Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Las Damas de Blanco en oración en el Cobre, domingo 29 de enero de 2012

II Damas de Blanco en El Cobre, domingo 29 de enero ded 2012

Reporte de Dama de Blanco Tania Montoya sobre el domingo 29 de enero de 2012




Children are recruited by the regime to scream insults and slogans at human rights defenders

January 29, 2012

The week of January 23-29, 2012 saw the pro democracy movement increase their acts of civic resistance in the island as the regime incremented its acts of repression against the peaceful activists. Rapid Response Brigades or Rapid Action Groups made up of organized government mobs that intimidate and instill fear in the population by screaming slogans, carrying metal tubes, sticks, stones, etc. surrounded and attacked during hours and even days, dozens of homes of human rights defenders in numerous provinces from eastern to western Cuba. State Security forces were stationed at check points that controlled the free access to towns and cities as patrol cars guarded main avenues in the cities. Two independent journalists suffered violent attacks to their homes: in the eastern city of San German, gallons of blue paint were thrown against the front of the house of Luis Felipe Rojas while his family was inside. In Havana, the house of Dania Virgen suffered a mob attack that included children as well as adults.

On the 24th day of every month, the National Front of Civic Resistance and Disobedience Orlando Zapata Tamayo has called on all activists and the Cuban population in general to honor “Resistance Day” with acts of peaceful protests such as vigils, workshops, street rallies, civic remembrances, etc. On January 24 pots and pans were banged in the streets protesting the death of human rights defender Wilman Villar Mendoza, as the regime beat and arbitrarily arrested the participants.

On January 28, the 159th anniversary of the birth of the Cuban patriot Jose Marti the prodemocracy activists tried to publicly honor their compatriot but Cuban authorities: threatened them, physically mistreated and arbitrarily arrested them, and blocked their homes. Numerous activists also reported that their cell phone connections were blocked to prevent communication amongst themselves and with the international community.

The peaceful movement of the Ladies in White Laura Pollan continues to be subjected to violent acts by State Security agents who prevent their attendance to Mass through arbitrary arrests and by blocking their homes. This Sunday, paramilitary mobs screamed obscenities at them as they were going to honor the Patriot Jose Marti. They were pushed and taken away to police units in Havana. The Lady in White, Belkis Cantillo reported from Santiago de Cuba that authorities were following and filming them as they came out in unison of the Basilica of the Virgin of Charity in El Cobre.

Among the reports received from Cuba are the following:

January 23, 2012 – In Havana, the home of Eriberto Liranza, which is the headquarters of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy, was surrounded by State Security agents who foiled the regular Monday meeting of this group from taking place. Yunior Ramirez Roca, Santiago Diaz Soto, Antionio Perez Romero, Jennifer Suarez Varela and others were threatened and prevented from reaching Liranza’s home and the following activists were subjected to short term arrests: Raul Parada Ramirez, Carlos Alexander Borrego Galardi and his wife, Ariadna Bernal Rosales as well as Eriberto Liranza.

January 24, 2012 – The National Front of Civic Resistance and Disobedience Orlando Zapata Tamayo, a coalition of pro-democracy groups throughout Cuba, took to the streets with a “Pots and Pans” protest to commemorate “Resistance Day” and honor the memory of their compatriot Wilman Villar Mendoza. Many of the activists who participated were brutally beaten and arrested and many of their homes were surrounded by screaming pro government paramilitary mobs. “We want the world to know what these henchmen are doing to us; we are peaceful activists who only cry out on behalf of freedom and democracy for the Cuban people,” declared Hermogenes Guerrero from Havana. Among the cities where this protest took place were: Havana, Banes, Holguin, San German, Guantanamo, Cardenas, and Velazco.

January 25, 2012 – Numerous acts of repudiation were carried out against homes of human rights defenders throughout Cuba: for a second day in a row, the house of activist Sara Marta Fonseca in Havana was surrounded during several hours by a paramilitary mob screaming government slogans; attacks were reported to the homes of activists in the eastern city of Palma Soriano such as was the case of Misael Valdes Diaz and his wife, Vivian Peña Hernandez.

January 26, 2012 – The Cuban political prisoner, Luis Enrique Labrador Diaz, was confined to a punishment cell in the Combinado del Este Prison in Havana for refusing to wear the common prisoner’s uniform and for demanding the 20 minute phone call allotted to all prisoners.

At 3 in the morning in the eastern city of San German, the home of the blogger and independent journalist, Luis Felipe Rojas was vandalized with “paint bombs.” Up to eleven eggs with blue oil paint were thrown against the front of the home, smearing up to the living room furniture and floor. Rojas was not home but his wife, Exilda Arjona and their two children, 8 and 3 witnessed the aggression. The couple eldest son, Malcom Rojas, is under psychiatric treatment for the continuous repressive acts he’s been subjected to. The activist Eliecer Palma Pupo was arrested before he got to Felipe Rojas’s home.

January 27, 2012 – On the eve of the 159th anniversary of the birth of the Cuban patriot Jose Marti, police officers and State Security forces carried out arrests throughout the following eastern cities in Cuba to prevent activists from carrying out any public commemorative acts: in Palma Soriano, Velasco, Gibara, Antilla, Baracoa, in Guantanamo, where the Ladies in White, Elisa Milagros Reinier, and Maria Alonso Cordoba, were mistreated and arrested; in Moa, the Lady in White, Maritza Cardoza Romero was arrested and taken to the Mayari Police Unit as she was on her way to attend Sunday mass at the Basilica of El Cobre; in Caimanera, Eliesei Aranda Matos of the human rights movement “Resistance and Democracy” was arrested; in Palmarito de Cauto, UMPACU activists Abraham Cabrera, Ruben Torres, and Maximilano Sanchez were denied permission by province officials to carry out any acts of homage to Jose Marti.

January 28, 2012 – On the 159th anniversary of the birth of Cuban patriot any acts of homage to honor the Cuban patriot Jose Marti across the island were blocked through repressive tactics. The Ladies in White, Elisa Reiner and Maria Alonso and the human rights defender Eleixei Aranda Matos were arrested. Patrol cars surrounded the home of human rights defender, Antonio Gonzalez Bordonado, member of UMPACU, in the neighborhood of Vista Hermosa, Santiago de Cuba and, in Placetas (central Cuba), the home of Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera and Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez was obstructed by agents. In Villa Clara, Guillermo del Sol Perez was arrested on his way to the home of the actvist Damaris Moya Portieles who was inaugurating the “Casa del Preso” to honor Cuban political prisoners.

From the eastern city of Moa Holguin, the human rights defender and member of UMPACU, Juan Carlos Vazquez Osoria reported that the home of Lady in White, Annis Sarrion Romero is under house surveillance to prevent her assistance to Mass this coming Sunday to the Basilica of the Virgin of Charity in El Cobre, Santiago de Cuba. Rafael Meneses Pupo, Ariel Cruz Meneses, and Delvin Martinez were arrested before they were able to arrive at the home of Marta Diaz Rondon in Banes, Holguin where a workshop on Jose Marti was taking place.

In Havana, Manuel Cuesta Morua, director of the independent Cuban group, Arco Progresista and coordinator of a citizen’s project called “Nuevo Pais” (New Country), was detained around 9:30 a.m. to prevent his participation in a meeting of artists and activists that was planned to convene that afternoon at 6:00 p.m. Also in Havana, the home of independent journalist and blogger, Dania Virgen Garcia, was subjected to an act of repudiation in which around 50 children participated, screaming slogans alongside adults.

January 29, 2012 – Police operations were carried out in the eastern cities of Palmarito de Cauto, Palma Soriano, and Santiago de Cuba to prevent the Ladies in White from attending Mass at the Basilica of El Cobre. Peaceful human rights defender, Yoandi Beltran Gamboa and his wife, the Lady in White, Yusmari Chacon were arrested on their way to the Cathedral of Guantanamo.

Ladies in White arrested in Santiago de Cuba: Ana Celia Rodriguez, Teresa Roman, Doraisa Correoso,Annia Alegre, Maria Elena Matos, Kenia Alegrin and the activist Abel Martin.

Caridad Caballero Batista was aggressively arrested alongside Isabel Peña and Berta Guerrero ( all Ladies in White) as she was leaving her home in the eastern city of Holguin. Her husband Esteban Sande Suarez and her son Eric Sande were also arrested.

In Havana, human rights defender Sarah Marta Fonseca who is executive Secretary of the Human Rights Committee of the Andrei Sajarov Foundation and a spokesperson of the National Front of Civic Resistance and Desobedience Orlando Zapata Tamayo, as well as a Lady in White, was participating in a civic remembrance placing a wreath at a bust of Jose Marti in a park in El Vedado neighborhood when about 40 Ladies in White were attacked by Rapid Reponse Brigades screaming pro government slogans. (Audio of Berta Soler denouncing attack) http://www.martinoticias.com/templates/ocb-mediaDisplay.html?mediaPath=http://av.martinoticias.com/MartiMedia/audio/2012/1/D-015.mp3&mediaContentID=138291434. Around 46 women were mistreated, forced onto a bus, and arrested. Berta Soler and the daughter of the deceased Lady in White Laura Pollan (Laurita Pollan), were taken away in a separate car to a police unit were they were held for two hours. Berta’s husband, human rights defender Angel Moya and eleven more activists who were accompanying the women, were violently arrested and taken in patrol cars to different police units in Havana.

The Coalition of Cuban-American Women alerts the international community that the lives of those members of Cuban civil society who are actively and publicly struggling on behalf of fundamental freedoms are in danger. We are particularly concerned with the systematic repression against members of the Ladies in White, Laura Pollan across Cuba. International recognition of the peaceful resistance and solidarity for those 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 Blog: http://www.coalitionofcubanamericanwomen.blogspot.com/

Facebook Page: Coalition of Cuban-American Women

Twitter: @COCAW1

FURTHER INFORMATION IN CUBA: Berta Soler +5352906820 / José Daniel Ferrer + 53 53631267 / Caridad Caballero Batista + 5-2629749 / Belkis Cantillo + 5353790867 /

Friday, January 27, 2012


Justicia, no más impunidad

Dr. Darsi Ferret

La Habana, Cuba. 24 de enero de 2012.

