Monday, November 28, 2011



November 27, 2011

During the week of November 21-27, human rights defenders continued being systematically subjected to acts of intimidation, threats, to brutal beatings and mob attacks; to being kidnapped and left abandoned in remote areas; to arbitrary arrests; short term detentions, and to cross examinations. The political police particularly targeted the date of November 24th, proclaimed by the peaceful resistance movement in the island as “Resistance Day”. Protests were reported Thursday in the cities of Havana, Palma Soriano, Pinar del Río, Santa Clara, Sagua la Grande, Ciego de Ávila, Camagüey, Velasco and Cienfuegos. On the 24th day of every month, human rights groups across the island plan to stage organized protests to promote human rights and freedom in Cuba

Monday, November 21 - Police agents detained activists, Joel Lazaro Carbonell and Emilio Jerez for defending the business of a female street vendor in Havana who was being openly blackmailed by a policeman. Jerez was released but the situation of Lazaro Carbonell is unknown.

The ex-political prisoner and independent journalist Enyor Diaz Allen was released 48 hours after being arrested for photographing a mob attack against the home of human rights defender, Osvallemi Grant Guerra. Another independent journalist, Julio Beltran Iglesias, a member of the independent group, Cuban Republican Party, was also released and abandoned in Wajay, 30 kms. away from his home. Beltran Iglesias was kidnapped near his home on November 19 by Cuban State Security in Havana and subjected to cross examination and was accused of being a troublemaker as well as a mercenary of the “Imperialists” (USA), among several other charges.

The following five activists of the 30th of November Frank Pais Movement were arrested as they were on their way to promote “Resistance Day” at the home of the Secretary General of the National Front of Civil Resistance and Disobedience, Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez in Santa Clara (Central Cuba): Yoan David Gonzalez Milanes (handicapped, missing a leg), Mauri Emilio Dupuy Arredondo, Guillermo Rodriguez Rodriguez, Verlay Vejerano Estrada and Juan Luis Perez Garcia. They were all abandoned in remote farm areas.

In Santa Clara (Central Cuba), a total of 17 human rights activists were violently detained when they tried to prevent the Cuban regime’s forced eviction of Yulema Benitez Sigler and her three children from their humble home. Initially detained were: Damaris Moya Portieles, Enrique Martinez Marin, Idania Yanez, Yasmin Riveron, Yusmany Rafael Alvarez, and Jose Luis Lopez. Other human rights defenders who went to the police station to demand the release of their fellow activists and were also arrested: Guillermo del Sol Pérez, Alcides Rivera Rodríguez, Víctor Castillo Ortega, Ana Rosa Alfonso, Jose Luis Lopez, María del Carmen López, Ramón Abreu, Mayra García, Rolando Ferrer Espinosa and Omar Núñez Espinosa.

Wednesday, November 23 – Jose Batista Falcon and Raudel Avila Lozada of the umbrella human rights group, Cuban Patriotic Union were intimidated and threatened with being arrested by the police as they were disseminating copies of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to the residents in the Eastern city of Palma Soriano.

Donaida Perez Paseiro and Yris Perez Aguilera of the Rosa Parks Feminist Movement for Civil Rights were arrested by the political police as they were leaving the house of Yris in Placetas (Central Cuba) so that Yris could seek the treatment of a specialist for the head injuries caused by State Security agents during a beating in May 2011. Both women were subjected to inhumane treatment and conditions during their arrest and released 24 hours later. Yris is the wife of Antunez and their house is permanently surrounded by State Security Agents who threaten, beat and follow them wherever they go.

Thursday, November 24 – Ex-Cuban prisoner of conscience, Librado Linares, of the Cuban Reflection Movement denounced of the police operation and the mob attack to the home of human rights defender and member of the Cuban Reflection Movement, Niursi Acosta Pacheco in the town of Vueltas, Villa Clara (Central Cuba). Activists had gathered to march on to the town’s Central Park and hold and a public act but the aggressors intimidated and threatened the activists by surrounding the house and carrying knives, machetes and metal tubes. Victims of this act of repudiation were: Orlando Triana Gonzalez, Antonio Suarez Fonticiella, Miguel Sotolongo Sotolongo, Raul Gonzalez Manso, Leonardo Rodriguez Alonso, Niursi Acosta Pacheco, Jose Marino Andrades Crespo, Damaris Hidalgo Garcia, Ramon Mesa Rodriguez, Alexander Mesa Rodriguez, Juan Manuel Sarduy Segrel, Diego  Sabala  Abreu, Manuel U. Acosta and Librado Linares.

