SYSTEMATIC ACTS OF AGGRESSION AGAINST CUBAN CIVIL SOCIETY SETS THE STAGE FOR THE VISIT OF POPE BENEDICT XVI
“The Cuban regime will try to manipulate the Pontiff’s presence in Cuba. We are calling on the support of the international community and of our exiled brothers, so we, the outcast, the persecuted, are able to meet with Pope Benedict XVI and tell him what is really happening here on the island…”
Angel Moya, former Cuban Political Prisoner of Conscience
March 11, 2012
This week (March 5-11) throughout Cuba, police and State Security operatives prevented members of the Ladies in White from attending Mass in their respective cities by way of threats of being beaten or sentenced to prison terms. Several were summoned to appear at local police unit as was the case of Alina Fonseca and Eduviris Isaac Rodriguez. Both were forced to appear at 10:00 a.m. at the Palma Soriano Police Unit in Eastern Cuba. Others were placed under house arrest with State Security agents posted around their homes, while some were subjected to short term detention in prison cells as was the case in Banes of Marta Diaz Rondon, Gertrudis Ojeda, and Miladis Rosa. In Holguin, for the 12th consecutive Sunday, Caridad Caballero Batista and her family were prevented from going to Mass; Caridad and her son Eric were arrested, while her husband, Eric Sande was prevented from leaving the house. In Havana, Yanelys Cabrera Bourzac was arrested in her home and was taken to an undisclosed location. In addition, church entrances in the island were blocked to prevent the Ladies in White from entering. In the cities of Guantanamo and Santa Clara (central Cuba) members of the Ladies in White were also harassed when they tried to reach a Church.
Berta Soler, leader of the peaceful human rights movement Ladies in White Laura Pollan, declared in Havana that Pope Benedict XVI should meet with the excluded and marginalized sectors of society adding that they, the Ladies in White, are part of that sector.
The independent Information Center Hablemos Press (CIHPRESS) reported from the island that during the first two months of 2012, they have documented 815 arrests for political reasons.
The Father of Ernesto Borges declared that on March 8, 2012 his son ended the hunger strike he had initiated on February 10, 2012, to demand his release under parole (listen to audio). Cardinal Jaime Ortega met with the political prisoner on February 28, 2012 at the Combinado del Este Prison in Havana where he is confined, and it appears that Ernesto stopped his hunger strike because he is considering what the Cardinal told him that the Cuban government will review his case. Borges was accused of espionage and has served 14 years of a 30 year prison sentence. AUDIO of Raul Borges: http://networkedblogs.com/uYYp2 (1:47 min.)
Yasmin Conyedo and her husband, Yusmani Alvarez both remain under arrest since January 8, 2012 in the central city of Santa Clara. Yasmin Conyedo is an independent journalist of the group, United Antitotalitarian Front and a Lady in White. Her husband, Yusmani Alvarez is an activist of the Young Democratic League of Las Villas. They are both falsely accused of attacking the home of a communist party official in their hometown of Villaclara who had initially subjected the couple’s home to a pro government mob attack the same day of the arrest. Yasmin was transferred to the Prison of Guamajal and Yusmani to the Prison of La Pendiente on January 16, 2012.
Below are some of the human rights violations reported during the week of March 5 – March 11, 2012:
MARCH 6, 2012- On March 9, 2012 fifteen human rights defenders, members of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy and of the Democratic Eastern Alliance who had been dragged, beaten and arrested on March 6, were released in Antilla. The activists are: Cristian Toranzo Fundichely, Mildred Noemí Sánchez Infante, Hans Pedro Buenamor Fundicheli, David Givert Durand, Carlos Antonio Losada Legrat, Rafael Meneses Pupo, Miguel Santana Bres, Braulio Azcuy Castañeda, Amada Pileta, Víctor Kindelán, Yadira Martínez, Eusebio Martínez Fundichely, Eliso Castillo González, Leonardo Pérez Rojas and Wilbert Rivas Marín. The success of the pro human rights activism of these groups in Eastern Cuba, among the population, provoked the violence that was perpetrated by authorities against these Cuban activists.
