Monday, December 05, 2011



More than 150 violent arrests in Eastern Cuba

December 4, 2011

During the week of November 28 – December 4, 2011, peaceful civic protests carried out in Havana and Eastern Cuba faced the brutal acts of violence of paramilitary government forces.

On Wednesday, November the 30th,  three female human rights defenders, members of the group “Ladies in White’ were dragged, beaten and violently arrested in a crowded public park in Havana for displaying a white sheet that read: “Down with Hunger, Misery, and Poverty”, “Stop lying and deceiving the Cuban people”.  Ivón Mayesa, Blanca Hernández (77 years old), and Mayra Morejón cried out Freedom! at the Fraternidad Park, before dozens of citizens. Some of the onlookers who tried to prevent the arrest of the three women were pepper-sprayed by the policemen. Mayesa’s husband, Ignacio Martínez Montejo, was also beaten and arrested and is detained at the Acosta Police Station in Havana.  Hernandez  and Morejon were released but the whereabouts of Ivon Mayesa are unknown to her family since her arrest.  

Video sent from Cuba via internet of the protest and arrest at the Parque de La Fraternidad in Havana:

The National March for Freedom, Boitel Zapata Viven!, a campaign intended to coordinate the peaceful prodemocracy groups throughout the island, with a peaceful march advancing from east to west to create conscience on behalf of human rights in the Cuban population, was thwarted again by a crackdown perpetrated by the combined forces of State Security and the National Revolutionary Police. The march, which faced violent repression when it was initiated in September 2011, kicked off once from the Eastern city of Guantanamo on Thursday, December 1st, where the regime parked buses to block the streets and megaphones played loud music and government propaganda. According to Rogelio Tabio, member of the Resistance and Democracy Movement, thirty four activists of numerous human rights groups were violently arrested in this city to prevent the freedom march. There were also arrests in Moa and Holguin. Activist, Franklin Pelegrino, his wife, and 3 year old daughter were beaten, and arrested in Holguin, and released on December 4th.

On the morning of December 2nd , forty nine human rights defenders came marching out of the house of Liudmila Rodriguez Palomo (arrested Dec. 1st along with Yuniesky Dominguez), located at: Calle Crombet  #204, entre avenida Libertad y Remus, in Palma Soriano, in Santiago de Cuba province, carrying a Cuban flag, and chanting “Long live human rights!”. A double line of agents was stationed all around the house to prevent the neighbors from witnessing the violent beatings that were then carried out against the activists who were forced onto buses. Most had to receive medical assistance before being taken to prison units. There were activists that were unrecognizable because they had so much blood on their faces. Those neighbors who protested the ill treatment of the activists were pepper-sprayed by the police.

Thirty one of the 52 activists attacked in Palma Soriano remain under arrest. Two of the ones still in custody are Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, leader of the umbrella group in Eastern Cuba UMPACU ( Patriotic Union of Cuba), as well as the main coordinator of the march, Angel Moya Acosta. Both are ex-Cuban political prisoners of conscience of the “Group of the 75” released this year and who refused to be exiled in Spain as a condition for their release. Moya Acosta was one of the most brutally beaten on December 2nd because he would not stop crying out “Long live human rights!” as he was punched, kicked, and brutally beaten with tonfas (police batons).

The human rights group Directorio Democratico documented the following names of those activists arrested on December 2, 2011 in Eastern Cuba: José Daniel Ferrer García, Ángel Moya Acosta, Alexander Abdala Batista, Alexis Portales Arreaga, Luis Enrique Losada Irrizarra, Carlos Manuel Gallardo Mosqueda, Julio César Vega Santiesteban, Jorge Cervantes García, Seigler Bismark Peña Pérez, Eurbis Paredes Elías, Eliécer Covuquet Velázquez, Guillermo Cobas Reyes, Arcelio Marín Almeida, Prudencio Villar Herrera, Dany Lópe de Moya, Rubén Torres Sainz, José Amaury Avelenda Hierrezuelo, Abraham Cabrera Torres, Manuel Martínez Cabrera, Wildon Izaguirre Fuentes, Misael Valdés Díaz, Roberto de la Rosa Estrada, José Antonio Elégica Zulueta, Agustín Alonso Peña, José Batista Falcón, Roilan Ramírez Rodríguez, Alfredo Aníbal Bravo, Bismark Mustelier Galán, Miguel Rafael Cabrera Montoya, Rolando Humberto González Rodríguez, Emilio Guinza, Osmany Céspedes Nápoles, Rubén Andreus de Armas, Carlos Manuel Castellanos, Ángel Lino Isaac Luna, Víctor Campa Almenares, Pedro Campa Almenares, Ángel Luis Campa Almenares, Andrés García Almenares, Yosvani García, and Alexis Yanchoi Kuan Jerez,

On Saturday, December 3rd, in Eastern Cuba, the Ladies in White Belkis Cantillo, and Aimee Garcés Napoles, were arrested when they were on their way to find out in what police unit Cantillo’s husband, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, was being detained. Both women were released on Sunday, December 4.

Approximately seventeen Ladies in White and five activists who accompanied them were able hear Mass in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Charity in Santiago de Cuba on Sunday, December 4th, but around thirteen women were not able to reach the temple as they were intercepted in the highway by authorities and subjected to attacks by mobs made up of school children, people with sticks, and State Security agents.

Berta Soler, leader in Havana of the movement, Ladies in White Laura Pollan denounced that the members of the group are being intimidated and threatened with repression if they carry out any public acts prior to or on December 10 (Human Rights Day).

The Coalition of Cuban-American Women denounces the inhumane acts of torture and arbitrary detentions committed against Cuban human rights defenders. International recognition of the peaceful resistance movement in Cuba and solidarity for these activists is crucial on the sixty third anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, December 10, 2011. We make an urgent call on religious, civic, political, and cultural entities and its leaders, as well as to non-gonvernmental human rights organizations worldwide. 

Coalition of Cuban-American Women – / Laida Carro

Further information in Cuba:  Berta Soler +5352906820 / Belkis Cantillo - + 5353790867 

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