In Havana, the following activists marched down an important avenue in El Vedado with a white sign honoring the recently deceased leader of the Ladies in White, Laura Pollan and on behalf of freedom and human rights in Cuba: Sara Marta Fonseca, Odalys Caridad Sanabria, René Ramón González, Ismael Alfaro and Ramsés Camejo. They were all detained and released a few hours later after being threatened and intimidated by Cuban State Security.

In Pinar del Rio a march was also successfully carried out in spite of the numerous arrests. Conrado Rodríguez Suárez, member of the Democratic Alliance of Pinar del Rio (ADP) continues under arrest.

In Sagua La Grande, paramilitary groups surrounded and attacked the home of the human rights activist Jesus Reinaldo, located at Carolina Cabrera Street #60 to prevent the meeting of members of the peaceful resistance.

Pedro Campa Almenares was released after being held in the Prison of Aguadores since August 2011.

In Havana, the police arrested more than a dozen dissidents who were on their way to participate in a forum on racial discrimination to be held November 24-26 at the home of Antonio Madrazo located at Calle 23 #710 entre C y D apto 2 piso 1, Vedado. Among those detained were dissidents Manuel Cuesta Morua, Darsi Ferrer and Yusnaimi Jorge Soca, Guillermo Lizama, Leonardo Calvo, as well as Danilo Maldonado.

Friday, November 25 - José Peña Batista, president of the Calixto García Movement, was arrested and remains in custody. The previous day a march had originated at his home and gone on to a Park in the town of Velazco, in the province of Hoguin ( Eastern Cuba).

Sunday, November 27 – In spite of the intimidations and threats of beatings and arrests, 38 Ladies in White were able to hear mass and march in the city of El Cobre in Eastern Cuba while in Havana 46 members of the Ladies in White “Laura Pollan” walked down 5th Avenue after attending mass at the Church of Santa Rita.

International recognition of the peaceful resistance movement in Cuba and solidarity for these activists is crucial. The Coalition of Cuban-American Women makes 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 A. Carro /
Facebook page:  Coalition of Cuban-American Women
Twitter: COCAW1

FURTHER INFORMATION IN CUBA: José Daniel Ferrer - + 53 53631267 / Belkis Cantillo - + 53 53790867 /       Berta Soler - + 53 52906820                




Monday, November 21, 2011



November 20, 2011


During the week of November 14 – 20, the Cuban regime continued its escalating pattern of committing cruel, inhumane and degrading acts against all those who dissent in the island. The following are some human rights activists who were targeted by Cuban repressive forces:

November 14 – Eastern Cuba (city of Contramaestre) -  A protest in the streets took place where the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was distributed and activists of UMPACU ( Union Patriotica Cubana), among them JORGE CERVANTES, who cried out “Long Live Human Rights” were brutally beaten, arrested and released the following day.

November 16 – Eastern Cuba (city of Guantanamo) – Protest demanding the release of human rights defender, NIORVIS RIVERA GUERRA, (member of the Resistance and Democracy Movement) and all Cuban political prisoners, ended with a violent ” act of repudiation” by pro government mobs that lasted all afternoon and into the night against the home of OSVALLEMI GRANT GUERRA. As a result two dissidents were injured.

November 18 – Eastern Cuba (city of Palmarito de Cauto) – Following four days of classes on strategies of non violent resistance that were given by the ex-Cuban political prisoner of conscience, LIBRADO LINARES, a father and his son: ROGELIO TABIO LOPEZ and ROGELIO TABIO RAMIREZ were violently detained as they were on their way back home to the city of Guantanamo. Several other activists were also attacked as they returned to their hometowns.

November 18 – Eastern Cuba (city of Palma Soriano) – Seven activists and two family members of PEDRO CAMPO ALMENARES were all violently attacked by authorities when they demanded his release in front of the Unit of the Political Police in Palma Soriano. (Campo Almenares is confined in the Prison of Aguadores since November 16, 2011 for protesting police repression.

November 19 – Eastern Cuba (city of Contramaestre) – A police operation to prevent the assistance to Mass of the Ladies in White, led to the arrest of two of them and their husbands: MAYELIN DE LA O MONTERO and YARISEL FIGUEREDO VALDES, as well as ALEXANDER ALDANA and JULIO CESAR PEGA. Amanda, the eight-year old daughter of Mayelin, spent hours crying for her mother in front of the police station until an agent took her to the home of a neighbor.

November 19 – Havana – MARIA ELENA MIR MARRERO, Secretary general of the CONIC (National Independent Workers Confederation of Cuba) was arrested in her house and released hours later. Independent journalist JULIO CEDEÑO NEGRIN also arrested alongside 2 other activists near Havana’s Central Park.

Since Raul Castro took over power in Cuba in 2006, the island’s political police: Rapid Response Brigades, paramilitary units, State Security agents, and pro government mobs are escalating their ongoing repressive acts against peaceful human rights defenders. As these prodemocracy activists throughout the island seek to assemble, organize and express themselves peacefully they, as well as their family members, are subjected to systematic physical and mental mistreatment.

