Monday, October 31, 2011


October 30, 2011

In the Eastern city of Guantanamo, the home of Niovis Rivera Guerra, (member of the Resistance and Democracy Movement), his wife, Yurilaidy Travieso and three young daughters, 13, 9 and 3 years old, was surrounded by patrol cars, military vehicles, and subjected to, at least, two days of brutal mob attacks (October 25-26, 2011) of around 400 people. Asphalt was thrown against the house, all the windows, as well as the door, were stoned and broken, the family received death threats, and Rivera Guerra was beaten and tear gased. All this brutal violence was because the family displayed pro democracy and human rights posters in the front of their home. This is the fifth time in 2011, that the home of this activist is attacked. Several members of the Resistance and Democracy Movement were beaten and arrested when they tried to come to the aid of Niovis Rivera Guerra and his family: Hermis Figueras Ros, Francisco Osoria Claro, and the Adventist Pastor Raul Martinez Caraballo.
Also in Eastern Cuba, on October 26, 2011, several cities suffered government repression, In Contramaestre, any activist or citizen who visits the home of human rights defender, Jorge Cervantes is under scrutiny by the political police. In Moa, Rapid Response Brigades threw eggs against the home of the coordinator of the UMPACU, Juan Carlos Vazquez Osoria and the Lady in White, Annis Sarrion Romero.
Two human rights defenders in Santa Clara (Central Cuba) who were on a hunger strike since September 28, 2011, demanding that the Cuban government put a stop to the violence against peaceful activists, were taken in critical state to the Provincial Hospital Arnaldo Milian Castro. Alcides Rivera Rodriguez was admitted to the hospital on Thursday, October 27, 2011, and diagnosed with bronchopneumonia. Rolando Ferrer Espinosa was admitted on the following day. Alcides has lost almost 60 lbs. while Ferrer Espinosa who is suffering a severe abdominal pain has lost over 30 lbs.of his body weight. Both continue in critical condition.

On October 24, 2011 several human rights activists were arrested in Havana when peaceful organizations such as the National Front of Civil Resistance and Desobedience and the Human Rights Party called on activists to gather at the Martin Luther King Park. Adjacent streets to this park were all surrounded by State Security agents. Among several activists arbitrarily detained and released were Sara Marta Fonseca and Rodolfo Ramirez Cardoso.

On Sunday, October 30, 2011, ten Ladies in White, in Eastern Cuba, were beaten and arbitrarily detained as they tried to attend mass in the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba. The following women were mistreated and suffered short term detention: Aymeé Garcés ( as well as her husband Julio Valcarcel) Leyva, Belkis Cantillo Ramírez, Vivian Peña Hernández, Liudmila Rodríguez Palomo, Adriana Núñez Pascual, María Elena Matos, Oria Casanova Moreno, Yuremi González Pavót, Tania Bandera González, Ana Celia Rodríguez Torres and a minor 14 years old, Marta Beatriz Ferrer Cantillo the daughter of Lady in White, Belkis Cantillo and the expolitical prisoner of conscience, Jose Daniel Ferrer.

At least three homes of activists who had gathered in the Eastern cities of Palma Soriano and Palmarito de Cauto to protest the violence against the Ladies in White on
October 30 were surrounded by repressive forces. Under siege were the following human rights defenders of the National Front Orlando Zapata as well as members of the UMPACU ( Patriotic Union of Cuba): Prudencio Villalon, Roberto Quiñones, Pedro Manuel Guerrero, Julio Cesar Salazar, Ruben Torres, Dany Lopez, Rudy San Ramirez, Rolando Humberto Gonzalez, Maximiliano Sanchez, Abraham Cabrera, Amauri Abelenda and Manuel Martinez.

FURTHER INFORMATION IN CUBA: José Daniel Ferrer - + 53 53631267 / Belkis Cantillo - + 53 53790867 /
Niovis Rivera Guerra - +53 53361314 / Jorge Cervantes - +53 53791610

Coalition of Cuban-American WomenLaida A. Carro / / / Facebook page: Coalition of Cuban-American Women / Twitter: @COCA1

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


(See English below)

Nota Periodística /
Por este medio hacemos constar lo siguiente:

El día 18 de octubre del 2011, día que se realizó el Té Literario # 101, las Damas de Blanco allí, acordaron con las presentes:

Primero. Por respeto y honor a Laura Pollán, comenzar a identificar la agrupación feminista: Mov. Damas de Blanco "Laura Pollán".