Wilman Vidal ha sido asesinado. No puede calificarse de otro modo el acto de encerrar en una fría y mugrienta celda de castigo, sin agua ni asistencia médica, a un hombre desnudo y debilitado por la hambruna. El deterioro irreversible de su salud durante los 50 días que pasó en huelga de hambre, contó con el apoyo del desamparo, las más que probables palizas y la indiferencia de quienes lo custodiaban y se esforzaron en quebrar su posición ética de rechazo a la injusticia cometida contra su persona.

Era un joven lleno de vida, que con su muerte prevenible dejó abandonadas a su esposa y dos pequeñas niñas de 5 y 7 años. Su delito fue reclamar respeto a los Derechos Humanos y libertades ciudadanas. Razón suficiente para ser merecedor del odio, el desprecio y castigo de la junta militar que mantiene secuestrado el poder en Cuba e implementa una política de terrorismo de Estado para sojuzgar al pueblo.

Más no constituye un hecho aislado, sino que resulta apenas otra víctima de un Plan de eliminación física de opositores que, en años recientes, incluye la muerte de Orlando Zapata Tamayo, Wilfredo Soto y Laura Pollán. Además, está fresco el recuerdo de los crímenes perpetrados con el hundimiento del Remolcador 13 de Marzo en las afueras de la Bahía de La Habana, el derribo en aguas internacionales de las avionetas civiles de Hermanos al Rescate por aviones militares, la muerte en total abandono de decenas de enfermos mentales en el Hospital Psiquiátrico de la Habana, y el arbitrario y expedito fusilamiento de tres jóvenes negros que secuestraron una lancha en el intento de escapar de la isla.

Ante esta cadena de asesinatos la comunidad internacional ha reaccionado con pasividad, y hasta complacencia. En los últimos tiempos, solo en las prisiones cubanas se reportan muertes de reclusos en huelga de hambre. En ninguna otra nación del continente ocurren situaciones tan deplorables, ni siquiera en la cárcel de la Base Naval de Guantánamo. La dictadura militar argentina jamás ordenó golpear a las Madres de Plaza de Mayo, mientras las Damas de Blanco sufren todo tipo de agresiones por parte de la policía política. Cualquier intento de ejercer derechos elementales de reunión, asociación o manifestación es reprimido con brutalidad policial, arrestos arbitrarios y las golpizas protagonizadas por turbas progubernamentales que obran con total impunidad. Más de cien mil cubanos languidecen en las prisiones bajo régimen de torturas, tratos crueles, inhumanos y degradantes, sin el amparo de las normas de reclusión establecidas por la ONU.

El régimen de La Habana ha perdido toda legitimidad. Sus abusos y acciones represivas contra la población lo hacen similar a las repudiadas dictaduras del Medio Oriente. Tanto el gobernante sirio Bashar Al Assad como Raúl Castro en Cuba desconocen la voluntad popular, desprecian a sus pueblos y están dispuestos a aplastar mediante la fuerza cualquier reclamo que les cuestione su presencia vitalicia al frente del poder.

La aceptación de la junta militar de La Habana en foros internacionales, como el Consejo de Derechos Humanos de la ONU, mancha la credibilidad de esas instituciones. Los gobiernos latinoamericanos y caribeños, que en su momento repudiaron las dictaduras militares establecidas en Chile y Argentina, deberían ser consecuentes y rechazar al régimen dictatorial de la isla. La OEA terminó desechando la suspensión de Cuba promovida por el gobierno de los EEUU. Sin embargo, no condena con firmeza los crecientes desmanes de la dictadura antillana. El dinero depositado por La Habana en la Banca internacional se utiliza en gran medida para satisfacer los lujos y vida aburguesada de la élite gobernante, además de financiar el tenebroso aparato represivo y de sojuzgamiento del pueblo, que cada día es obligado a soportar el incremento de la pobreza y de sus necesidades más elementales.

Resulta intolerable que en pleno Siglo XXI Cuba sea la única nación privada de democracia en todo el hemisferio occidental. En el actual clima de terror e impunes injusticias, la Oposición pacífica seguirá su sacrificada labor por la libertad del pueblo y la instauración en el país del Estado de Derecho. Los gobiernos e instituciones del mundo libre están llamados a superar las protestas morales y contemplaciones, y adoptar enérgicas condenas políticas y sanciones económicas contra el oprobioso régimen de los Castro. Al menos, hasta que cese la represión, legalicen el multipartidismo y se convoquen elecciones libres. No más sangre de inocentes, no más indolencia ni desesperanza. ¡Libertad!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Cuba: Muerte de disidente pone en evidencia el uso de tácticas represivas

Deben cesar las amenazas contra la familia Villar Mendoza

Enero 20, 2012

(Washington, DC) – La muerte del disidente de 31 años Wilman Villar Mendoza el 19 de enero de 2012, tras una huelga de hambre que se extendió durante 50 días, demuestra que en Cuba persiste la represión, señaló hoy Human Rights Watch. El gobierno cubano debería poner fin inmediatamente a las amenazas dirigidas contra su esposa, Maritza Pelegrino Cabrales, y contra la organización Damas de Blanco de la cual recibe apoyo, así como desistir de medidas que impidan que ella y otros disidentes asistan al funeral de Villar Mendoza.

Villar Mendoza fue detenido el 2 de noviembre de 2011, luego de participar en una manifestación pacífica en Contramaestre, Cuba, para reclamar mayor libertad política y respeto de los derechos humanos, según indicó su esposa a Human Rights Watch. Villar Mendoza integraba la Unión Patriótica de Cuba (UMPACU), un grupo disidente que el gobierno cubano considera ilegítimo debido a que sus miembros expresan opiniones críticas.

“El caso de Villar Mendoza demuestra que el gobierno cubano castiga el disenso”, afirmó José Miguel Vivanco, director para las Américas de Human Rights Watch. “Para silenciar a los críticos se recurre a tácticas como arrestos arbitrarios, procesos judiciales que no son más que una farsa, encarcelamiento en condiciones inhumanas y persecución de familiares de disidentes”.

Villar Mendoza fue acusado de desacato y condenado a cuatro años de prisión tras una audiencia que duró menos de una hora, señaló su esposa a Human Rights Watch. Si bien ella pudoasistir al juicio, a otros disidentes que intentaron ingresar a la sala se les negó el acceso. Villar Mendoza no tuvo oportunidad de hablar en su defensa ni contó con representación de un abogado defensor, aseveró la esposa.

Su esposa dijo, además, que Villar Mendoza había iniciado la huelga de hambre como protesta por las injustas condiciones en que se llevó a cabo el juicio y se dispuso su encarcelamiento.

La Comisión Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional, una organización dedicada al monitoreo de los derechos humanos que no ha sido reconocida por el gobierno, calificó a Villar Mendoza como preso político en diciembre pasado.

Según manifestó su esposa, los guardias penitenciarios habrían sometido a Villar Mendoza a reclusión en condiciones de aislamiento luego de que iniciara la huelga de hambre el 25 de noviembre. Villar Mendoza contó a su mujer que lo habían desnudado y confinado a una celda de aislamiento minúscula y fría. La última vez que se le permitió visitar a su esposo fue el 29 de diciembre, señaló.

La esposa también contó a Human Rights Watch que funcionarios gubernamentales la habían hostigado en varias oportunidades por su relación con las Damas de Blanco, una organización de derechos humanos integrada por esposas, madres e hijas de presos políticos. Indicó que miembros de las fuerzas de seguridad del Estado amenazaron expresamente con quitarle a las hijas que tuvo con Villar Mendoza, de 7 y 5 años, si continuaba trabajando con las Damas de Blanco.

Según manifestó su esposa, Villar Mendoza fue trasladado a un hospital en Santiago de Cuba pocos días antes de su muerte. La esposa indicó que las autoridades no le avisaron sobre su muerte y que se enteró de lo ocurrido a través de contactos fuera de Cuba, que leyeron la noticia en la prensa internacional. Afirmó que aún no se le ha permitido ver el cuerpo y que tampoco se le proporcionó información sobre los preparativos para el funeral.

El 23 de febrero de 2010, otro preso político cubano, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, murió luego de una huelga de hambre de 85 días que había iniciado en repudio a las condiciones inhumanas de detención a las cuales estaba siendo sometido y para exigir tratamiento médico.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Gritos de "asesinos" frente a la embajada de Cuba en Madrid

From Libertad Digital:

Un grupo de disidentes recordaron a Wilman Villar frente a la embajada en Madrid. Hubo momentos de tensión cuando intentaban colocar una corona.

ld/agencias 2012-01-21

Alrededor de medio centenar de cubanos se han concentrado ante la Embajada de su país en España para protestar por la muerte del disidente Wilman Villar, fallecido en prisión durante una huelga de hambre.

La concentración, convocada por la plataforma "Cuba Democracia !ya!", se inició sobre las once de la mañana tras una valla en la acera de enfrente de la Embajada, que permanecía cerrada y sin actividad aparente y protegida por la dotación de un furgón del Cuerpo Nacional de Policía junto a su entrada principal.

Dos representantes de la plataforma convocante, entre ellos su presidente, Yuniel Jacobino, intentaron cruzar la calzada para colocar una corona de flores dedicada al disidente fallecido ante la verja, pero la Policía les cerró el paso y el responsible del operativo les comunicó que no podían pasar de allí por razones de seguridad.

Tras varios minutos de diálogo infructuoso con el responsible policial, los disidentes cubanos se retiraron después de comunicarle que, no obstante, intentarían colocar la corona de flores ante la verja. A los pocos minutos, otros seis furgones policiales reforzaron la protección en torno a la Embajada, hasta completar un número de agentes próximo al de los manifestantes.

Los disidentes permanecieron en el lugar autorizado para su concentración durante unos cuarenta minutos, haciendo ondear banderas de su país y gritando consignas en contra del régimen cubano, hasta que los dos responsables de la plataforma se dirigieron de nuevo hacia la entrada del edificio con la corona de flores.

