Monday, August 22, 2011



         "Every Sunday the beatings are worse, but they will have to kill us because we will continue going to mass.”         

Santiago de Cuba / August 21, 2011

At 7 a.m. the homes of five human rights defenders in three municipalities in Eastern Cuba were under siege by paramilitary forces and by pro government mobs: three in “Palma Soriano”, one in “Palmarito de Cauto”, and another one in “El Caney”, to prevent the Ladies in White and female supporters from going to the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba to pray for the freedom of Cuba and of all Cuban political prisoners.

As the Ladies in White left the home of Aimee Garces Leyva in Palma Soriano at around 8:30 a.m. chanting the Cuban National Anthem and “Freedom for Cuba”, one hundred police, men and women, attacked them screaming insults, dragging them, beating them up, twisting their arms, and shoving the women inside two buses that dropped them off at undisclosed locations. The Cuban women who suffered brutal repression were:  Isabel Peña Torres, Mildrey Noemi Sanchez Infante, Maritza Cardosa Romero, Milagros Leyva Ramirez, Karina Quintana Hernandez, Belkis Cantillo Ramirez, Aimee Garces Leyva, Caridad Caballero Batista, Yuremis Gonzalez Pavo, Oria Casanova Moreno, Julia del Carmen Cairo, Yainela Elia Depaigne and Julia Halil.

According to Belkis Cantillo, the Ladies in White even had to protect one of their members who is deaf mute and whom the political police mocked and tried to attack, physically.

The house of Marino Antomarchy Rivero, where almost 20 human rights activists were gathered, was besieged by a mob of around 40 individuals made up of military personnel and groups of elderly civilians. As Pastor Lorenzo Rosales Fajardo tried to enter the house, he was physically attacked by the horde.
The police prevented Yelena Garces Napoles from leaving her home to meet with the Ladies in White.
An “act of repudiation” was held around the home of Tania Montoya Vasquez and Raumel Vinajera Stive where ten activists were congregated. The home of Maximiliano Sanchez was also attacked. Activists detained were: José Enrique Martines Ferrer,Victor Campa Almenares,Angel Lino Isacc Luna and Agustín Alonso Parada.
In the town of “El Caney”, Rene Hierrezuelo’s home was also attacked by paramilitary mobs.
In Santiago de Cuba, the following women were detained: Maria Elena Matos, Annia Alegre Pecora, Adriana Nuñez Pascual y Doraisa Corrioso Pozo.
The Coalition of Cuban-American Women denounces the escalating violence committed by the Cuban regime against peaceful human rights activists and makes an urgent call to the press and to non-governmental organizations dedicated to the defense of human rights worldwide, as well as to women in positions of leadership in religious, political, educational, social, and cultural institutions.

FURTHER INFORMATION IN CUBA: Belkis Cantillo - + 53 53790867 / Jose D. Ferrer Garcia - + 53631267 /                        Raumel Vinajera - + 53 53842817 /    Marino Antomarchy - + 53 53361741 

Coalition of Cuban-American Women /                                                                                                      Laida Carro /                                                          

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