Segundo. Mantener la disciplina, valor, dignidad y pacifismo en la lucha por la libertad de los presos políticos cubanos y la defensa y promoción de los derechos humanos.

Tercero. Ratificar como representantes del Mov. Damas de Blanco "Laura Pollán" a:
Blanca Reyes Castellón ---------------- en Europa, radica en España.

Yolanda Huerga Cedeño --------------- en América, radica en Estados Unidos.
Berta Soler Fernández ----------------- en Cuba.

Quedando autorizadas ellas para todo lo relacionado con el Mov. Damas de Blanco "Laura Pollán".
Dado en La Habana, Cuba a los 18 días del mes de octubre del 2011.
Mov. Damas de Blanco "Laura Pollán"

Berta Soler Fernández. 

Press release

Through this release, we put the following on record:

On October 18, 2011, the day on which the 101st Literary Tea was held, the Damas de Blanco in attendance agreed on the  following:

First:  With respect for and in honor of Laura Pollán, to begin to identify this women's group as the Ladies in White "Laura Pollán" Movement.

Second:  To maintain discipline, valor, dignity and pacifism in the struggle for freedom for Cuban political prisoners and the defense and promotion of human rights.

Third:  To ratify the following women as representatives of the Ladies in White "Laura Pollán" Movement:
Blanca Reyes Castellón--------------in Europe. Located in Spain.
Yolanda Huerga Cedeño------------ in North America. Located in the United States.
Berta Soler Fernández---------------in Cuba.
These women are authorized for any and all matters related to the Ladies in White "Laura Pollán" Movement.

Statement released in Havana, Cuba, October 18, 2011

Berta Soler Fernández

(Translation from Spanish: Tanya S. Wilder / Coalition of Cuban-American Women / /

Monday, October 24, 2011


October 24, 2011
On Tuesday, October 18, 2011, Dania Virgen Garcia , an independent journalist, blogger, and a member of the support group of the Ladies in White, was arbitrarily and violently detained by State Security agents in Havana. Dania and her husband, Michel Iroy Rodriguez, were on their way to the home of the recently deceased leader of the Ladies in White, Laura Pollan where a regular cultural event was to take place as it always has been every 18th day of every month.
At around 11:30 a.m., a half dozen unidentified plainclothes men and women beat and pushed around Dania Virgen and her husband in the public thoroughfare, and carried them away to the 11th Precinct of the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) in Havana. Michel Iroy Rodriguez was released the following day (Oct. 19) but Dania remained cut off from her family and friends until her husband was able to see her on Thursday, (October 20) with visible injuries on her arms.
A group of 15 human rights defenders, including Dania’s husband, staged a peaceful vigil at 7:30 p.m., October 20 in front of the police station where Dania was being held to protest the activist’s arbitrary arrest. They were all taken into custody by the police to different undisclosed detention centers and later released: Michel Iroy Rodriguez, Belkis Felicia Jordan, Pedro Lopez Cuni, Fernando Bergara, Roberto Ubeta, Michel Suarez, Jose Angel Luque, Emilio Jerez Oliver, Joel Lazaro Carbonell, David Aguila Montero, Florentina Machado, Ruben Picrin, Jose Ignacio Martinez, Esmit Castillo and Rebeca Rodriguez.
Dania was released on the afternoon of Friday, October 21 and denounced that as a result of the severe beating and mistreatment; she suffered from acute headaches and passed out twice. The police took her to the hospital where she was administered a shot of an unknown medication and, in spite of the doctor’s recommendation to authorities to release her, Dania was returned to a cell where she said she was “…thrown inside like a dog.” Just before being released, Dania was transferred to an “Alternative Detention Center” in the southwest section of Havana and a disciplinary action was taken against her, in which she is accused of “contempt” and “public disorder”.
Human rights defender, Sara Marta Fonseca was also violently arrested on October 18, 2011 and released later that afternoon. Cuban authorities warned her that she will be arrested if she assembles publicly in the streets with other activists; that she cannot leave her house after 10:00 p.m. and that she must remain within the limits of the province of Havana. Sara Marta declared that she will continue her peaceful struggle on behalf of the freedom of Cuba as she always has and will not be constrained in any way by the political police.
The following women activists were also stopped and prevented from going to Laura Pollan’s home in Havana on October 18, 2011: Mercedes Fresneda, Mayra Morejon, Rosario Morales, Leonor Reino Borges, and Sandra Guerra.
October 17 – 23, 2011 – A list of some of the activists, independent journalists, etc. who were subjected to short term detentions in different parts of Cuba to prevent their participation in events that honored the deceased Lady in White, Laura Pollan:  José Ángel Luque, David Aguila Montero, Juan C. Vázquez, Solemnis Abad, Leuvis Fajardo, Héctor Silot, Bárbaro Tresol, Omar Pérez, Marlon Azahares Girón, Jose A. Garrido, Luis E. Lozada, Emiliano Gonzalez Olivera

