November 27, 2011
During the week of November 21-27, human rights defenders continued being systematically subjected to acts of intimidation, threats, to brutal beatings and mob attacks; to being kidnapped and left abandoned in remote areas; to arbitrary arrests; short term detentions, and to cross examinations. The political police particularly targeted the date of November 24th, proclaimed by the peaceful resistance movement in the island as “Resistance Day”. Protests were reported Thursday in the cities of Havana, Palma Soriano, Pinar del Río, Santa Clara, Sagua la Grande, Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey, Velasco and Cienfuegos. On the 24th day of every month, human rights groups across the island plan to stage organized protests to promote human rights and freedom in Cuba
Monday, November 21 - Police agents detained activists, Joel Lazaro Carbonell and Emilio Jerez for defending the business of a female street vendor in Havana who was being openly blackmailed by a policeman. Jerez was released but the situation of Lazaro Carbonell is unknown.
The ex-political prisoner and independent journalist Enyor Diaz Allen was released 48 hours after being arrested for photographing a mob attack against the home of human rights defender, Osvallemi Grant Guerra. Another independent journalist, Julio Beltran Iglesias, a member of the independent group, Cuban Republican Party, was also released and abandoned in Wajay, 30 kms. away from his home. Beltran Iglesias was kidnapped near his home on November 19 by Cuban State Security in Havana and subjected to cross examination and was accused of being a troublemaker as well as a mercenary of the “Imperialists” (USA), among several other charges.
The following five activists of the 30th of November Frank Pais Movement were arrested as they were on their way to promote “Resistance Day” at the home of the Secretary General of the National Front of Civil Resistance and Disobedience, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez in Santa Clara (Central Cuba): Yoan David Gonzalez Milanes (handicapped, missing a leg), Mauri Emilio Dupuy Arredondo, Guillermo Rodriguez Rodriguez, Verlay Vejerano Estrada and Juan Luis Perez Garcia. They were all abandoned in remote farm areas.
In Santa Clara (Central Cuba), a total of 17 human rights activists were violently detained when they tried to prevent the Cuban regime’s forced eviction of Yulema Benitez Sigler and her three children from their humble home. Initially detained were: Damaris Moya Portieles, Enrique Martinez Marin, Idania Yanez, Yasmin Riveron, Yusmany Rafael Alvarez, and Jose Luis Lopez. Other human rights defenders who went to the police station to demand the release of their fellow activists and were also arrested: Guillermo del Sol Pérez, Alcides Rivera Rodríguez, Víctor Castillo Ortega, Ana Rosa Alfonso, Jose Luis Lopez, María del Carmen López, Ramón Abreu, Mayra García, Rolando Ferrer Espinosa and Omar Núñez Espinosa.
Wednesday, November 23 – Jose Batista Falcon and Raudel Avila Lozada of the umbrella human rights group, Cuban Patriotic Union were intimidated and threatened with being arrested by the police as they were disseminating copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to the residents in the Eastern city of Palma Soriano.
Donaida Perez Paseiro and Yris Perez Aguilera of the Rosa Parks Feminist Movement for Civil Rights were arrested by the political police as they were leaving the house of Yris in Placetas (Central Cuba) so that Yris could seek the treatment of a specialist for the head injuries caused by State Security agents during a beating in May 2011. Both women were subjected to inhumane treatment and conditions during their arrest and released 24 hours later. Yris is the wife of Antunez and their house is permanently surrounded by State Security Agents who threaten, beat and follow them wherever they go.
Thursday, November 24 – Ex-Cuban prisoner of conscience, Librado Linares, of the Cuban Reflection Movement denounced of the police operation and the mob attack to the home of human rights defender and member of the Cuban Reflection Movement, Niursi Acosta Pacheco in the town of Vueltas, Villa Clara (Central Cuba). Activists had gathered to march on to the town’s Central Park and hold and a public act but the aggressors intimidated and threatened the activists by surrounding the house and carrying knives, machetes and metal tubes. Victims of this act of repudiation were: Orlando Triana Gonzalez, Antonio Suarez Fonticiella, Miguel Sotolongo Sotolongo, Raul Gonzalez Manso, Leonardo Rodriguez Alonso, Niursi Acosta Pacheco, Jose Marino Andrades Crespo, Damaris Hidalgo Garcia, Ramon Mesa Rodriguez, Alexander Mesa Rodriguez, Juan Manuel Sarduy Segrel, Diego Sabala Abreu, Manuel U. Acosta and Librado Linares.
In Havana, the following activists marched down an important avenue in El Vedado with a white sign honoring the recently deceased leader of the Ladies in White, Laura Pollan and on behalf of freedom and human rights in Cuba: Sara Marta Fonseca, Odalys Caridad Sanabria, René Ramón González, Ismael Alfaro and Ramsés Camejo. They were all detained and released a few hours later after being threatened and intimidated by Cuban State Security.
In Pinar del Rio a march was also successfully carried out in spite of the numerous arrests. Conrado Rodríguez Suárez, member of the Democratic Alliance of Pinar del Rio (ADP) continues under arrest.
In Sagua La Grande, paramilitary groups surrounded and attacked the home of the human rights activist Jesus Reinaldo, located at Carolina Cabrera Street #60 to prevent the meeting of members of the peaceful resistance.
Pedro Campa Almenares was released after being held in the Prison of Aguadores since August 2011.
In Havana, the police arrested more than a dozen dissidents who were on their way to participate in a forum on racial discrimination to be held November 24-26 at the home of Antonio Madrazo located at Calle 23 #710 entre C y D apto 2 piso 1, Vedado. Among those detained were dissidents Manuel Cuesta Morua, Darsi Ferrer and Yusnaimi Jorge Soca, Guillermo Lizama, Leonardo Calvo, as well as Danilo Maldonado.
Friday, November 25 - José Peña Batista, president of the Calixto García Movement, was arrested and remains in custody. The previous day a march had originated at his home and gone on to a Park in the town of Velazco, in the province of Hoguin ( Eastern Cuba).
Sunday, November 27 – In spite of the intimidations and threats of beatings and arrests, 38 Ladies in White were able to hear mass and march in the city of El Cobre in Eastern Cuba while in Havana 46 members of the Ladies in White “Laura Pollan” walked down 5th Avenue after attending mass at the Church of Santa Rita.
International recognition of the peaceful resistance movement in Cuba and solidarity for these activists is crucial. The Coalition of Cuban-American Women makes an urgent call on religious, civic, political, and cultural entities and its leaders, as well as to non-gonvernmental human rights organizations worldwide.
Coalition of Cuban-American Women / Laida A. Carro / Joseito76@aol.com
FURTHER INFORMATION IN CUBA: José Daniel Ferrer - + 53 53631267 / Belkis Cantillo - + 53 53790867 / Berta Soler - + 53 52906820