Grave de Peralta Almenares". Human Rights First. 
  3. ^ a b c "Cuba: One year too many: prisoners of conscience from the March 2003 crackdown". Amnesty International. 16 March 2004. 
  4. ^ a b Diaz-Balart, Rep. Lincoln. "Freedom For Leonel Grave De Peralta Almenares". CapitolWords. Retrieved 22 February 2013. 
  5. ^ Masferrer, Mark (2006-12-24). "Leonel Grave de Peralta Almenares, Political Prisoner of the Week". Uncommon Sense. Retrieved 2013-02-19. 

External links[edit]