On Sunday, October 23, 2011, State Security set up control points in the island to prevent members of the Ladies in White from attending mass and marching in Havana and Santiago de Cuba.  Rita María Montes de Oca, Florentina Machado, Lourdes Esquivel ( all three remained under house arrest in Havana) while in Eastern Cuba, Oria Casanova, Yurenis Gonzalez and Tania Bandera were forced down from the truck they were traveling.
The Coalition of Cuban-American Women makes an urgent alert to the international community of the human rights violations committed by the Cuban state against citizens who exercise and demand fundamental freedoms in the island.
FURTHER INFORMATION IN CUBA: José Daniel Ferrer - + 53 53631267 / Belkis Cantillo - + 53 53790867 /   
 Berta Soler +5352906820
Coalition of Cuban-American WomenLaida A. Carro /  /

A DISSIDENT'S MYSTERIOUS DEATH IN HAVANA by Mary Anastasia O' Grady (The Wall Street Journal)

Sunday, October 23, 2011
By Mary Anastasia O'Grady in The Wall Street Journal:
Days after a beating by a mob, Laura Pollán fell ill and soon died. She was cremated two hours later.

For more than eight years, the Castro regime tried its level best to silence Ladies in White leader Laura Pollán. Ten days ago Pollán did fall silent. She passed away, after a brief illness, in a Havana hospital.

Hospital officials initially said that she died of cardiac and respiratory arrest. But according to Berta Soler, the spokesperson for the Ladies in White in Havana, the death certificate says that Pollán succumbed to diabetes mellitus type II, bronchial pneumonia and a syncytial virus.

Since there was no independent medical care available to her and there was no autopsy, we are unlikely ever to find out what killed Pollán. We do know that although she was a diabetic with high blood pressure, both were under control and she did not need regular insulin shots. Indeed, she had been healthy only weeks before her death, according to friends and family. We also know that the longer she remained under state care, the sicker she got.

Not surprisingly, the Cuban opposition is suspicious about her demise, and their concerns deserve an airing if only because of the nature of the totalitarian regime. It learned its trade from communist Eastern Europe, where the practice of eliminating enemies while in state custody was refined.

Over the life of the Cuban dictatorship, suspicious deaths (most commonly heart attacks) of otherwise healthy individuals who were considered disloyal to the Castros are not unheard of. The most famous was José Abrantes, a former interior minister and confidant of Fidel, who had a falling out with his boss, was imprisoned, and though known for being fit died of a heart attack in his cell in 1991. More than one defector from inside the regime has claimed that Abrantes was murdered.

Pollán took up her cause when her husband, Hector Maseda, was arrested, along with 74 others, in an island-wide crackdown on dissent in March 2003. Seeking a way to resist the injustice, she joined other women whose loved ones were handed down long sentences in Cuba's Black Spring. Together they organized a simple, peaceful act of disobedience: After attending Mass at St. Rita's church in Havana, they marched in the street, dressed in white and carrying gladiolas. The group was peaceful and nonpolitical. But to the regime it was dangerous. Mobs were unleashed against it.

Beatings, detentions, intimidation and harassment of the group were fruitless. The Ladies repeatedly returned to their "counterrevolutionary" practices: Sunday Mass, silent processions, Wednesday women's "literary teas" held in Ms. Pollán's home, prayer vigils for the persecuted.

The movement took on enormous visual power, and when images of the ladies being attacked in the streets went viral, the dictatorship was humiliated. The Castros were forced to offer the Black Spring prisoners "liberation" through exile with their spouses.

Pollán and her husband refused. Instead she expanded the movement across the country and promised to convert it to a human rights organization open to all women. Speaking from the Guanajay prison as her condition was deteriorating, jailed former Cuban counterintelligence officer Ernesto Borges Pérez told the Hablemos Press that making public those objectives likely sealed her fate.