Después de unos momentos de tensión y forcejeos con los agentes, el responsible del operativo de seguridad les propuso que depositaran la corona sobre la acera (no junto a la verja), a lo que accedieron para retirarse después al otro lado de la calzada.

Allí leyeron un manifiesto en el que denuncian que "a quienes se atreven a pedir libertad, democracia y respeto a los derechos humanos en Cuba les sucede lo que a Wilmar Villar Mendoza".

En el manifiesto se have un llamamiento a la comunidad democrática internacional para que ayude a detener "la ola represiva que han desatado los esbirros de la dictadura castrista para acallar el crimen de Wilman". La concentración finalizó con un minuto de silencio "por todos los asesinados en Cuba".

Cuba: Dissident’s Death Highlights Repressive Tactics

From Human Rights Watch:

(Washington, DC) – The death of the 31-year-old dissident Wilman Villar Mendoza on January 19, 2012 following a 50-day hunger strike highlights the ongoing repression in Cuba, Human Rights Watch said today. The Cuban government should immediately put an end to the threats against his wife, Maritza Pelegrino Cabrales, and the group Damas de Blanco (Ladies in White), which supports her, and drop any measures that would prevent her and dissidents from attending Villar Mendoza's funeral.

Villar Mendoza was detained on November 2, 2011, after participating in a peaceful demonstration in Contramaestre, Cuba calling for greater political freedom and respect for human rights, his wife told Human Rights Watch. He was a member of the Union Patriotica de Cuba, a dissident group the Cuban government considers illegitimate because its members express critical views.

"Villar Mendoza's case shows how the Cuban government punishes dissent," said José Miguel Vivanco, Americas director at Human Rights Watch. "Arbitrary arrests, sham trials, inhumane imprisonment, and harassment of dissidents' families – these are the tactics used to silence critics."

Villar Mendoza was charged with "contempt" (desacato) and sentenced to four years in prison in a hearing that lasted less than an hour, his wife told Human Rights Watch. While she was allowed to attend the trial, dissidents who tried to enter the courtroom were denied access. Villar Mendoza was not given the opportunity to speak in his defense, nor was he represented by a defense lawyer, she said.

His wife said he initiated his hunger strike to protest his unjust trial and imprisonment.

The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation, a human rights monitoring group that the government does not recognize, classified Villar Mendoza as a political prisoner in December.

Prison guards placed Villar Mendoza in solitary confinement after he initiated the hunger strike on November 25, his wife said. He told his wife he was stripped naked and placed in solitary confinement in a small, cold cell. The last time she was allowed to visit her husband was on December 29, she said.

His wife also told Human Rights Watch that government officials had repeatedly harassed her for associating with the Damas de Blanco, a human rights group consisting of wives, mothers, and daughters of political prisoners. She said state security officers explicitly threatened to take away her and Villar Mendoza's daughters, ages 7 and 5, if she continued to work with the Damas.

According to his wife, Villar Mendoza was transferred to a hospital in Santiago de Cuba days before he died. His wife said authorities had not notified her of his death, and that she had been informed by contacts outside of Cuba, who read the story in the international press. She said she has not yet been allowed to see his body, nor has she been informed about funeral arrangements.

On February 23, 2010, another Cuban political prisoner, Orlando Zapata Tamayo, died after an 85-day hunger strike, which he initiated to protest the inhumane conditions in which he was being held and to demand medical treatment.

Collaboration: Humberto Capiro / HCapiro@aol.com


Miami, enero 20, 2011

Las Organizaciones de ex presos políticos abajo firmantes lamentamos la muerte del opositor Wilman Villar Mendoza.

Esta lamentable pérdida deja de manifiesto, que el Partido Comunista de Cuba no se detiene ante ninguna circunstancia en su obtusa obsesión por mantener el poder a cualquier precio.

Wilman desde su celda, como otros cubanos desde el mismo año 1959, solamente reclamaba sus derechos de preso político, arbitrariamente juzgado y condenado por un sistema totalitario que se caracteriza por la brutal represión contra sus opositores aunque éstos sean pacíficos.

Como organizaciones de ex presos políticos denunciamos al régimen de La Habana como responsable de esta muerte y ratificamos nuestro compromiso y respaldo con la oposición en la isla, la resistencia interna y con los presos políticos.

Estaremos enviando nuestra denuncia por este asesinato premeditado a los organismos e instancias pertinentes ante la perpetración de este otro crimen de la tiranía castrista.

La huelga de hambre es una de las pruebas más dura a la que puede someterse el ser humano, e inclinamos nuestras frentes ante el sacrificio supremo de Wilman por el rescate de los derechos de nuestro pueblo, como lo hicieron otros prisioneros políticos que entregaron sus vidas en iguales circunstancias y por la misma causa.

Consejo Nacional del Presidio Politico Cubano. Dr. Alfredo García-Menocal, secretario.

Coordinadora Internacional de Ex presos políticos cubanos. Nelis Rojas, pte.

Ex Club. Angel Cuadra, pte.

Frente Nacional del Presidio Politico Cubano, Rufino Alvarez, pte.

Presidio Político Histórico Cubano-Casa del Preso-. Luis G. Infante, pte.

Union de Ex presos politicos Zona N/NE de EE.UU. Montero Duque, pte.

Union de Ex presos politicos de Puerto Rico. Kemel Jamil, pte.

Unión de Ex presos políticos de California. Reynaldo Rodríguez-Ojeda, pte.

Luis G.Infante PP#34028

Friday, January 20, 2012

Cuba: Testimony of widow/Viuda de Wilman Villar

AUDIO/ in Spanish (4:36 min.)


A Maritza Pelegrino Cabrales, viuda del reciente fallecido defensor de los derechos humanos en Cuba Wilman Villar Mendoza, no le han permitido ver el cadaver de su esposo y la Seguridad del Estado la tiene amenazada de quitarle sus dos hijas de 5 y 7 a~nos si no abandona su participacion en el movimiento pacifico de las Damas de Blanco en el Oriente de Cuba.

Maritza Pelegrino Cabrales, widow of the recently deceased Cuban human rights defender has not been permitted access to her husband's dead body and State Security threatens to take away her two daughters, 5 and 7 years of age, if she doesn't stop participating in the peaceful human rights movement of the Ladies in White in Eastern Cuba.




Peaceful Resistance Movement urgently requests world solidarity for the memory of Wilman Villar Mendoza

January 20, 2012

Cuban human rights defender, Wilman Villar Mendoza, who had been admitted in critical state to the Juan Bruno Zayas Hospital in Santiago de Cuba on January 14 following a 50 day hunger strike (begun November 25, 2012), died on the evening of Thursday, January 18, 2012 of a multiple organ failure and a generalized sepsis.

Wilman Villar Mendoza, who was 31 years old and a member of the human rights group UMPACU (Union Patriotica de Cuba) began a hunger strike in the Prison of Aguadores on November 25, 2011 to protest the false accusations that led to his unjust incarceration and to demand his unconditional freedom. Wilmar was beaten and arrested following a public peaceful protest in the eastern town of Contramaestre on November 14, 2011, and sentenced in a trial he called a “judicial farce” to four years in prison. He was charged with “refusing to obey an official” (desacato), “resistance” (resistencia), and “assault” (atentado).

As most members of the peaceful resistance movement in the island, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, leader of UMPACU, holds the Cuban government directly responsible for the demise of this peaceful human rights defender. Numerous activists across Cuba declared themselves in mourning and said this sad event unites them even more to continue defending the cause of human rights in Cuba.

The death of Wilman Villar Mendoza did not come about fortuitously nor is it an isolated case. The same terror tactics of mental and physical torture to subdue a political prisoner that have been systematically applied in Cuban prisons and which were applied to Orlando Zapata Tamayo, (who died on February 23, 2010 following a prolonged hunger strike) were also practiced on Wilman:

· Accused of being a common criminal

· Isolated in a humid punishment cell

· Confined naked

· Deprived of water and medical assistance

· Transferred to a medical facility once he is in a critical state of health

Wilmar’s widow, Maritza Pelegrino Cabrales, who is a “Lady in White”, is presently being denied access to her husband’s body and the Cuban government has unleashed a wave of repression throughout Cuba as members of the peaceful resistance movement are trying to pay their last respects to their compatriot. The Juan Bruno Zayas Hospital is surrounded by military guards. Liudmila Rodriguez Palomo reported that State Security agents in patrol cars, carrying sticks and stones, violently arrested activists in the Eastern city of Palma Soriano. The house of Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez and his wife, Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera in the Central city of Placetas is surrounded by State Security agents.

For months, the Coalition of Cuban-American Women has been alerting the international community that the lives of those human rights defenders who are publicly struggling on behalf of fundamental freedoms in Cuba are in danger. We urgently call on religious, civic, political and cultural entities and its leaders, as well as the media and the non-governmental human rights organizations worldwide, to recognize and display their solidarity on behalf of these men and women who are sacrificing their lives for the cause of human rights in Cuba.

Coalition of Cuban-American Women / Joseito76@aol.com / Laida A.Carro

FURTHER INFORMATION IN CUBA: Berta Soler +5352906820 / José Daniel Ferrer - + 53 53631267 / Maritza Pelegrino Cabrales + 5353842338 / Iris T. Perez Aguilera +5352417749 / Jose Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez” +5352731656

Wilman Villar Mendoza

Carta a Mons. Wensky de un balsero catolico cubano

Carta a Mons. Wensky de un balsero catolico cubano

Estimado monseñor Wensky,

Le escribe un cubano balsero quien durante los 20 años que vivió en Cuba fue educado bajo los principios comunistas del Ateísmo y el odio oficializado a quienes asistían a la iglesia, viví como testigo circunstancial los abusos y ofensas a mis vecinos y compañeros de clases por practicar el cristianismo y asistir a iglesias de cualquier denominación, no tuve la suerte de tener una familia cristiana, y nunca pise una iglesia católica por miedo al repudio como niño confundido por el adoctrinamiento ,eso no me alejo de Dios. Después de todo lo vivido, le puedo decir que al llegar al exilio y después de muchos años y gracias a mi esposa ,me bautice católico a los 33 años de edad.

