Thursday, March 29, 2012
REPRESSION, SURVEILLANCE & POLICE HARASSMENT THROUGHOUT A MILITARIZED ISLAND - ASSEMBLY OF CUBAN RESISTANCE
Assembly of the Cuban Resistance
Repression, Surveillance and Police Harassment throughout a militarized island
Miami, March 28, 2012 – Assembly of the Cuban Resistance The Support and Information Center of the ACR continues monitoring the situation inside Cuba in face of the large repressive operative deployed by the Cuban regime’s political police and State Security forces that fear spontaneous manifestations of the Cuban people and of the resistance demanding freedom and human rights during the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Cuba.
The following testimony given this morning by Dagoberto Valdés, layman in the Western province of Pinar del Rio and director of the Magazine “Convivencia” (Conviviality) confirmed to the Support and Information Center that most telephone communications have been blocked in the island :
“ I am not able to make or receive calls nor send messages inside the country; international connections from abroad to my phone are available though I cannot make international calls from my phone. There are hundreds of Cubans without telephone connections; others have been arrested and others are unable to leave their houses to attend Mass. Last night I had an operative of people in plainclothes surrounding my home; visibly carrying walkie talkies. I was followed when I went out for a moment. This is in contrast to what the Pope is proclaiming and saying in today’s homily.”
Juan Francisco Sigler Amaya, member of the Alternative Option Movement in Matanzas, with whom our Center was able to speak, informed that numerous activists were permanently subjected, night and day, to surveillance and political harassment, with guards stationed at each window of their homes.
Sahily Navarro, daughter of the former Cuban political prisoner of conscience, Felix Navarro, was able to communicate with the Support and Information Center stating that the repression and surveillance in the province of Matanzas continue even after the conclusion of the Mass in Havana. Numerous patrol cars are stationed in the streets of the city and additional arrests were carried out in the areas of Los Arabos, Cárdenas and Colón. Among those arrested was the Lady in White, Mercedes de la Caridad de la Guardia.
Bernardo José Castermau Castellanos, husband of Belkis Orin Bolsa and father of Lucy Castermau, both Ladies in White, reported that his wife and daughter were detained today once more alongside Maria de los Ángeles Rojas Pereira when they were leaving their homes to attend the Mass in Havana.
Eriberto Liranza, of the Nationa Resistancel Front of Civil Desobedience Orlando Zapata Tamayo informed our Information Center that, in Havana, all members of said Resistance Front had their houses surrounded and many were arrested before the Mass.
Our Center also received a report from Members of the Youth Movement of Bayamo in Eastern Cuba who said that, when they were about to get into an independently driven vehicle to participate in a planned activity, the Cuban political police beat them and forced them out of the car with violence. The following activists were then taken to Police control points and threatened by authorities: Armando Pacheco Rodríguez, Félix Rivero Cordoví, Antonio Santi Soto, Alexis Rivero Rodríguez and Lester Lora Carbonell.
Upon the conclusión of this press release at 1 p.m., the identity and whereabouts of the brave Cuban who called out for the freedom of Cuba and against communism before the Mass began in Santiago de Cuba is unknown. The man was beaten repeatedly and violently dragged out by State Security agents – among them, one displaying the emblem of the Red Cross.