On Sept. 24, Pollán was attacked by a mob as she tried to leave her house to attend Mass. Her right arm was reportedly twisted, scratched and bitten. This is notable because for more than a year, the Ladies had alleged that when Castro's enforcement squads came after them, the regime's goons pricked their skin with needles. Those same women claimed that they subsequently felt dizzy, nauseous and feverish. Independent journalist Carlos Ríos Otero reported this for Hablemos Press before Pollán was hospitalized.

According to interviews with Pollán's daughter and husband and with Ms. Soler, conducted by the Miami-based nongovernmental organization Directorio, eight days after the Sept. 24 assault Pollán came down with chills and began vomiting. Wracked with pain in her joints the next day, she was taken to the Calixto García hospital. After a battery of tests she was told everything was normal and released. On Oct. 4, she had a fever and shortness of breath. A prescribed antibiotic did not help. On Oct. 7 she was admitted to the hospital, later transferred to intensive care and the next day put on a respirator.

Her family was denied visitation rights until Oct. 10, when only her daughter was allowed to see her. State security agents surrounded her bed and monitored the doctors. On Oct. 12 doctors reported that she had a syncytial respiratory virus, which is otherwise known as a cold. She was obviously much sicker.

On Oct. 14 she died. When the family was allowed to see the body, state security agents were again on hand, as they were at the one-hour wake permitted at midnight. In record time—only two hours later—Pollán was returned to ashes. Who could blame the resistance for its suspicions?

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Debido a los reportes de las condiciones climáticas que indican fuertes lluvias para este miércoles, hemos tenido que posponer nuevamente La Vigilia en memoria de Laura Pollán para el viernes 21 de octubre  a las 7:30 P.M., en el mismo lugar frente al Ayuntamiento de Coral Gables, día significativo por cumplirse una semana de su muerte.
Unidas en el dolor y la indignación, exhortamos a todas las organizaciones y al exilio en general a rendir tributo a esta mujer ejemplar, líder del movimiento pacífico Damas de Blanco, para que recordemos el valor, la tenacidad y la entrega de Laura Pollán, como parte integral de la resistencia cívica por una Cuba libre.
A su vez, que esta vigilia sirva de denuncia para dejarle saber al mundo las extrañas circunstancias en las que se produjeron su enfermedad y súbita muerte, ya que la práctica de eliminar físicamente a sus opositores ha sido y continúa siendo una característica de la dictadura de los hermanos Castro durante los últimos 53 años.
Rendiremos tributo a Laura Pollán porque nunca se detuvo frente a la represión, y para que su ejemplo sea llama de firmeza y dignidad en Cuba y en el exilio, y podamos continuar la lucha, de la que esta valiente mujer fue parte vital, hasta que logremos su sueño de una Cuba libre y democrática.
Due to climatic conditions reports that indicate high probability of heavy rains for this Wednesday, we have postponed again The Vigil in memory of Laura Pollan to Friday, October 21, at 7:30 P.M in the George B. Merrick Park, across from the Coral Gables City Hall, a significant day that marks one week since her death.
United in sorrow and indignation, we call upon exile organizations and the community in general to honor an extraordinary woman, whose courage, tenacity and devotion for a free Cuba were the essence of her life as part of the Cuban civic resistance movement.
At the same time, let this serve to remind public opinion, that the strange circumstances surrounding her death is but another example of how the Castro dictatorship has eliminated its opposition during the last 53 years.
Laura Pollan was never intimidated by the regime’s repression and this vigil is a tribute to her struggle as a beacon of freedom, so that her example continues to grow in Cuba and exile until her dream of a free and democratic Cuba is achieved.
(Lista de Firmas Adjunta/List of Signatures Attached)
Lista de Firmantes/List of Signatures
Vigilia en Memoria de Laura Pollán
Candlelight Vigil in Memory of Laura Pollan
Bertha Antúnez                                                Frente Femenino por los Derechos Civiles Rosa Parks
Eva Barbas                                                      Madre del Mártir Pablo Morales
Ana Carbonell                                                  La Rosa Blanca
Laida Carro                                                     Asamblea de la Resistencia Cubana (ARC)
Georgina Chirino                                              Federación de Plantas Eléctricas en el Exilio
Mercy Cubas                                                   The Cuba Corps
Miriam de la Peña                                            Madre del Mártir Mario de la Peña
Margarita Ferragut                                            Casa Cuba – Houston
Carmen Gómez                                                            Partido Liberal Cubano
Yolanda Huerga                                               Representante de las Damas de Blanco en América
Sylvia G. Iriondo                                               M.A.R. por Cuba – Madres y Mujeres Anti-Represión
María A. Lima                                                 Coalición de Mujeres Cubano Americanas
Eneida López                                                   Movimiento de Recuperación Revolucionaria  (M.R.R.)
Laura López                                                    Jóvenes Cubanos en Acción
Maritza Lugo                                                   Plantados y Movimiento “30 de Noviembre”
Marta Menor                                                   Cultivamos una Rosa Blanca
Emelina Núnez-Pardo                                      Presidio Político Histórico – Casa del Preso
Dra. Mercedes Perdigón                                               Exilio Unido
Nancy Pérez Crespo                                        Nueva Prensa Cubana
Ninoska Pérez Castellón                                  Consejo por la Libertad de Cuba – (C.L.C.)
Nivia Quintela                                                 Grupo Internacional de Responsabilidad Corporativa
Janisset Rivero                                                Directorio Democrático Cubano
Araceli Rodríguez San Román                          Frente Unido Occidental
Cary Roque                                                     Ex presa política
María del Carmen Toro                                    Revista Ideal