Monseñor ,el Sur de la Florida está lleno de EXILIADOS Políticos católicos cubanos, víctimas de la dictadura castrista, lleno de familiares de fusilados que murieron en el paredón gritando con honor y valentía “Viva Cristo Rey”, este segundo terruño está lleno de católicos exiliados que su único delito fue tratar de practicar su religión bajo una dictadura ateísta. Monseñor su idea de organizar un peregrinaje a Cuba para la visita del Santo Padre es desafortunada al igual que sus declaraciones , por tratarse del lugar donde se encuentra ,usted “sin darse cuenta” ,esta fungiendo como agencia de viajes a Cuba para darle credibilidad a un régimen criminal y asesino y por si fuera poco llenarle las arcas de dólares.

Esa Dictadura es la responsable de miles de muertes de balseros en el mar ,miles de católicos fueron hundidos en sus balsas y embarcaciones por sacos de arena lanzados desde el aire por los miembros de las tropas represivas que cerraron los colegios e iglesias católicas.

Monseñor el acercamiento a un régimen criminal y asesino del pueblo católico cubano no es la forma de liberarlo, cada paso de acercamiento que da la iglesia es respondido con mas represión a su pueblo, mas golpes y encarcelamientos ,cuando usted gratifica al régimen organizándole viajes turísticos como si nada estuviera pasando , esta avalando su represión y violación a los derechos humanos de los católicos cubanos que en las puertas de las iglesias son masacrados al más cruel estilo de Hitler.

Las mujeres católicas cubanas, sin ir muy lejos ,sufren cada domingo esta represión al salir de misa en la Habana y caminar con una flor en la mano, que ha dicho usted sobre eso?, que ha dicho el Cardenal Ortega? ,es el silencio forma de estar del lado de los humildes y el pueblo de Dios? ,cuantas misas a, usted, servido en sus viajes a Cuba pidiendo por la salud de los presos políticos cubanos y la libertad del pueblo católico?

Usted tomara la decisión final de ir o no en ese viaje turístico a Cuba, si lo hace tome también la decisión de identificar los fieles con una camiseta que Diga “Exilio Católico cubano de Miami” y dígale a la dictadura que su comitiva va vestida así ,usted verá como se le acaba el viajecito sin ni siquiera aterrizar en la Habana ,si tiene usted miedo hacerlo ,entonces no es un fiel representante de Cristo, dígame cuando Cristo temió ante un solo reto?

Recuerde que Jesús murió en la cruz por su pueblo , y prefirió morir sacrificado a latigazos por su amor a ellos ,ir de viaje turístico a una Dictadura criminal y asesina del pueblo católico , es como ir de paseo al palacio de Pilatos, mientras este se lavaba las manos y mandaba a Cristo a la cruz.

Enrique Padrón

Balsero cubano y católico exiliado

Carta de Nestor Campaneria Angel a Msgr Wensky

Carta de Nestor Campaneria Angel a Msgr Wensky

Msgr.Wenski: Mi nombre es Nestor Campaneria Angel, nacido en Cuba y residente de Miami desde hace 50 años; soy miembro de la parroquia de St.Kevin, donde estoy activo en varios apostolados, desde 1972; soy cursillista (#69), hemos sido,mi señora y yo, miembros del Movimiento de Camino del Matrimonio. Ambos somos ministros laicos, activos tambien en St.Kevin.

El 18 de Abril de 1961, mi hermano, Virgilio Campaneria Angel, miembro de la A.C.U. y estudiante de Derecho de la Universidad de La Habana y de la Universidad Catolica de Villanueva, fue ejecutado ante un paredon de fusilamientos, junto a Alberto Tapia Ruano y otros 6 cubanos mas. Virgilio tenia 23 años.

Ya frente al paredon, y antes de morir, sus ultimas palabras, oidas en toda La Cabaña por todos los presos, fueron....VIVA CRISTO REY....VIVA CUBA LIBRE...VIVA EL DIRECTORIO REVOLUCIONARIO ESTUDIANTIL.

Tambien Virgilio dejo una carta, su testamento politico, y en ella nos dice, entre otras cosas..."La muerte no me preocupa,porque tengo fe en Dios y en los destino de mi Patria"..."yo voy feliz porque ya veo libre a mi Patria"...."ya no habra mas odio entre hermanos, ya no habra mas gargantas que pidan paredon."

Mas adelante, continua Virgilio: "pobre Cuba, cuanto has sufrido, pero la Cuba nueva surge del odio para sembrar el amor, de la injusticia para sembrar la justicia, justicia social. No demagogia engañadora de pueblo, una Cuba para los Cubanos y "con todos y para el bien de todos""

La carta, de la que Ud. puede facilmente conseguir una copia completa, termina con las frases que gritaria antes de ser fusilado.

Podria continuar nombrando muchos otros hechos represivos contra mi familia, como es que el cuerpo de Virgilio fue enterrado en una fosa comun y sin marcar en el cementerio de Colon en La Habana; y que a mis padres nunca los dejaron salir, sino cuando mi padre murio...para poderle quitar la casa a la anciana viuda.

Como vera, tengo muchos motivos, por los cuales volver a Cuba (pero solo a una Cuba como la soño mi hermano).

Msgr.Wenski: no quiero alargar mas esta carta, pero espero que Ud. no este creando un nuevo "apartheid" aqui en el sur de la Florida..."los que van ,por que el gobierno de Cuba se los permite y los que queriendo ir, no pueden, por que se les niega el permiso"

Quiero recordarle,que en Cuba aun hay represion; que en Cuba aun se persigue a aquellos que NO estan de acuerdo con el regimen imperante; que "aun hay gargantas que piden paredon"; que el hecho de que la Iglesia, nuestra Iglesia, tenga un poco mas de apertura (conveniencia??) NO quiere decir que el pueblo cubano goza de plenas libertades.

Sinceramente, creo que el gobierno de Raul Castro, solo permitira la entrada a aquellos que ellos consideren no les crearan problemas. Me pregunto...Cuales seran los requisitos????

No me prolongo mas. Solo le pido a Dios que esta idea suya, de la peregrinacion, no sea un error que divida mas aun a los catolicos de Miami. Y lo que aun puede ser mas triste, la division entre los Catolicos cubanos y los de la Diaspora.

Con mi mayor respeto.

Nestor Campaneria Angel.




Por Armando F. Valladares

Miami (FL), 01 de enero de 2012

Puede difundirse y publicarse por cualquier medio, libremente. Si fuera posible, comunique la publicación y/o su valiosa opinión a armandovalladares2011@gmail.com

El próximo 26 de marzo S.S. Benedicto XVI llegará a la isla-cárcel de Cuba para una visita de tres días. El dictador Raúl Castro prometió que el Pontífice será recibido con "afecto" y "respeto"; y se apresuró a anunciar el indulto de 2.900 presos, de los cuales solamente 7 son presos políticos. Por su parte, el portavoz de la Santa Sede, P. Federico Lombardi, declaró que Benedicto XVI "desea mucho" conocer Cuba y que ese viaje será "ciertamente" uno de los principales acontecimientos de 2012.

Es explicable que el anuncio de la visita papal a un país subyugado por un régimen comunista, especialmente cruel y represivo, que acaba de cumplir 53 interminables años, despierte sentimientos de esperanza en el sentido de que contribuya a obtener la libertad de 11 millones de cubanos.

No obstante, similares expectativas se abrieron en 1998 por ocasión del viaje a Cuba de S.S. Juan Pablo II; pero el régimen supo capitalizar publicitariamente la visita, lo cual contribuyó para que los jerarcas comunistas continuasen en el poder. Esa constatación provocó en no pocos defensores de la libertad, contrarios al socialismo, una desilusión y un sentimiento de frustración que se prolongan hasta hoy.

En estos momentos, la natural preocupación de muchos cubanos, de la isla y del destierro, es que una situación similar pueda repetirse con este segundo viaje de un Pontífice a Cuba . El propio secretario de la Conferencia de Obispos Católicos de Cuba (COCC), monseñor José Félix Pérez Riera, reconoció que el viaje de Benedicto XVI podrá traer para el desdichado pueblo cubano un "respiro de libertad", pero se apresuró a descartar consecuencias políticas de la visita papal. Los Pastores cubanos se han encargado de mantener, durante las últimas décadas, una lamentable y persistente política de colaboración con los Lobos que oprimen al rebaño.

Esa natural preocupación de numerosos cubanos se ve confirmada por el hecho de que, ante la perspectiva del viaje papal, el régimen esté anunciando cambios "cosméticos" que impresionan a ciertos ingenuos o desconocedores de la realidad cubana, pero que en el fondo no modifican la naturaleza criminal del régimen.

Hasta hace pocos días existía, por ejemplo, la expectativa de que el gobierno comunista levantara o atenuase la severa prohibición de entrar y salir libremente de la isla, lo cual configura uno de los motivos por los cuales Cuba continúa siendo una isla-cárcel. Pero el propio Raúl Castro acaba de aplazar esa perspectiva de flexibilización, reconociendo en la más reciente sesión de la Asamblea Nacional que no puede ceder en ese punto medular porque con él está indisociablemente en juego "el destino de la Revolución".

En materia de libertad religiosa, el régimen alardea, y los Pastores aplauden, que la Constitución cubana "reconoce, respeta y garantiza la libertad religiosa" (artículo 55). Pero poco o nada se habla sobre la existencia del artículo 62 de la propia Constitución que se encarga de retirar aquello que en apariencia se acaba de conceder. En efecto, el referido artículo advierte que "ninguna de las libertades" constitucionales puede ejercerse "ni contra la existencia y fines del Estado socialista, ni contra la decisión del pueblo (sic) cubano de construir el socialismo y el comunismo". Y se añade, en una amenaza explícita, constantemente llevada a la práctica, que "la infracción de este principio es punible". El régimen está dispuesto a tolerar solamente un tipo de religiosidad que tenga efectos anestésicos sobre las conciencias, una religiosidad que no deje al descubierto que el comunismo es una doctrina diametralmente contraria a los Mandamientos de la Ley de Dios.