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 for freedom and peace are in danger. International recognition of the peaceful resistance and solidarity for these activists 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 – Laida A. Carro / / / Facebook: Coalition of Cuban-American Women /Twitter: COCAW1

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

Monday, November 14, 2011


(Se puede leer el Comunicado de Prensa en español abajo)
N° 118/11


Washington, D.C., November 10, 2011 - The Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) expresses its concern over recent attacks suffered by Idania Yanes Contreras in Cuba. She is a beneficiary of precautionary measures granted by the IACHR on June 8, 2011.

Information the IACHR has received indicates that Idania Yanes Contreras was arrested on October 31, 2011, when she was protesting to defend the rights of a political dissident who was on a prolonged hunger strike. Idania Yanes Contreras reportedly was taken to a police unit, dragged by her hair, and severely beaten in the head, abdomen, and back before being released on November 3, 2011. According to the information the IACHR has received, she left the detention center in a fragile state of health and entered the Arnaldo Milián Castro Hospital with injuries to her body.

The Inter-American Commission considers extremely serious the fact that the State of Cuba has not adopted the necessary measures that were requested by the IACHR to protect the life and physical integrity of Idania Yanes Contreras, considering the threats, attacks, and harassment to which she has been subject. The IACHR calls to mind that the State has an obligation to investigate of its own accord the facts that have been reported, and to punish those responsible for the attacks.

The IACHR urges the State of Cuba to immediately and effectively implement each of the precautionary measures granted by the Commission.

A principal, autonomous body of the Organization of American States (OAS), the IACHR derives its mandate from the OAS Charter and the American Convention on Human Rights. The Inter-American Commission has a mandate to promote respect for human rights in the region and acts as a consultative body to the OAS in this matter. The Commission is composed of seven independent members who are elected in an individual capacity by the OAS General Assembly and who do not represent their countries of origin or residence.



No. 118/11


Washington, DC, 10 de noviembre de 2011 - La Comisión Interamericana de Derechos Humanos (CIDH) expresa su preocupación por las recientes agresiones sufridas por Idania Yanes Contreras en Cuba, beneficiaria de medidas cautelares otorgadas por la CIDH el 8 de junio de 2011.

La información recibida por la CIDH indica que Idania Yanes Contreras habría sido arrestada el 31 de octubre de 2011, cuando protestaba en defensa de los derechos de un disidente político que estuvo en huelga de hambre prolongada. Idania Yanes Contreras habría sido llevada a una unidad policial, arrastrada de los cabellos y golpeada severamente en la cabeza, el abdomen y la espalda, siendo dejada en libertad el 3 de noviembre de 2011. Según la información recibida, habría salido del centro de detención en un estado delicado de salud e ingresado en el Hospital Arnaldo Milián Castro con heridas en el cuerpo.

La Comisión Interamericana considera de suma gravedad que el Estado de Cuba no haya adoptado las medidas necesarias para proteger la vida y la integridad de Idania Yanes Contreras, solicitadas por la CIDH, considerando las amenazas, agresiones y hostigamiento  que ha recibido  La CIDH recuerda que es obligación del Estado investigar de oficio los hechos denunciados y sancionar a los responsables de las agresiones.

La CIDH urge al Estado de Cuba a implementar en forma inmediata y efectiva cada una de las medidas cautelares otorgadas por la Comisión.

La CIDH es un órgano principal y autónomo de la Organización de los Estados Americanos (OEA), cuyo mandato surge de la Carta de la OEA y de la Convención Americana sobre Derechos Humanos. La Comisión Interamericana tiene el mandato de promover la observancia de los derechos humanos en la región y actúa como órgano consultivo de la OEA en la materia. La CIDH está integrada por siete miembros independientes que son elegidos por la Asamblea General de la OEA a título personal, y no representan sus países de origen o residencia.

Monday, November 07, 2011


Following a savage beating and arrest, a human rights defender is suffering the same physical symptoms as the recently deceased Lady in White, Laura Pollan

November 6, 2011

Alcides Rivera Rodriguez and Rolando Ferrer Espinosa, two activists on a hunger strike since September 28, 2011, protesting the Cuban regime’s violence against peaceful activists in the island; both admitted respectively, on October 27 and 28, 2011, to the Provincial Hospital Arnaldo Milian in the central city of Santa Clara, were forced out of the medical center by special police forces that had militarized the building. Ferrer Espinosa, was hoisted away on Monday, October 31st to his home in spite of the fact that he was on supplemental oxygen, was shaking due to a high fever, is weak after losing more than 30 lbs. of body weight, and has severe respiratory ailments as well as metabolic acidosis. On November 2,, Alcides Rivera, who was diagnosed with bronchopneumonia and has lost almost 60 lbs, was also forcibly taken out of the hospital. Both Alcides and Rolando declared that they will continue their hunger strike.