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Laura Pollan: Freedom fighter. REUTERS
Laura Pollan: Freedom fighter. REUTERS View Enlarged Image
Freedom: Laura Pollan Toledo was a humble schoolteacher who led Cuba's defiant Ladies in White. She died Friday in Havana. But she left a legacy of untold courage that terrified Cuba's long-communist dictatorship.

As surely as the sun will rise, a day will come when Cuba is free of its 52-year Marxist nightmare. And when its history is written, it's likely to begin with the story of Laura Pollan Toledo, the wife of an arrested dissident who shined a light on the totalitarian nature of the regime for all the world to see.

Pollan was a founder of the Ladies in White, the noted group of dissidents' wives who silently walked in procession, wearing white and carrying gladiolus flowers. They attended Mass together at St. Rita's Church to pray for their husbands' return.

They never made public statements, but the Castro regime understood the power of their silent protest and its global impact. For that, they considered Pollan a threat.

Pollan and the others, mostly wives of 75 dissidents arrested in the Black Spring of 2003, were followed, insulted, harassed, threatened, beaten by mobs and menaced for silently witnessing to the truth about Cuba's lack of human freedom.

Pollan died in a Cuban hospital of dengue fever and a viral infection, in the end at the mercy of Cuba's collapsing state health system, refusing transfer to an elite medical facility as the publicity-nervous regime offered.

It's hard to imagine the courage that Pollan's simple act of witness took, in a regime that considers going to church a threat to the state.

In Castro's island hellhole, praised by the Hollywood and congressional left, free speech is forbidden. Calling for elections brings a knock on the door at midnight. Trying to leave the island brings prison — even death.
Yet amid this island prison just 90 miles from our shores, Pollan and her friends stood up for truth.
She died without seeing the free Cuba she longed for. Still, the pure flame of her courage changed Cuba in ways large and small, and helped set it on a path of ultimate liberation. RIP


Monday, October 17, 2011

Cuba: Update – Friends and colleagues prevented from attending the funeral of Laura Pollan as crackdown against human rights defenders continues


Front Line expresses its deepest regrets at the death of prominent human rights defender, Ms Laura Pollan, from complications linked to Dengue Fever. Laura Pollan was the founder of Damas de Blanco, a human rights organisation which advocates for the release of political prisoners in Cuba and was the recipient of the 2005 European Parliament Sakharov Prize for Freedom and Thought.

Further Information

Front Line is concerned that the crackdown against human rights defenders continues unabated. This is evidenced by the actions of security forces in preventing dozens of human rights defenders, journalists and activists from attending the funeral mass of Laura Pollan. It is reported that several human rights defenders were beaten and arrested, and some had the flowers that they were taking to the church destroyed by police officers.
For further information, please see the original urgent appeal issued on 6 October 2011


From October 7-16, 2011, the Cuban regime has subjected hundreds of human rights defenders and their families to brutal physical and emotional violence. The Coalition of Cuban-American Women makes an urgent call to the press and to non-governmental organizations dedicated to the defense of human rights worldwide as well as to civic, religious, political, educational, social, cultural institutions and to individuals in positions of leadership in these areas of society, to denounce these cruel and degrading acts committed by the Cuban regime against its own people.
CUBA – Repression / October 7 – 16, 2011

