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Leonel Grave de Peralta
|Born||May 30, 1976|
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. He was one of the approximately 75 dissidents arrested, tried, and convicted in 2003 as part of the Cuban government's Black Spring.
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. 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. 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. He received assistance from Rep. Lincoln Díaz-Balart while incarcerated, who petitioned for his release along with the other political prisoners.
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. 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.
- "Leonel Grave de Peralta Almenares". Cubaverdad.
- "Leonel Grave de Peralta Almenares". Human Rights First.
- "Cuba: One year too many: prisoners of conscience from the March 2003 crackdown". Amnesty International. 16 March 2004.
- Diaz-Balart, Rep. Lincoln. "Freedom For Leonel Grave De Peralta Almenares". CapitolWords. Retrieved 22 February 2013.
- Masferrer, Mark (2006-12-24). "Leonel Grave de Peralta Almenares, Political Prisoner of the Week". Uncommon Sense. Retrieved 2013-02-19.
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