On the afternoon of October 31,when Rolando Ferrer was taken out of the hospital by State Security agents, a group of human rights defenders who had gone to the hospital in solidarity with both hunger strikers, were violently arrested: Idania Yanes Contreras, Damaris Moya Portieles, Olga Lilia González Barroso, Alexey Sotolongo Díaz, Enrique Martínez Marín, Orlando Alfonso Martínez, Jorge Ramírez Calderón, René Fernández Quiroga, José Lino Ascencio López, Jorge Alberto Liriano Linares, Yasmín Conledo Riverón, Yusmani Rafael Álvarez Esmori, Yanisbel Valido Pérez, and Víctor Castillo Ortega. The activist, Julio Columbie, who was taking care of Ferrer Espinosa’s in the hospital room was beaten and taken away in a brutal manner. Alcides Rivera Vázquez, son of Alcides Rivera and Zuleika Cepero Méndez, wife of Rolando Ferrer were also taken into custody.

Jorge Luis García Pérez “Antúnez” and his wife, Iris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, of the National Civic Resistance Front  were beaten and dragged out of the intensive care unit where they were accompanying Alcides Rivera, as other patients screamed at the agents to stop the mistreatment.

After all pro-democracy activists were taken to the Unidad Provincial de Operaciones (UPO), they were dispersed to different municipalities in the province of Villa Clara and released by November 3rd. Alberto Reyes Morán, Michele Oliva López and Ramón Arboláez Abreu were subjected to short term detention when they appeared at (UPO) to inquire about the wellbeing of their fellow human rights activists. Also, as they were on their way to the Arnaldo Milian Hospital, Jorge Vázquez Chaviano, Nosbel Jomarca Deubides, Maidelis González Almeida and Yosmel Martínez Corcho were taken down from a bus in the outskirts of the city of Sagua la Grande and remained detained for a few hours.

On November 1, 2011, when activist Guillermo Fariñas tried to see Alcides Rivera at the hospital, he was brutally arrested and released on Thursday, November 3.

The particular case of the human rights defender and member of the Central Opposition Coalition, Idania Llanes Contreras, wife of Alcides Rivera, is alarming. On Wednesday, following the brutal beating on October 31, and still under custody,Idania developed a high fever and painful joints, began to shiver, to vomit and had a profuse vaginal bleeding. A physician at the detention center who saw her told her she might have dengue, that ” there was a lot of dengue going around.” Once released she required medical assistance at a hospital and following laboratory tests, a doctor told Idania she had an “unkown virus”. Idania was arrested and held in the same prison cell with the activists Yanisbel Valido and Damaris Portieles.



Testimony given by Idania Llanes describing their arrest:

“I was attacked by three policewomen who dealt three blows to my head as I was being dragged by my hair into a vehicle, they were beating me all over my body, specially on my abdomen…I didn’t realize that they had caused a stab wound to my left hand and scratches on my back with a metallic object. We discovered wounds in our bodies caused by sharp instruments. Damaris was thrown to the ground and hit her head so hard she almost passed out. Yanisbel was choked to the point that her face was red, so red…”

In Havana, this Sunday, November 7, 2011, though forty Ladies in White atended mass in the Church of Santa Rita and were able to march through Fifth Avenue with the image of Laura Pollan, at least six women were threatened by the political police to prevent their participation in the mass and the peaceful march. Among them were: Magaly Norvis Otero, Sandra Guerra, Elizabeth Kawooya and Dignora Figueredo.

Also this Sunday in Santiago de Cuba, a priest, several nuns and parishoners interceded on behalf of seven Ladies in White so that the police would not subject them to acts of repudiation and attacks. The women who were taken away by a car provided by nuns at the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba were: Belkis Cantillo Ramírez, Aimee Garcés Leiva, Mari Blanca Ávila Expósito, Oria Casanova Moreno, Adriana Núñez Pascual, Tania Bandera González, and Tania Montoya.

The Coalition of Cuban-American women makes an urgent call to the free world, to the press, to men and women in positions of leadership, demanding a stop to the systematic cruel and inhumane acts committed by the Cuban regime against members of Cuban civil society who defend fundamental freedoms in their own country. The lives of these human rights defenders, particularly of women activists, are in pressing danger. 

Coalition of Cuban-American Women / Laida Carro / /

FURTHER INFORMATION IN CUBA:  Alcides Rivera and Rolando Ferrer – Tel. + 53 42218079 /

Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez” –  + 53 52564369 / Iris T. Aguilera – + 53 52564368

Tania Montoya  + 53 53146329