OCTOBER 7- 8, 2011
Santiago de Cuba – On Friday, October 7, 2011, government repressive forces organized an "act of repudiation" by surrounding the home of human rights defender, Doraisa Correoso Pozo, located on 3rd Street in the suburb of Santa Barbara in the city of Santiago de Cuba, where a group of 7 female supporters of the Ladies in White and male activists were gathered. On Saturday, October 8, as the act of repudiation continued the house remained under siege for approximately 24 hours), the violent mob tried to break down the door of the house and as the activists were forced to come out in pairs they were all stoned, beaten with sticks, and pieces of lumber, insulted, and taken to the 3rd Police Unit. Some were injured and had to be taken to the hospital. They were later released.
Activists and female supporters of the Ladies in White who were subject of repression and short term detention: Elvis Gonzalez Pozo, Ana Celia Rodríguez, Adriana Núñez, Enma Alegre Pecora, Julia Cairot, Maria Elena Matos, Doraisa Corrioso, Eunicia Madaula, Maximiliano Sánchez (beaten and detained for 24 hours), Juan Carmelo Bermúdez, Samuel Le Blanc, Ernesto Vera.
Palmarito de Cauto – Human rights defenders, Ruben Torres and Amauri Abelenda Hierrezuelo, and other members of the Union Patriotica Cubana, were violently detained and taken to the Versailles State Security Center in Santiago de Cuba for their defense of human rights, freedom and democracy. Abelenda had placed stickers in the front of his home that read "CHANGE".

OCTOBER 9, 2011 –
Palma Soriano – The political police (men and women in military uniform) prevented thirteen Ladies in White from attending mass at the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba as they were stopped and brutally beaten in the street. One of the women beaten is pregnant. Belkis Cantillo was suffering from great pain after being kicked in the stomach by a policeman. Aymee Garces Leiva's hair was pulled and both her arms were bruised. Tania Montoya denounced that they were all forced onto a bus, taken first to a police unit and then to State Security, and were finally dropped off in groups of two in far undisclosed locations, so they could not gather once again. Other female activists involved,who are residents of the cities of Moa, Palma Soriano, Contramaestre, and Palmarito de Cauto were: Oria Casanova, Yuremis Gonzalez, Vivian Peña, Yanelis Eleica Despaigne, Liudmila Rodriguez, Annis Zarrion, Belkis R. Romero, Tania Bandera, Milagros Leyva, and Mayelin La O Montero.
Palmarito de Cauto – Prudencio Villalon Rades, member of the "Union Patriotica de Cuba" (UNPACU0, denounced an act of repudiation by a violent mob of around 100 people with sticks and stones that included a minor with Down syndrome, against the home of Amauri Abelenda Hierrezuelo (apprehended Oct. 8, 2011) where activists had gathered to protest the violence against the Ladies in White.

OCTOBER 10, 2011 –
Pedro Betancourt, Matanzas - At approximately 10 am, a group of activists of the Alternative Option Independent Movement were savagely beaten and arrested in the middle of the thoroughfare by forces consisting of State Security agents, uniformed police, and rapid response brigades. The activists were attempting to take part in a patriotic act at the city's cemetery to commemorate the 10th of October. Violently beaten and arrested were: Gulliber Sigler, María Victoria Sigler Amaya, Juan Francisco Sigler Amaya, Beatriz Gómez García, Eddie Moreno Fernández, Dagoberto Santana Marichal, Lázaro Sigler González, Vanesa Rodríguez Domínguez, Ervis Granda.

OCTOBER 12, 2011 –
Aguadores Prison, Santiago de Cuba - The following three human rights defenders who were imprisoned on August 28, 2011, (following the assault by paramilitary groups with tear gas to the house of Antonio Antomarchit) were released: Reinaldo Rodriguez, Jose Batista and Hector Labrada. Seven activists continue awaiting trial for committing the common crimes of "assault" and "public disorder": Miguel Rafael Cabrera Montoya, Bismar Mustelier Galán, Alexis Aguirrezabal Rodríguez, José Enrique Martínez Ferrer, Víctor Campa Almenares and Pedro Campa Almenares. Alexis Kuan Jerez is detained in a punishment cell for protesting the inhumane prison conditions they are being subjected to (overcrowding, rotten food, lack of water, inadequate medical care, etc.)

OCTOBER 13, 2011 –
Guantanamo - An act of repudiation was carried out in the city of Guantanamo against the home of the human rights defender, Niorvis Rivera. Both his daughters (minors) were mistreated and the front of the house was smeared with black asphalt.

