"I've returned from a week of filming in Havana, Cuba, and from a subsequent Oscar's Cuba fundraising event in Miami, FL. I am excited to share some highlights with you!"
August, 2009 Shooting in Havana
"In Havana, I met with Dr. Biscet's wife, Elsa. During one of my visits, Elsa was preparing a "haba," the bundle of food she would give to Oscar on her next visit to his prison. Oscar, like other political prisoners, does not eat the food given to him in prison for fear of being poisoned. Elsa is allowed to see Oscar for two hours only once every six weeks, so in the days before her visits, she prepares enough food to last him until her next visit.
Elsa was thrilled to be going to visit her husband, and was able to smuggle to him a letter from the Oscar's Cuba team. Dr. Biscet read the letter and was encouraged and inspired by what so many are doing on his behalf. (Letter to the right)
I was also able to meet with some of the island's young artists and bloggers. They told me more sad stories of the Castro regime's suppression of basic rights. The government has come down particularly hard on free speech rights, even after it promised reforms earlier this year. "
Letter given to Dr. Biscet in prison
The English version of our letter is below:
Dear Dr. Biscet, Aug. 15th, 2009
I am writing to tell you that I am working hard, day and night, to spread your story and message, a message of courage, faith and hope, across the globe through a documentary film entitled, Oscar's Cuba. I am not Cuban or of Cuban ancestry. No one directly working on the documentary is Cuban. However, we are all freedom-loving people who value the sacrifice you have made on behalf of your fellow human beings, your country and your ideals.
A year and a half ago, I was researching Cuba and those fighting for freedom there. I came across your story and situation. I was struck by your courage to stand up for freedom, human rights and, especially, the right to life. I knew I had to do my part to spread your message. Although our documentary is not finished, we have already touched many people, people who have never heard of you and know little of the conditions in Cuba, with your witness.
Because of the help of many people you know both in Cuba and internationally, this project keeps getting bigger each day. The opportunities to spread your message are endless. You have touched the lives of many, and will continue to do so.
God bless you as he continues to prepare you for greater things to come. Know that many are praying for you and that despite your current situation, your impact continues to grow daily.