Leonel Grave de Peralta Almenares.
Leonel Grave de Peralta Almenares, Organizer for the Varela Project, Director of the Independent Bartolomé Massó Library, 20 year sentence
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Leonel Grave de Peralta Almenares was an active member of the Christian Liberation Movement (Movimiento Cristiano Liberación: MCL) in Palma Soriano in Santiago de Cuba. He was also a dedicated local organizer for the Varela Project, collecting more than 100 signatures from the eastern province of Santiago de Cuba. As director of the Bartolomé Massó Library, Mr. Grave de Peralta had a circulation record of over 700 book loans, in spite of the limited resources of Cuban independent libraries.
His membership with the Christian Liberation Movement (Movimiento Cristiano Liberación: MCL) caused him to be the subject of repeated harassment by government groups known as the "Rapid Response Brigades" (Brigadas de Respuesta Rápida). In September 2000, Mr. Grave de Peralta and other members of the MCL were interrogated by the Cuban police who threatened to detain them if they participated in the city of Cobre's annual religious festival.
Similar to other dissidents imprisoned during this recent crackdown, Mr. Grave de Peralta is accused of breaching Law 88, a law dealing with "activities against the integrity and sovereignty of the state", due to his work with the Varela Project. Mr. Grave de Peralta is currently serving his sentence in Kilo 5 ˝ prison in the Pinar del Rio province in Western Cuba.