OCTOBER 14, 2011 –
Contramaestre - Detained in the Eastern city of Contramaestre and taken to the Third Police Unit in Santiago de Cuba, the Ladies in White, Belkis Cantillo, Aimee Garces and Tania Montoya, were on their way to the capital city of Havana to attend the funeral of Laura Pollan, leader of the group Ladies in White who had died around eight in the evening.
Ciego de Avila - The ex-political prisoner, Pedro Arguelles, who resides in Ciego de Avila was also prevented from traveling to Havana and remained under house arrest with police outside his home.
Caridad Caballero and Isabel Peña, both from Holguin, and Annis Zarrion and Milagros Leyva from the city of Moa were subjected to short term detention and were unable to travel to Havana for Pollan's funeral. Peña was punched in the face in the police unit where she was subjected to a cross-examination, and Zarrion and Leyva were brutally beaten when police agents forced them to get down from a bus. In the city of El Caney, the following activists were also forced down from the vehicle they were traveling on: Liudmila Cedeño, Ana Celia Rodríguez, Guillermo Cobas, Eliecer Consuegra and Henry Pedales.

OCTOBER 15, 2011 –
Havana Province - Lady in White, Sandra Guerra was taken away by Cuban State Security agents in the town of Finca Ojos de Agua when she tried to travel to attend the funeral services of Laura Pollan.
BanesAriel Meneses was detained in Eastern Cuba and taken to an undisclosed police unit. His family did not know of his whereabouts. Activist Dayami Ortiz was also detained.

OCTOBER 16, 2011 –
Santiago de Cuba - Activist Samuel Le Blanc was arrested on his way to the Church of Santa Teresita in Santiago de Cuba. The temple was surrounded by more than 15 police agents and a patrol car kept going around the church to prevent anyone from attending mass. Many other churches in Eastern Cuba were under siege to prevent activists from attending mass to remember Laura Pollan.
Moa - Eleven activists, members of the Union Patriotica de Cuba (UMPACU), who displayed posters that read "LAURA, YOU ARE NOT DEAD" "LAURA YOUR COMPATRIOTS WILL CONTINUE THE STRUGGLE" were arrested in Eastern Cuba. Among them were, Juan Carlos Vazquez Osoria. Female members of support group of the Ladies in White, Annis Sarrion and Milagros Leiva were violently taken down from a bus on their way to Havana to honor Laura Pollan. The police almost left them out of breath and their arms were violently twisted when they tried to protest their arrest.
Also arrested in Moa were: Leudis Fajardo, Martín Ruíz, Mario Antonio Brocal, Bárbaro Tresol, Omar Wilson, Omar Pérez, Yilian Pérez, and Gerardo Guerrero, all members of the Unión Patriótica Cubana (UNPACU).
Guisa, Granma province – Arrested human rights activist, Robinson Torres.
Palmarito de Cauto - A patrol car is parked across the street from the home of ex-political prisoner and head of the UNPACU, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia to watch and control anyone who enters and leaves the house.
Havana - A wave of repression was carried out since the early morning hours this Sunday to prevent human rights activists from attending mass at the Church of Santa Rita in the suburb of Miramar in Havana to pray and pay homage to one of the most prominent leaders of the Ladies in White, Laura Pollan, who died October 14, 2011, after being hospitalized for a week in the Calixto Garcia Hospital. Many activists described the city as "militarized": dozens of their homes were under siege and their telephone lines were interrupted. Several were either beaten, arrested and taken to police units and some even had the flowers that they were taking to the church broken by police agents.
The independent journalists, Jose Alberto Alvarez and Hector Negrin were detained as were blogger and lady in white, Katia Sonia Martin and activists Aimee Cabrales, Elizabeth Saboya.
Many activists were arrested and taken to undisclosed police units: Miguel Amado Reyes, Daniel Anselmo, Yaroslan Tamayo, Fernando J. Vergara, Abdel Rodríguez Arteaga, Jaime Delgado Arteaga, Juan Manuel Lara and many more whose names were not disclosed.
Around 40 Ladies in White and members of their support group were able to reach the Church of Santa Rita in Havana and march and honor the memory of one of their leaders, Laura Pollan. They publicly vowed to continue their pilgrimages throughout the streets of Havana demanding the freedom of all Cuban political prisoners and on behalf of all fundamental freedoms in Cuba.
Further information in Cuba: Juan Carlos Vásquez Soria - +5353783667 / Berta Soler +5352906820 / Tania Montoya +5353146329 / José Daniel Ferrer - + 5353631267 / Belkis Cantillo - + 5353790867
Coalition of Cuban-American / Laida Carro


The video, which can be accessed below, shows the October 18th march of The Ladies in White (Las Damas de Blanco), less than 48 hours since the death of their esteemed and beloved leader, Laura Pollán.  Ms. Pollán died Friday night, October 16, 2011, from a reported cardiac arrest in Havana. As spokeswoman for the Ladies in White, Berta Soler announces quite passionately in the video that the women will continue to struggle for the cause of human rights on the island.