Esa preocupación de cubanos de dentro y fuera de la isla con las perspectivas del viaje papal se ve reafirmada delante de las palabras con las cuales Benedicto XVI recibió las cartas credenciales del actual embajador cubano ante la Santa Sede. El Pontífice llegó a elogiar el "internacionalismo" cubano, que en realidad fue el instrumento responsable por tanta sangre y lágrimas derramadas en América Latina y África. En la ocasión, el Pontífice destacó como ejemplos de los pretendidos beneficios del internacionalismo cubano la "alfabetización" y la "salud". No obstante, tal como la propia Constitución cubana lo reconoce, y los hechos lo comprueban, esos tan publicitados logros no son sino dos tenazas satánicas de control psicológico, mental y social de niños, jóvenes y adultos en Cuba y en otros países donde han sido aplicadas.

Por fin, esa preocupación se intensifica si se considera el procastrismo demostrado por el Cardenal Tarcisio Bertone, actual Secretario de Estado de la Santa Sede, durante tres viajes a la isla-cárcel, el primero de ellos en cuanto Arzobispo de Génova, y los dos más recientes en su condición de Secretario de Estado. Ya en su primer viaje a la isla-cárcel, el Cardenal Bertone, después de una larga entrevista con Fidel Castro, tejió loas a la "notable lucidez" del tirano, expresó su convicción de que en él habría "crecido el respeto por la religión" y el "aprecio por la Iglesia", y remató, contrariando todas las evidencias, que en la isla-cárcel "la apertura ya es total".

Quiera la Providencia evitar cualquier instrumentación de la visita por parte de los actuales jerarcas del comunismo cubano. A propósito del próximo viaje de Benedicto XVI a Cuba , son estas las primeras reflexiones, sinceras y respetuosas que ofrezco a los lectores.

En cuanto fiel católico cubano, creo que tengo no solamente el derecho, sino la obligación de conciencia de dar a conocer estas consideraciones. Ya lo he dicho, y lo reitero en esta nueva coyuntura de la vida de la Iglesia y de Cuba, que se aproxima. Tengo un compromiso con aquellos jóvenes mártires católicos que murieron en el "paredón" de la siniestra prisión de La Cabaña gritando "¡Viva Cristo Rey! !Abajo el comunismo!", verdaderas proclamas de fe, de heroismo y de martirio que aún resuenan en mis oídos, y en los oídos de tantos ex presos políticos sobrevivientes de La Cabaña, como si fuera hoy. Tengo, sí, un compromiso de honra con mis amigos asesinados en la prisiones castristas; con la lucha por la libertad de mi Patria; con la Historia; y, por encima de todo, con Dios y con la Virgen de la Caridad del Cobre, Patrona de Cuba.

Armando Valladares, escritor, pintor y poeta. Pasó 22 años en las cárceles políticas de Cuba . Es autor del best-seller "Contra toda esperanza", donde narra el horror de las prisiones castristas. Fue embajador de los Estados Unidos ante la Comisión de Derechos Humanos de la ONU bajo las administraciones Reagan y Bush. Recibió la Medalla Presidencial del Ciudadano y el Superior Award del Departamento de Estado. Ha escrito numerosos artículos sobre la colaboración eclesiástica con el comunismo cubano y sobre la "ostpolitik" vaticana hacia Cuba .


Cuba : el preso político y el Pastor-carcelero (2011)

http://www. cubdest.org/1106/c1102card.html

Beatificación de Juan Pablo II y Cuba: dilema de conciencia para los católicos cubanos (2011)

http://www. ; cubdest.org/1106/c1104jpii.html

Benedicto XVI: ¿"beatificación" del internacionalismo castrista? (2010)

http://www. ; cubdest.org/1006/c1001benedicav.html

Diplomacia vaticana y episcopado cubano: ¿"mediación" o "salvamento"? (2010)

http://www. ; cubdest.org/1006/c1006mambertiav.html

Embajador cubano ante la Santa Sede: mentira, fraude y sangre de mártires (2010)

http://www. ; cubdest.org/1006/c1002embcubav.html

Benedicto XVI y el viaje a Cuba del cardenal Bertone (2008)

http://www. ; cubdest.org/0806/c0803av.html

Cuba : el Lobo y los Pastores celebran encuentro "constructivo y amistoso" (2005)

http://www. ; cubdest.org/0512/c0511val.html

Cardenal Bertone-Cuba: el Pastor 'bendice' al Lobo (2005)

http://www. ; cubdest.org/0512/c0510bertoneav.html

Monday, January 16, 2012

Ignacio Martínez Montero se declara en huelga de hambre este 12 de enero


January 15, 2012

Wilmar Villar Mendoza, a 32 year old Cuban political prisoner of the Eastern city of Contramaestre was transferred on January 14, 2012, from the Prison of Aguadores to the Hospital Juan Bruno Zayas in Santiago de Cuba in critical condition after almost two months on hunger strike. Wilmar is unconscious and suffering from pneumonia. The doctors informed the family that there is nothing that can be done for him and that his death is imminent. The activist, a member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UMPACU), was on a hunger strike demanding his freedom and protesting the false accusations that led to his unjust incarceration. Wilmar was beaten and arrested following a public peaceful protest in Contramaestre on November 14, 2011, and sentenced in a trial he called a “judicial farce” to four years in prison. He was charged with “refusing to obey an official” (desacato), “resistance” (resistencia), and “assault” (atentado).

Wilmar’s wife, Maritza Pelegrino Cabrales, as well as activists of several human rights groups had been demanding for several weeks, in front of the prison, that he be taken out of the harsh conditions he was subjected to and that he receive a medical attention he was being denied. She denounced that State Security tried to bargain her husband’s release when he was already on his deathbed, demanding that she stop being a member of the “Ladies in White”. When she refused, the agents threatened to take her children away from her. Maritza was misled to go to the Prison of Boniato where she was falsely informed that her husband had been transferred.

Yasmin Conyedo, the representative of the Ladies in White in Villa Clara, central Cuba, and her husband, Rafael Yusmani Esmoris continue under arrest in a police unit known as the UPOP since Sunday, January 8, 2012 when their house was attacked by a pro-government mob and when they were both severely beaten and arrested. As a result of their unjust detention, twenty seven arrests were documented in the central province of Villa Clara.

The Lady in White, Ivonne Malleza Galano, her husband, Ignacio Martinez Montejo, and a Cuban citizen, Isabel Haydee Alvarez remain confined in maximum security prisons in Havana without formal charges. All three were violently arrested on November 30, 2011, following a peaceful protest in the Fraternidad Park in central Havana.

Throughout the week of January 9 – 15, 2012, members of the peaceful Cuban internal resistance movement who publicly demanded fundamental freedoms in numerous provinces across the island where threatened, intimidated, subjected to threats, beatings, short term detentions, house arrests, and acts of repudiations that were instigated and carried out by the political police.

Below are some of the human rights violations reported from the island since January 9, 2012.

JANUARY 10, 2012 – Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera, president of the Cuban Rosa Parks Civil Rights Movement, was beaten and detained when she was on her way to the local hospital in Placetas (Central Cuba) to seek medical treatment. Yris has been beaten with such violence by State Security agents on so many ocassions in the last months that she is suffering from serious injuries throughout her body (see attached photo of Yris sent from Cuba).

JANUARY 11-12, 2012 – In the evening hours of January 11 in (Eastern Cuba), Municipio Luis Antonio Mella, Santiago de Cuba, the house of human rights defender Karina Santana (Lady in White) and her husband Ramón Bolaños was attacked for hours as it has been many times before by a mob throwing eggs.

In Eastern Cuba, Roberto González, Arnold Hernández and Raúl Frómeta, were arrested in Dos Caminos where they were going to carry out a public peaceful protest.

A group of activists in Villa Clara, Placetas, Cienfuegos, Sagua la Grande and Manicaragua (Central Cuba) were subjected to beatings and short term detentions when they went to march and protest on behalf of Yasmin Conyedo and her husband, Rafael Yusmani. After their released, many were left abandoned in remote areas, far from their homes: María del Carmen Martínez López, Alexei Sotolongo Díaz, Yanoisi Contrera Aguilar, Michel Oliva López, Yosmel Martínez Colcho, Víctor Castillo Ortega, Omar Núñez Espinosa, Zander Reyes Machado, José Lino Ascencio López, Rodoisy Zapata Blanco, Jesús Arístides Hernández Pérez, Jorge Luis Artiles Montier, and Guillermo Fariñas Hernández. In Placetas: Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, Yaimara Reyes Mesa, Xiomara Martín Jiménez, Yaite Diosnellys Cruz Sosa. In Cienfuegos: Pablo González Villa, Justo Luis Alonso García.

On January 12, Ignacio Martinez Montero, confined in the Combinado del Este Prison began a hunger strike demanding his freedom. In a recording obtained via telephone by the independent journalist, Roberto de Jesus Guerra in Havana, Martinez Montero states: “ either I’m released or I will be taken out of this prison dead.”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJ8oo0HCvJY

In Havana, a vigil that was to take place on behalf of Ivonne Malleza and her husband Ignacio Martinez caused the short term arrest of the following activists: Vidiet Martinez, Mercedes Evelyn Garcia, Ismael Alfaro, Leonardo Chalas and Odalis Sanabria. Odalis was taken to the outskirts of Havana and left abandoned far from her home.

JANUARY 13, 2012 – The house of Lady in White, Caridad Caballero Batista, was under watch by State Security to intimidate her and prevent her attendance to Sunday Mass in the Eastern city of Holguin.

In the Western province of Pinar del Rio, activists and members of the Ladies in White were subjected to house arrest when their houses were surrounded and their phone service was interrupted. Maria Cecilia Ramos, the representative of the Ladies in White in the western province of Pinar del Rio, was threatened by the political police on January 12 so she would not participate in the marches of the Ladies in White. She was summoned on the 13th to appear at a Police Unit in Pinar del Rio and suffered an act of repudiation or mob attack to her home on Sunday, January 15, 2012.

