SANTIAGO DE CUBA: LADIES IN WHITE, BEATEN, DRAGGED, STONED AFTER MASS ON JULY 17, 2011
In Santiago de Cuba, a city in the Eastern province of Cuba, women pro democracy activists were savagely beaten and verbally attacked in the streets by Cuban State Security agents after they attended mass in the Basilica of “El Cobre”, a Catholic shrine dedicated to “Our Lady of Charity”, where they prayed for the freedom of all Cuban political prisoners and for the freedom of Cuba.
Tania Montoya Vazquez, one of the 16 “Ladies in White" who suffered this attack describes the violence perpetrated against them:
"… it wasn’t enough for them to snatch the gladiolus from our hands, they began to beat us, they ripped all our clothes, I have scratches all over my body… so does Aimee and all the other women in the group. We all did a “sit In” and they almost killed us … they did not stop slapping us, we are all scratched, they pulled our hair, they dragged us, and they threw rocks at us as we remained united, in silence on the ground, firm in our conviction that what we want is the freedom of our political prisoners and the freedom of Cuba."
...this was all organized and ordered by State Security whom we make responsible for what could have happened to each one of us and the physical condition we are all presently in…they didn’t care that they beat up Nersa Fernandez Fonseca, an older woman in her fifties. Several of us had to go to the hospital due to our ailing physical conditions. I was hit on the head with a stone and have a bump, I’m all bruised. When they attacked us, they never took into consideration the fact that we were women walking in silence. Freedom for Cuba! Long live human rights! Freedom for our political prisoners!
(AUDIO in Spanish: http://www.martinoticias.com/noticias/Agreden-a-opositoras-en-Santiago-de-Cuba--125710308.html)
The Coalition of Cuban-American Women denounces the present wave of repression taking place in Cuba and makes the Cuban regime responsible for the physical and mental well-being of Cuban women who were brutally attacked only for asking freedom and human rights through prayer and peaceful marches in the street of Cuba. We make an urgent appeal to heads of states, leaders of political, civic, religious and professional organizations, the press, and all men and women of good will worldwide to demand that the Cuban regime put a stop to the violence against Cuban citizens for demanding fundamental human rights in their own country.
Information obtained from a Radio Marti radio interview, transcribed,edited and translated to English by the Coalition of Cuban-American Women / Laida A.Carro (Joseito76@aol.com).