Eriberto Liranza Romero, president of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy (MCJD), was beaten by a supposed dissident when he was on his way to the US Interests Office in Havana this past Tuesday, March 6th. Liranza denounced his aggressor, Carranza Lopez, as an “infiltrator from State Security“, for, in the last few days, he has started to publish a pamphlet to discredit numerous activists with the objective of creating divisions amongst the human rights movements in the island.
UNPACU member, Juan Carlos Vazquez Osoria was violently arrested this past March 6th as he was traveling from Moa to Palmarito de Cauto in Eastern Cuba. Osoria was detained until March 8th. Within the past few months, Osoria and has wife Anni Sarrion Romero have suffered countless acts of aggression at the hands of Cuban state police. In fact, Sarrion has been beaten, threatened, and suspended from her job just for publicly demanding freedom for Cuba.
MARCH 8, 2012- Lady in White and activist, Mayra Morejon was picked up by an official in a patrol car at her house and taken to the National Revolutionary Police Unit (PNR) in Alamar in Havana were she was threatened, considering the possibility that she might hold a public protest displaying a sheet on Women’s Day, March 8. Officials warned her that if she carried out any such act, alongside Ivonne Malleza, her husband Ignacio Martinez, Mercedes Fresneda and Julio Regatillo, everyone would end up at the Prison of Manto Negro (women) and the Combinado del Este (men). AUDIO of Mayra Morejon: http://origin.martinoticias.org/audio/audio/5681.html
MARCH 10, 2012 – From Santa Clara in Central Cuba, Guillermo Fariñas reported that Ricardo Arrechea Gomez, husband of the Lady in White, Nuria Perez Martinez, was beaten by the police.
In Havana, Yusleidis Ramos Barrios reported the arrest of her husband, Pedro Garcia Hernandez who is an independent trade unionist.
MARCH 11, 2012 - Human rights defender Rene Fernandez Quiroga from the National Civic Resistance Front Orlando Zapata Tamayo in Santa Cruz del Sur, Camaguey (central Cuba) was brutally beaten by the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) around 1 a.m. and arrested while attending a party on March 11, 2012. The police incited others at the party to also beat Fernandez Quiroga.
Jorge Luis Garcia Perez‘Antunez’, General Secretary of the National Civic Resistance Front Orlando Zapata Tamayo was arrested near his home in Placetas (central Cuba) and taken to an unknown location. Eriberto Liranza and Rene Rouco were arrested in Havana late in the evening.
Yris Perez Aguilera, who is the leader of the Rosa Park Femenine Movement for Civil Rights reported that all the homes of activists in Sagua la Grande in central Cuba were surrounded by paramilitary forces.
The Coalition of Cuban-American Womenalerts the international community that the lives of those members of Cuban civil society who are actively and publicly struggling peacefully on behalf of fundamental freedoms are in danger. We are particularly concerned with the cases of the activist couple Yasmin Conyedo and Yusmani Alvarez and with the continued physical and mental harassment against members of the Ladies in White, Laura Pollan throughout Cuba. International recognition of the peaceful resistance and solidarity for these human rights defenders is crucial. We make an urgent call on religious, civic, political, and cultural entities and its leaders, as well as to non-governmental human rights organizations worldwide.
Coalition of Cuban-American Women / Joseito76@aol.com / Laida A.Carro
Facebook Page: Coalition of Cuban-American Women
Facebook Page: Coalition of Cuban-American Women
FURTHER INFORMATION IN CUBA:
Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia + 5353631267 / / Caridad Caballero Batista + 52629749 / / Angel Moya + 53 53820595 / Berta Soler +5352906820 / Yris T. Perez Aguilera + 5352731656