Ivan Lema Romero, Roxana Carpio Matas, and Jose Manuel Llera Benitez: 18 months in prison
Danilo Santos Mendez, Vicente Garcia Ramos and Jose Antonio Alvarado Almeida: 18 months of correctional work in prison. Lilian Meneses Martinez and Iliana Peñalver Duque 18 months of correctional work without imprisonment. Felicia Machado Matas and Arelis Fleites: 18 months of house arrest. They have also been imposed a fine. the appeal is in process.
The strikers demands are:
1) THAT THE CHARGES MADE AGAINST THEM BE DROPPED- (ESPECIALLY FROM THOSE IN PRISON.) -IN THE LEGAL CASE 2039 OF 1997 ( CHARGES VS. THE 10 STRIKERS) -IN THE LEGAL CASE 148 OF 1997 ( CHARGES VS. DAULA CARPIO MATAS) 2) THAT THE CHARGE OF "ILLICIT ASSOCIATION" IMPOSED BY THE COURTS BE REMOVED DUE TO THE UNQUESTIONABLE CONDITION OF THE HUNGER STRIKERS AS HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVISTS IN THE ISLAND.
* The democratic opposition throughout Cuba and the people of the city of Santa Clara express clear manifestations of support to the hunger strikers, by turning Daula Carpio Matas' home into a center of activity where people show their solidarity. A Support Committee for the hunger strikers presided by the activist of the Pro Human Rights Party (PPDH) of Santa Clara Marilis Blasquez, is Organized.
* AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL and PAX CHRISTI of Holland carry out Urgent Actions in the latter part of November.
* The ITALIAN COMMITTEE for HUMAN RIGHTS in CUBA and PAX CHRISTI of Holland carry out a forum on the 28 and 29 of November where one of the issues is the case of the hunger strikers of Santa Clara.
* THE CNN BUREAU IN HAVANA produces a news report on the hunger strikers of Santa Clara.
* DECEMBER 8, 1997: The charges against Daula Carpio Matas are ratified as an 18 month prison sentence. This happens 61 days into the prolonged hunger strike.
* DECEMBER 12, 1997: the mothers of the hunger strikers present themselves in the offices of the First Secretary of The Communist Party ( the only existing official party in Cuba) to make him aware of the case of the hunger strikers and to ask him to hear their demands. The First Secretary of the Communist Party does not receive them.
* DECEMBER 16, 1997: Daula Carpio Matas is taken prisoner by agents of the political police in spite of possessing a medical certificate due to her poor physical condition after 68 days of hunger strike. The officers say they will take her to the hospital, instead they take her to the Provincial Prison for Women in Guamajal in the outskirts of the city of Santa Clara. After this event, the strikers ratify their wish to continue their hunger strike.
* DURING THE MONTH OF DECEMBER the physical health of the strikers worsens with each passing day but the authorities do not give in to any of their demands. The most critical cases are:
Jose Antonio Alvarado (34 years old) has a heart attack and is taken to
the old provincial hospital of Santa Clara. Although his condition is
critical he continues the hunger strike;
Daula Carpio Matas has severe calcium deficiencey and shows an alarming loss of weight;
Ileana Penalver Duque, suffers from repeated black outs. Red bruises cover her entire back and she has had serious weight loss.
Ivan Lema Romero bleeds severely from the gums, has had serious weight loss, and can barely walk, he is in the prison hospital.
* DURING THE MONTH OF JANUARY THEIR PHYSICAL CONDITION CONTINUES TO DETERIORATE:
Jose Antonio Alvarado is taken to the old provincial hospital of Santa Clara with a peripheral polyneuropathy, he has lost 62 pounds, metabolic acidosis has manifested itself resulting in an acute pancreatitis, he cannot get up from bed anymore. Dr. Luis Terris, said that if Alvarado continues on the strike he will not be held responsible for his life.
Ivan Lemas Romero is in the penitentiary room at the old provincial hospital of Santa Clara. He has a peripheral polyneuropathy that affects all his limbs. He has severe medical problems of the left arm compromising cardiac function. The doctor who is in charge of his case Dr. Luis Crespo, fears for the patients life.
Daula Carpio Matas has such lack of calcium that she cannot hold her jaw as she speaks. She is extremely thin, she cannot walk straight. She is being kept at the prison of Guamajal.
JOSE MANUEL LLERA BENITEZ- IMPRISONED IN THE INFIRMARY OF LA PENDIENTE PRISON.
* IN MID JANUARY 1998 the hunger strikers are all taken to the provincial hospital of Santa Clara, the ones who were on strike at the home of Daula Carpio Matas , those who were in the hospital and those who were at the infirmary of the corresponding prisons. The hunger strike is continued by: DAULA CARPIO MATAS, IVAN LEMA ROMERO, JOSE MANUEL LLERA BENITEZ, ILEANA PENALVER DUQUE, JOSE ANTONIO ALVARADO and LILIAN MENESES.
* AFTER POPE JOHN PAUL II'S VISIT to the Island ( from January 21 to the 25th, 1998) several international correspondents found out about the hunger strikers. An international campaign asking the Vatican and the Cuban Catholic Church to mediate with the Cuban government for the release of the strikers begins.
* JANUARY 29, 1998: the activists cease their strike due to a promise made to them by an agent of the state security who supervises their case. Mayor Raul Fernandez, officer of the state security in Villa Clara promised to remove the charges held against the eleven hunger strikers, on the condition that they leave the Island. Upon insistence of their doctors, and the pressure exerted upon them by their families, the activists end the hunger strike.
* IN EARLY FEBRUARY, ROXANA CARPIO MATAS who is 5 months pregnant is released . It is said that they are expecting the release of Vicente Garcia, who is still in prison.
* FEBRUARY 24, 1998: IVAN LEMA ROMERO is taken out of the hospital by the police and taken to the provincial prison for men in Villa Clara without any reasons. That day the 5 remaining activists again declare themselves in a hunger strike protesting this arbitrary action.
FEBRUARY 25, 1998: the rest of the hunger strikers are taken to different prisons: Daula Carpio Matas, Ileana Peñalver Duque and Lilian Meneses are taken to the Provincial Prison of Guamajal. Jose Antonio Alvarado is taken to the prison El Pre in Villa Clara, Jose Manuel Llera Benitez, at first disappears, and then shows up at the prison of Manacas in Villa Clara. Vicente García has never been released from prison.
* THROUGH VARIOUS OPPOSITION SOURCES inside the Island, it is known that all eleven activists are being kept in the infirmaries of their corresponding prisons and are being fed intravenously against their will.
* MARCH 9, 1998: the activists declare that their hunger strike has ended. They are being involuntarily fed and their weak condition does not permit them to resist the repressive police tactic of forced feeding.
AT PRESENT THE SIX HUNGER STRIKERS ARE IN PRISONS PROTESTING THE UNJUST AND ARBITRARY CONDITIONS THEY ARE SUFFERING.