JANUARY 14, 2012 – Idania Llanes Contreras, president of the Central Coalition Opposition reported from Central Cuba that State Security had surrounded the homes of numerous human rights defenders to prevent any public protests for the arrest of the Lady in White, Yasmin Conyedo, and her husband, Rafael Yusmani Esmoris. The ex-political prisoner of conscience, Librado Linares was held prisoner in his house in Camajuani and the same happened to the activists Enrique Martinez Marin and Orlando Alfonso Martinez in Manicaragua.

Also in Central Cuba, the activist Jose Lino Asencio Lopez declared himself on hunger strike, demanding the freedom of Yasmin Conyedo.

Ladies in White, Marta Diaz Rondon, Gertrudiz Ojeda Suarez and Miladis PInales Rosa were beaten and arrested when they were traveling from Banes to Holguin. Mariblanca Aviles Esposito was also subjected to acts of repression in the town of Velasco, province of Holguin.

Antonio Gonzalez, president of the Cuban Republican Party and affiliated to UMPACU in Eastern Cuba, reported the arrest of the following Ladies in White who were taken to the Police Unit called “Unidad de Enfrentamiento”: Aurora Martin Calderin, Niraida Martin Calderin and Matilde Mejias.

JANUARY 15, 2012 – Rapid Response Brigades, members of the political police, the communist party and communist youth surrounded the homes of activists and Ladies in White to prevent them from attending Mass in the Western province of Pinar del Rio. The home of the ex-political prisoner of conscience, Eduardo Diaz Fleites (located at Calle 20 #1303A at Entronque de Herradura) where he was with his niece and Lady in White, Marielis Diaz Torres, suffered an act of repudiation carried out by a mob of around 40-50 people from 8:00 a.m.-11:00a.m. to prevent them from going to the Church of Consolacion del Sur.

At around midday, at a checkpoint located between the cities of El Cobre and Santiago de Cuba, nineteen members of the Ladies in White who had just attended Mass at the Basilica of El Cobre in Santiago de Cuba, and who were on their way to give their support to the wife of Wilmar Villar Mendoza at the Juan Bruno Zayas Hospital, were violently beaten and arrested by male and female police agents. Those who were beaten the most were Tania Montoya Vazquez, Yakelin Garcia Jaen and Aricel Figueredo Valdes. Other women involved in the incident were: Yanelis Elegica Despaigne, Yamiseli Aliaga Callamo, Karina Quintana Hernandez, Madelaine Santo Grillo, Mayelin la O Montero, Darmis Aguedo Zaldivar,Yarisel Figueredo Valdes, Yanilla Montero Vazquez, Aliagna Isaac Leme,Arelis Rodriguez Chacon, Aurora Martin Calderin, Miraida Martin Calderin, Yudislaidis Travieso Barlobo, Yusmari Chacon Lamot, Elisa Milagro Reinier Acosta, and Maria Alfonso Cordoba. Aurora and Miraida were arrested twice on January 15, and still remain under arrest.

Human rights defenders in Eastern Cuba who were also beaten and arrested when they tried to show their solidarity on behalf of Wilmar Villar Mendoza in front of the hospital where he lies in critical condition were: Raumel Tinajera Altive, Rulisan Ramirez Rodriguez, Enyor Bismar Peña Perez, Yuselin Ferrera Espinosa, Antonio Gonzalez Bordonado, Ovidio Martin Castellanos, Carlos Martin Calderin, manuel Santiago Zaldivar Gonzalez, Andry Verdecia Osorio, Abraham Carrera Torres, Aurora Martin Calderin, Arelis Rodriguez Chacon, Luis Enrique Lozada Igarza, Enrique Lozada Ayedo, and Miraida Martin Calderin. Ana Celia Rodriguez Torres and her husband Henry Perales Elias.

In Contramaestre, Eastern Cuba, the home of human rights defender, Jorge Cervantes was attacked by a mob because he had a sign in the front that read: “Wilmar cannot die”.

The Lady in White, Caridad Caballero Batista and her husband, the activist, Esteban Sande Suarez, were arrested in the Eastern city of Holguin. Though Caridad was released, the whereabouts of her husband are still unknown.

Guillermo Fariñas was arrested in the central Cuban city of Villa Clara.

The Coalition of Cuban-American Women alerts the international community that the lives of those members of Cuban civil society who are actively and publicly struggling on behalf of fundamental freedoms are in danger. We are particularly concerned in the cases of Wilmar Villar Mendoza, Yasmin Conyedo, her husband, Rafael Yusmani Esmori, Ivonne Mayeza, her husband Ignacio Martinez Montero, and Isabel H. Alvarez. International recognition of the peaceful resistance and solidarity for those 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

FURTHER INFORMATION IN CUBA: Berta Soler +5352906820 / José Daniel Ferrer - + 53 53631267 /

/ Jorge Cervantes - +53 53791610 / Tania Montoya + 5-3146329 / Caridad Caballero Batista + 5-2629749 /

Idania Yanes Contreras + 5-2510980

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Dictator meets with Dictator in Cuba

Ros-Lehtinen Says Cuban Regime Big Winner in New Travel Spree


House Foreign Affairs Committee
U.S. House of Representatives
Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman
CONTACT: Brad Goehner and Andeliz Castillo, (202) 225-5021
Alex Cruz (South Florida press), (202)-225-8200

For IMMEDIATE Release - January 10, 2012

Ros-Lehtinen Says Cuban Regime Big Winner in New Travel Spree

Says Obama Administration Policies to Blame for Increased Travel Revenue to Dictatorship

(WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, today spoke about an influx of advertisements promoting travel to Cuba, and criticized the Obama Administration’s policies which are providing an additional source of income for the Castro dictatorship. Statement by Ros-Lehtinen:

“Travel advertisements are springing up throughout the United States seeking to entice American tourists to take a trip to the island. The New York Times recently joined the Cuba travel bandwagon, ranking Havana as number 10 of ‘The 45 Places to Go in 2012.’ But the Times’ assist to the propaganda machine of repressive regimes was not just limited to Cuba. It also touted Burma, under the rule of the brutal military junta, as a must see, ranking it as number 3. National Geographic Expeditions is also on board, organizing a 10-day trip to Cuba, and the Smithsonian Institution is sponsoring four so-called ‘cultural exchange’ trips to the island through Smithsonian Journeys.

“These romanticized trips to the oppressed island are portrayed as an opportunity for ‘people to people’ interaction. In reality, the travelers will interact only with people who are either working for the Cuban regime, or who are coerced into giving the party line to foreign tourists and other visitors, or face grave consequences. All the while, the dictatorship is laughing all the way to the bank as it replenishes its coffers with tourist money.

“With gushing write-ups coming from the U.S., the Cuban propaganda machine can take a day off. The regime itself would be proud of such alluring advertising with nary a mention of a dictator, or the political prisoners suffering and dying at the hands of the regime, or the U.S. citizen unjustly imprisoned, or the beatings that the Ladies in White and other peaceful pro-democracy advocates are subjected to.

“The truth about Cuba is that it is unjustly imprisoning a U.S. citizen, harboring dangerous U.S. fugitives, harassing and jailing innocent Cubans, and is designated by the U.S. State Department as a State Sponsor of Terrorism.”

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

"Miami archbishop hopes for 'springtime of faith' in pope's visit to Cuba"

From McClatchy:

By Mimi Whitefield

McClatchy Newspapers

Mimi Whitefield

MIAMI — Beyond strengthening the Catholic faith in Cuba, Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski said Monday that he hopes Pope Benedict XVI's trip to Cuba in March will offer a message of reconciliation to Cubans.

"I hope the pope will promote the idea of reconciliation. ... I'm talking about the reconciliation of people," Wenski said, noting the frustration and distrust that sometimes exists among Cubans on the island, and the separation of those in exile.

After visiting Mexico, the pope will fly to Santiago, Cuba, on March 26 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the appearance of the Virgin de Caridad de Cobre (Our Lady of Charity) - Cuba's patron saint. He also plans to visit the virgin's shrine in the small town of El Cobre, and then go to Havana, where he will take part in a Mass in the Plaza of the Revolution - the same square where hundreds of thousands of people heard Pope John Paul II celebrate Mass in 1998.

Benedict, Wenski said, will visit Cuba "to affirm the faith of the church and also perhaps to open up Cuban society to the world. Pope Benedict has said on many occasions that a world without God is a world without hope; it's a world without a future."

Wenski noted the frustration often expressed by Cuba's young people, and said the pople would not only be "inviting people to open themselves up to God and to the value faith can bring" but also "inviting people to rediscover a future by rediscovering hope."

While the visit is a spiritual event, Wenski said it - like John Paul's trip to Cuba - could have broader implications for Cuban society.

Wenski and Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega have used the phrase "a springtime of faith" that echoes the phrase "Arab spring," a term used to describe the pro-democracy uprisings sweeping the Arab world.

"When the cardinal talks about a springtime of faith, was that an accidental choice of words?" Wenski asked during a visit to The Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald.

In any future political transition in Cuba, he said, "what we should all be looking for is a soft landing ... not chaos."

In the early days of the Cuban revolution, the Catholic Church was marginalized, Catholic schools were closed, priests and nuns sent into exile and the open practice of the faith was discouraged.

But in recent years, the Catholic Church has gained space in Cuban society. In 2010 and 2011, Ortega was a key figure in negotiating the release of political prisoners with President Raul Castro, and last month, as a humanitarian gesture, Castro released 2,900 inmates, including a small number of political prisoners, from Cuban jails.

Asked if the recent release was linked to the pope's upcoming visit, Wenski said he had no direct knowledge that it was, but added, "There could be some connection to it. The fact they were released in time for Christmas probably says something." It also, he said, could be a response to serious prison crowding.

For more than a year, "La Mambisa," a replica of the statue of Our Lady of Charity that three Cuban fishermen found floating in the Bay of Nipe in 1612, has toured the island in processions leading up to the 400th anniversary year than began Saturday. The statue has drawn large crowds and the response has been interpreted as a spiritual revival.

