Increment of violent repressive acts escalates throughout the island
August 28, 2011
Forces of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior began acts of repression on Friday, August 26, 2011, against human rights defenders in three cities in Eastern Cuba to prevent the Ladies in White from attending mass at the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba on Sunday. The cities of Palma Soriano, Palmarito de Cauto and Santiago de Cuba were besieged by paramilitary squads and “acts of repudiation” were carried out by government instigated mobs against the homes of peaceful activists.
Ladies in White Caridad Caballero Batista and Marta Diaz Rondon were dragged, beaten, sexually harassed, insulted and arrested on Saturday as they were on their way to Palma Soriano. Caridad Caballero suffered a fractured finger. Both women were released full of bruises from a police station in Bayamo, August 28, 2011.
Also, this past Sunday in Palma Soriano, thirteen Ladies in White, who were gathered in the home of Aimee Garces Leyva, were prevented from going to the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba by State Security officers who twisted their arms and beat them when they tried to go out into the street. Tania Montoya’s arm required medical assistance as a result of the ill treatment. The 13 women were forced onto buses that left them at undisclosed locations. The home of Garces Leyva was ransacked by authorities. Among other women also involved were Belkys Cantillo, Oria Casanova, Yaquelin Garcia, Gisel Escalona, and Berta Soler who had traveled from Havana and whose whereabouts are unknown.
Around twenty five human rights activists, who were gathered at the home of Marino Antomarchy, also in Palma Soriano, were brutally beaten by armed riot troops, were overcome by teargas, and were violently arrested late Sunday afternoon. Even neighbors who went to the aid of the activists were gassed and arrested. Antomarchy’s family, including a young daughter, was also the victim of this attack. The home was searched and authorities took a computer, mobile phones and documents.
Some of those also arrested in Palma Soriano were: Ruben Adrobe de Armas, Doraisa Correoso, Marino Antomarchy, Reinaldo Rodriguez, Jose Batista, Yimi Troche, Raumel Vinajera, and Jorge Cervantes who was severely beaten during his arrest by a head State Security Officer and was eventually released after he declared himself on a hunger strike.
In the city of “El Caney”, the home of Guillermo Cobas Reyes was surrounded by paramilitary mobs. Cobas Reyes was violently arrested along with Agustin Magdariaga Alvarez, August 28, 2011.
Annia Alegre Pecora was also arrested and released. In addition, Rusela Vaso and Romel Avila Vaso, respectively, the wife and son of human rights defender, Raudel Avila Losada were arrested.
Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez” also denounced the Cuban regime’s arbitrary arrests of members of the “Orlando Zapata Tamayo” National Front of Civic Resistance” and the increment of repressive acts against its leaders in the provinces of Pinar del Rio and Camaguey.
Rosario Morales and Ivon Mayeza, known activists who were arrested on Friday, August 26, 2011, before a large crowd in Havana as they made noise beating pots and pans to protest the unemployment, the hardships of the Cuban people, and demanding an end to the dual currency in Cuba, were released on Sunday, August 28, 2011, after both endured brutal beatings.
From August 26 – 28, 2011, the Cuban regime has subjected more than 50 human rights activists and their families to unlimited physical and emotional violence. Once more, The Coalition of Cuban-American Women makes an urgent call to the press and to non-governmental organizations dedicated to the defense of human rights worldwide, as well as to individuals in positions of leadership in religious, political, educational, social, and cultural institutions to denounce these cruel and degrading acts committed by the Cuban regime against its own people.
FURTHER INFORMATION IN CUBA: Belkis Cantillo + 53 53790867 / Jose D. Ferrer Garcia + 53 53631267 / Caridad Caballero + 53 52629749 / Berta Soler + 53 52906820 INFO IN SPAIN: Luis E. Ferrer + 34 - 691 803 955
Coalition of Cuban-American Women / Laida A, Carro / Joseito76@aol.com