Speaker - Régis Iglesias

Geneva Summit Speaker - Régis Iglesias

Poet, political activist and former prisoner of conscience, Régis Iglesias Ramírez was arrested in 2003 and sentenced to 18 years in prison on anti-state charges. In prison he wrote two collections of poetry, published in Spain in 2004 and 2010. He joined the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) in 1989. Since 1996, he has been the spokesman and member of the Coordinating Council of this organization. He was nominated as a Candidate for the Cuban Parliament by neighbors of his Municipality on October 10, 1997, but his candidacy as well as those of nine other leaders of the MCL on the whole island were not accepted by the Electoral Commissions, even though they were submitted in accordance with the Law of the Cuban Constitution.

He is a member of the National Executive Committee managing the Varela Project, and presented to the Cuban National Assembly, with Oswaldo Paya and Antonio Diaz, the first 11,020 citizen signatures which validated the draft law on the referendum. He was arrested in March 2003 and sentenced to 18 years in prison along with 74 peaceful Cuban opponents. Amnesty International declared him a prisoner of conscience. In August 2010 he was exiled to Spain directly from prison. He lives in Madrid as a political refugee. His work as literary author and his articles for the print media have been published in Spain and several countries. He contributed to the Independent Press Bureau of Cuba, the New Cuban Press Agency and the Society of Independent Journalists Manuel Marquez Sterling, in Cuba. He is a member of the Association Committee of International Support Varela Project based in Madrid, Spain.