On its website, the Miami Archdiocese also noted that when the image of the virgin was honored at a cultural event last week at the Plaza of the Cathedral, a number of high-level Cuban officials, including Cuban Vice President Esteban Lazo, Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez, city historian Eusebio Leal, and Caridad Diego, head of the Religious Affairs Bureau of the Communist Party Central Committee, were present. During his visit, the pope will be received by Raul Castro.

Because so many Catholics in South Florida have roots in Cuba, Wenski said the Archdiocese of Miami is "almost like another archdiocese of Cuba" and he expects "several hundred" pilgrims from South Florida to support and participate in the pope's visit. The archdiocese is in the process of organizing the pilgrimage and expects to release details on how local Catholics can take part in the next seven to 10 days.

Juan Dominguez, rector of Ermita de la Caridad, the Our Lady of Charity shrine in Coconut Grove, Fla., said that in recent weeks many parishioners have come to the sanctuary with questions about the trip to Cuba.

"The archdiocese is responding to the desire of many Catholics," Rumin said. "In this year of Jubilee, the official slogan has been "Charity unites us."

(El Nuevo Herald staff writer Daniel Shoer Roth contributed to this report.)

I see the word "reconcilation" thrown around frequently, what about the word "FREEDOM?"



Political arrests increased threefold in 2011

The independent news agency Centro de Informacion Hablemos Press in Cuba documented 3,835 political arrests in its 2011 report on human rights violations in the island: http://www.cihpress.com/2012/01/informe-mensual-de-violaciones-de-los.html.

The Lady in White, Ivonne Malleza Galano, her husband, Ignacio Martinez Montejo, and a Cuban woman, Isabel Haydee Alvarez remain confined in maximum security prisons without formal charges. All three were violently arrested on November 30, 2011, following a peaceful protest in the Fraternidad Park in central Havana.

The Lady in White, Caridad Caballero Batista denounced from her hometown in Holguin in Eastern Cuba, that the pardons of more than 2,900 Cuban prisoners announced by Raul Castro are a “farce and a manipulation of the regime“, “Those who have been released are highly dangerous inmates, they are people who have murdered, raped; who are truly delinquent, and who will be used to repress the dissidents.” Caballero Batista received phone calls from countless prisons in Cuba from political prisoners who wanted to denounce their cases, many who have already served their unjust sentences. Of those 2,900 who were supposedly released, there are, at least, five political prisoners, according to Elizardo Sanchez Santa Cruz, of the Comisión Cubana de Derechos Humanos y Reconciliación Nacional (CCDHRN) in Havana.

Berta Soler, leader of the “Ladies in White Laura Pollan” denounced an increase in the regime’s violent methods of intimidation and harrassment against members of this peaceful femenine human rights movement throughout the island.

Below are some of the human rights violations reported from the island since January 1, 2012.
JANUARY 1, 2012 – In the city of Santa Clara (central Cuba), The Rosa Parks Movement alongside members of the Central Opposition Coalition were victims of the cruel and brutal aggression of the political police, as well as of members of the Rapid Response Brigade and the Communist Party when they tried to carry out a peaceful march “for the freedom of Cuba, against impunity, and in support and solidarity with Ivonne Malleza Galano.” The activists were taken away and arrested with brutal force from the home of Idania Yanes Contreras, president of the Central Opposition Coalition. Frank Reyes Lopez, who was filming the attack, fractured his right arm after he was thrown off from the roof by State Security agents. Maria del Carmen Martinez also suffered a fracture in one of her arms, while Aramilda Contreras was victim of serious injuries. Robert Alcides Rivera Yanez, the son of Yanez Contreras and a minor, was also beaten and shoved by police officials and suffered injuries and bruises all over his small body. Several neighbors intervened and managed to shelter the child from the police. The activists who were subjected to short term detentions and suffered physical as well as verbal attacks were: Ydania Llanes Contreras Damaris Moya, Maria del Carmen Martinez Lopez, Ana Iris Burune Rivera, Yanoisi Contreras Aguilar, Alcides Rivera Rodríguez, Frank Reyes López, Jorge Luis García Pérez ‘Antúnez’, Natividad Blanco Carrero, Aramilda Contreras Rodríguez and Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera. While in their cells, the guards screamed obscenities at the women and threatened to rape them. According to Yanes Contreras, the guards were “raffling” off the women amongst themselves to see which one they would rape. Damaris Moya denounced that her 13 month old son was desperately screaming in the arms of his grandmother while agents were applying martial arts immobilization locks on her. She was dragged into a patrol car and taken to a detention center. Her husband Yanoisi’s face is swollen because of the beating and choking. Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez was savagely and repeatedly punched by agents in the patrol car during the ride to the police station in Santa Clara while the agents forced him to cry out “Viva Fidel”. Antunez has numerous swellings on his head and is suffering from dizziness and loss of vision in his left eye. All the activists vowed to continue with their public peaceful marches in 2012, a year they consider important for the Cuban Resistance Movement.

JANUARY 4, 2012 – Act of repudiation in Camaguey against the home of activist Virgilio Mantilla Arango from 3 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. to prevent a group of activists from meeting in a public park in the city of Camaguey. Among the activists who were arrested were: Elizardo Reyes Jimenez, Jorge Luis Suarez Varona, Virgilio Mantilla Arango, and Alexis Sabatelo of the Unidad Camagueyana por los Derechos Humanos. They were all taken to the Center of Criminal Investigation and confined in cells. They were all interrogated and threatened not to continue with their public independent acts.

JANUARY 5, 2012 –In Havana, Independent journalist, Dania Virgen Garcia, Lady in White, Belkis Felicia Jorrin, and human rights defender Yosvani Martinez Lemus (beaten) were subjected to short term detentions. The home of Lady in White, Caridad Burunate, in the city of Colon, (Matanzas province) was victim of an act of repudiation.

JANUARY 6, 2012 – According to independent journalist, Luis Felipe Rojas, the Lady in White, Isabel Peña was attacked by a government thug in Guantanamo (eastern Cuba). In Havana, the political police surrounded the home of Lady in White, Anisley Pavon in the suburb of Marianao. Paramilitary forces of more than 100 agents attacked the home of Maritza Castro in the Havana district of El Cerro with stones, sticks, and bottles. Maritza Castro has been carrying out a hunger strike for almost a month, demanding the freedom of Ivonne Malleza, Ignacio Martinez, and Isabel H. Alvarez. Maritza is a neighbor of Ivonne Malleza and her husband Ignacio.

JANUARY 7, 2012 – Hot tar was thrown against the front of the home of Lady in White, Gertrudis Ojeda in Banes (eastern Cuba) because she displayed anti-government signs in her home. The tar’s pungent odor is affecting one of her sons who is seriously affected with asthma. According to the independent journalist, Roberto de Jesus Guerra, Ojeda was beaten and dragged by the paramilitary forces that invaded her home.

JANUARY 8, 2012 – The activist Prudencio Villalon Rades of the Union Patriotica de Cuba (UMPACU) denounced that Ladies in White, Annis Sarrion, Milagros Leiva, Maritza Cardosa, Osmeilis Jimenez, as well as her daughter Arianis Gainza Jimenez (12 years old) were all aggressively attacked by a member of the Communist Party and paramilitary forces in Municipio Mella, (eastern Cuba). Also, the Lady in White, Caridad Caballero Batista and her husband, Esteban Sade were arrested as they were entering the Church Pueblo Nuevo in Holguin (eastern Cuba). In Cacocun, Holguin, the Lady in White, Berta Guerrero and her husband, Franklin Pellegrino del Toro were arrested with violence to prevent their assistance to Mass.

The independent journalist, Jose Lino Asencio reported that In central Cuba, the house of Lady in White, Yasmin Conyedo Riveron, located at calle Trista 374 entre San Pedro y Virtudes, in the city of Santa Clara, was attacked by a pro government mob brought in a bus by State Securiy forces.

In Pedro Betancourt, a town in the province of Matanzas, the independent activist Oscar Sanchez Madan was violently arrested alongside Juan Francisco Sigler Amaya and other human rights defenders, members of the Independent Movement Alternative Option, who were on their way to the cemetery to honor the Lady in White, Gloria Amaya, an activist and mother of three ex political prisoners of conscience.

The Coalition of Cuban-American Women alerts the international community that the lives of those members of Cuban civil society who are actively and publicly struggling on behalf of fundamental freedoms are in danger. We are particularly concerned in the cases of Ivonne Mayeza, her husband Ignacio Martinez Montero and Isabel H. Alvarez. International recognition of the peaceful resistance and solidarity for those 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

FURTHER INFORMATION IN CUBA: Berta Soler +5352906820 / Belkis Cantillo + 5353790867 /

José Daniel Ferrer - + 53 53631267

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Pope Benedict XVI: itinerary for Cuba, 2012

Press release of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba with regard to the visit of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI, having been invited by Cuba’s President Raúl Castro and the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba, has approved the program prepared by organizers of the Papal trip together with Cuban authorities and Catholic Bishops' Conference of Cuba. The program, from March 26th – 28th, 2012, has been fixed as follows:

On March 26th, the Holy Father will travel from Mexico to the City of Santiago de Cuba, where he will be officially received by President Raul Castro, by the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Cuba and by the Archbishop of Santiago, Dionisio Guillermo García Ibáñez. Following the official welcome, in the early hours of the afternoon, the Holy Father will be taken to the residence of Archbishop of Santiago de Cuba.

At sunset, the Holy Father will celebrate Mass in Antonio Maceo Revolution Square to mark the Solemnity of the Annunciation. At the conclusion of Mass the Holy Father will head to El Cobre where you will stay in residence for priests.

On the morning of March 27th, the Pope shall make a private visit to the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity to pray for a few minutes before the much-venerated image of the Virgin there. After this, the Pope will go to the airport from Santiago de Cuba to Havana.