POR Manuel Cereijo

· CIGB, Centro de Ingenieria Genetica y Biotecnologia. Localizado en la Avenida 31, entre las calles 158 y 190, Cubanacan, La Habana.
· Ocupa un area de 62,000 metros cuadrados, con facilidades de laboratorios y areas de servicio que cubren 44,000 metros cuadrados.
· Fundado en 1986, a un costo de $150 millones de dolares. Trabajan 1,100 ingenieros, cientificos, y tecnicos.
· Tiene un area de produccion de agentes biologicos de 7,500 metros cuadrados.
· Areas de investigacion: vacunas, genetica celular, farmacos, biologia molecular, clonacion.
· Tiene zonas de barreras y aislamiento especial, cuartos blancos, cuartos biotermales, todos necesarios para producir armas biologicas.
· Equipos e intrumentos como: fermentadores, centrifugas, espectrometros de masa, microscopios electronicos, contadores de radiaciones gamma, sintetizadores de DNA, etc.
· Capacidad tecnologica para producir armas biologicas.
· Creado en 1992 a un costo de $ 15 millones de dolares
· Localizado en Bejucal, en la Carretera de Beltran, Km 1 ½.
· Capacidad de produccion de 40 toneladas metricas al año
· Equipado para llevar a cabo homogenizacion, hidrolisis, dehidratacion, filtraciones especializadas, produccion de productos recombinados, produccion de reactivos inmunologicos, 14 laboratorios de fuentes alternatives de proteinas.
· Han desarrollado tecnicas y tecnologias nuevas para el cultivo de proteinas, asi como de hongos, toxinas extraidas de pescados
· Trabajan 750 ingenieros y cientificos
· Capacidad tecnologica para producir armas biologicas
· Creado en 1994. A un costo de $ 10 millones. Tiene un area de 18,000 metros cuadrados.
· 200 ingenieros y cientificos trabajan aqui
· Especializado en el desarrollo de toxinas y farmacologia
· Las actividades principales son en la creacion de anticuerpos, biologia molecular, inmunologia celular, inmunoquimica, quimica radiologica
· Otras actividades incluyen el desarrollo de virus y bacterias mas resistentes a los antibioticos
· Capacidad tecnologica para producir armas biologicas
· El mayor Centro de Estudios del Mundo en Medicina Tropical
· Fundado en 1937 por el Dr. Khoury cientifico cubano
· Un area de unos 20, 000 metros cuadrados. Relocalizado en 1992., a un costo de $12 millones.
· 350 cientificos, medicos trabajan en el mismo.
· Actualmente su mayor actividad es en el desarrollo de virus y bacterias de enfermedades tropicales, como influenza, dengue, fiebre amarilla, encephalitis equina de Venezuela, colera, malaria,etc
· Epidemiologia de enfermedades transmisibles, Microbiologia medica, Infectologia.
· Capacidad tecnologica para producir armas biologicas.


· Localizado en la Avenida 27, No. 19805, La Lisa, La Habana
· Modernizado en 1994 a un costo de $10 millones de dolares
· Ocupa un area de 25,000 metros cuadrados
· Trabajan unos 950 medicos y cientificos.
· El area III del complejo esta equipada con los mejores equipos e instrumentos para la produccion de elementos biologicos, con entrada limitada y con seguridad maxima
· Capacidad tecnologica para producir armas biologicas.
· Existen unos 160 centros menores disperses por toda Cuba, y alrededor de 10,000 biologos, medicos, ingenieros, y tecnicos trabajando en esta industria.
De acuerdo con la Organizacion Mundial de la Salud, Cuba esta entre los primeros 10 paises del mundo en el desarrollo biotecnologico. De acuerdo con esta misma organizacion, cualquier pais con una industria biotecnologica de tamaño mediano, muy inferior al que posee Cuba , tiene la capacidad para producir armas biologicas.