At noon the Pope is scheduled to arrive at the José Martí airport in Havana, where he will be welcomed by Havana’s Archbishop, Cardinal Jaime Ortega, by the auxiliary bishops and other religious and civil authorities. The Pope’s conveyance will then proceed to the Vatican embassy where he will stay. In the afternoon, Pope Benedict XVI will visit President Raul Castro for an official meeting. At dusk, the Holy Father will meet in the Nunciature with all the Catholic Bishops of Cuba.

On the morning of March 28th, Pope Benedict XVI will preside at Mass in José Martí Revolution Square. After the celebration, the Pope will return to the Apostolic Nunciature. He will leave from there in the afternoon for José Martì airport where there will be an official farewell ceremony ahead of his departure.

Ros-Lehtinen Concerned about Smithsonian-Sponsored Trips to Cuba


House Foreign Affairs Committee

U.S. House of Representatives

Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairman

CONTACT: Brad Goehner and Andeliz Castillo, (202) 225-5021

Alex Cruz (South Florida press), (202) 225-8200


For IMMEDIATE Release – January 3, 2012

Ros-Lehtinen Concerned about Smithsonian-Sponsored Trips to Cuba

Says these trips provide the Havana tyranny a sense of legitimacy

WASHINGTON) – U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, made the following statement on the Smithsonian Institution’s, a taxpayer-funded entity, upcoming trips to Cuba under a so-called People-to-People Cultural Exchange Program:

“The Smithsonian’s 10-day trips to Cuba will amount to little more than a tropical vacation. Americans participating in these trips will not see the brutal reality of the Castro dictatorship. They will not be visiting run down hospitals where sick Cubans have to bring their own bed sheets and medications, nor will they have the opportunity to sit in a court room where peaceful pro-democracy advocates are sentenced because due process and a real judicial system are non-existent.

“The nature of the Smithsonian’s upcoming trips to Cuba becomes clear merely by looking at the ad promoting it. The ad fails to mention that Cuba is a state-sponsor of terrorism or that Castro’s thugs repeatedly and routinely beat and harass the innocent Ladies in White while they peacefully march down a street. It does not mention that an American citizen is being held hostage by the regime simply for seeking to lift the veil of censorship that the dictatorship imposes on the Cuban people.

“Americans will not be able to interact with a typical Cuban family as they conduct their daily desperate search for food, stop by a dormant newspaper’s office that no longer operates because there is no freedom of the press, or visit the ever-growing prisons where countless political prisoners languish in their cells for exercising freedom of expression. These are the real cultural experiences in Cuba. Instead, these tourists will experience a false depiction of Cuba through a biased and censored ‘tour’ of the island.

“It is deeply disappointing that the Smithsonian Institute, primarily funded by American taxpayers, is facilitating access to U.S. dollars, which enables the Castro regime to make a hefty profit. The trips not only illustrate a blatant disregard for human rights conditions on the island by an entity that receives U.S. government funding, but provide the deplorable Havana tyranny a sense of legitimacy.”

El rumor de la muerte de Fidel Castro revoluciona Twitter

For the 1,000,000th time, rumors are that the dictator died on Jan1. Do I believe it....NO! The rumors have been swirling on twitter.

Represion Brutal en Perico Matanzas Cuba

Many Cubans unhappy with pace of change

Monday, January 02, 2012

"Pope Benedict XVI to visit Cuba March 26-28"

Pope Benedict XVI scheduled to visit Cuba on March 26-28, 21012. Click here for the story.

“Myanmar, la lección asiática”

Dr. Darsi Ferrer

La Habana, Cuba. 26 de diciembre de 2011.

Si hace solo unos meses tomó por sorpresa a la comunidad internacional los estallidos sociales en los atrasados pueblos árabes del Medio Oriente, que dieron por resultado el derrocamiento de algunas dictaduras y las sacudidas de otras que tratan de perpetuarse adoptando reformas democráticas, igual de insólita resulta la deriva en Myanmar, donde la junta militar se ha llamado a capítulo y lidera un inesperado proceso de desmonte voluntario del sanguinario régimen mediante la aplicación de medidas liberalizadoras.

En el país asiático la junta militar gobernante traspasó el poder a un grupo de civiles, hecho que constituye una novedad de inusual racionalidad entre las viejas dictaduras que se resisten a los cambios impuestos por los nuevos tiempos. Y aunque el estrenado gobierno de transición cuenta con la inquietante presencia de antiguos altos oficiales del ejército, ligados al despotismo y a la recurrente historia de maltratos e injusticias cometidas en esa nación desde el golpe de Estado en 1962, sus actuales reformas liberadoras son un verdadero estímulo para la esperanza de una evolución pacífica hacia la democracia y el Estado de Derecho. Se trata, pues, de un paso pequeño de gigante influencia.

La libertad de prensa y acceso a Internet han sido permitidos en gran medida, así como el derecho de huelga y el fin del monopartidismo encabezado por el siniestro grupo castrense, aupados alrededor del Consejo de Estado Para la Paz y el Desarrollo. Y aunque en un principio habían prohibido que participaran como candidatos a las elecciones más de mil líderes y figuras prominentes de la otrora ilegalizada Liga Nacional para la Democracia, pronto esa proscripción cesó legalmente.

La figura más destacada de la oposición, la Premio Nobel Aung San Suu Kyi, a la que negaron una victoria aplastante en los comicios pluripartidistas de 1990, castigándola con el encierro y estrecha vigilancia, ahora goza de plena libertad para competir por la presidencia de la nación. Ella representa el más preciado valor de honestidad y entereza moral para la actual Birmania que el mundo progresista desea ver en funciones. Sus credenciales de líder natural quedaron ratificadas con la reciente visita de la Secretaria de Estado norteamericana, Hillary Clinton. El encuentro personal de la alta funcionaria con la líder opositora fue cálido y muy estimulante para el futuro desarrollo del proceso democrático aún en ciernes.

Sin embargo, la situación de Myanmar es grave. El proyecto de transición llega rodeado de múltiples y peligrosos escollos. Por años la prolongada y brutal dictadura militar causó abusos y violaciones sistemáticas de los derechos humanos. Los militares son responsables de atropellos y asesinatos de poblaciones enteras, y no sólo de la mayoría birmana. El ejército llevó a cabo asaltos y violaciones de mujeres y niñas de minorías étnicas, como los Shan y Karen, obligándolas al cautiverio. Esas crueldades provocaron respuestas armadas de diversas guerrillas y, en la actualidad, se reportan graves enfrentamientos militares. Como consecuencia natural de este estado de desorden, también surgió un creciente tráfico de drogas por las tierras altas del norte del país, situación que genera guerras de pandillas y agrava la corrupción de funcionarios y poderes públicos.

Además, aún está fresca en la memoria de ese pueblo la violenta represión del gobierno militar en el 2008. Ocasión en la que miles de sacerdotes budistas salieron a las calles a protestar pacíficamente en apoyo de las manifestaciones populares por la falta de democracia y fueron perseguidos, apaleados y encerrados en prisiones. No pocos terminaron torturados y asesinados, y sus cadáveres arrojados en medio de la vía pública como escarmiento.

Las bases de brutalidad, desorden, guerra y violación de derechos es una herencia onerosa que recibe la incipiente y débil sociedad civil birmana. El reto aumenta en la delicada transición cuando los militares constituyen la misma fuerza elitista que formó parte importante de una tradición de golpes de Estado desde el mismo origen comunista de esa nación asiática, apenas liberada del colonialismo británico. El modelo totalitario salido de ese proceso de incivilización fue uno de los pupilos preferidos de China, el que quedó integrado a su esquema de “área de influencia” de la Guerra Fría en la península indochina.

No obstante, al vetusto proyecto de política exterior china le ha caído carcoma. Su fragilidad es evidente frente al cambio de la estructura geopolítica, y sobre todo social, en el mundo. Se puede afirmar que buena parte del cambio de rumbo de última hora del generalato birmano parte de una ágil reacción ante los inesperados sucesos y evolución de los autoritarismos tradicionales de la zona de Medio Oriente y el Norte de África. Con buen tino, los castrenses tragan el buche amargo que les empuja la historia de la nueva época globalizada. A causa de fuerzas imprevisibles que irrumpen en el presente, despotismos asentados por décadas tienen un final brusco e inadvertido, gracias a algo que apenas hace una década parecía remitirse a un pueril y despreciable manejo de artefactos electrónicos.

Los mandarines chinos son los más sorprendidos con esa reacción de sometimiento de su pupilo a la cruda realidad contemporánea, dejándolos en la estacada. Más no sólo a los generales birmanos persiste en aparecerse el cadáver macerado del dictador Muanmar el Gadafi. De repente, los mandamases del Partido Comunista chino encuentran una acelerada y espontánea redistribución del orden mundial donde empieza a primar el orden civil, la desideologización y las libertades públicas. Perspectivas en las que pierde asidero el modelo imperial por el que apostaron para su permanencia infinita en el poder, y base de su proyecto hegemónico de futura primera potencia global. La buena noticia para el pueblo chino es que su país no está exento de esos cambios, pese a las maniobras que pueda emprender la élite gobernante.

Myanmar inicia hoy un duro camino para intentar la reconciliación nacional, el regreso de los militares a los cuarteles, y dar los primeros frágiles pasos hacia una democracia, el respeto de los derechos de los ciudadanos y el fomento libre de la economía de un pueblo trabajador y con una gran tradición histórica y cultural.

Al otro lado del mundo, los ancianos cabecillas de la también anquilosada dictadura militar de los Castro deberían tomar ejemplo de la prudencia emprendida por sus colegas asiáticos. En el actual contexto político los cambios no pueden limitarse a meras medidas cosméticas, sino de peso, tal como asumen en estos momentos los gobernantes birmanos. El proceso mundial de la Globalización es imparable y las señales de sus cambios de mentalidad y estructuras comienzan a aparecer también en la isla del Caribe, sin esperar lentas autorizaciones burocráticas o dubitaciones de ancianos con ínfulas dinásticas para sus retoños. El tiempo pasa y la nación que no reciba su libertad de manera civilizada, firme y segura, la conquistará de otras maneras.