Monday, April 02, 2012


“The government filled its dungeons with Ladies in White and human rights defenders as it concentrated atheists in both plazas where the Holy Father celebrated Mass”
Berta Soler, leader, Ladies in White/ April 1, 2012

April 1, 2012

Listed below are some of the members of Cuban civil society arrested  More than 300 human rights defenders and members of Cuban civil society were threatened, arrested or held under house arrest before and during the 72 hour visit of Pope Benedict XVI to Cuba.

The whereabouts of a large number were unknown. Activists reported cities “militarized” and that members of the political police were posted outside their windows. Most arrests took place in Havana and the Eastern cities of Santiago de Cuba, Holguin and Guantanamo. Several dissidents, such as the former Cuban political prisoner of conscience, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, declared that the Cuban regime used the Pope’s visit as a “dress rehearsal” to try out its repressive strategy in the event of a future national crisis. Andrew Johnston, advocacy Director of Christian Solidarity Worldwide denounced in a press release on March 30, 2012 the violent repressive tactics carried by the Cuban regime against “men and women who are members of the Catholic Church and derive deep strength and inspiration from their faith.”

The state control of the Pope’s visit began with the lists that were handed to the government of those who had to register their names in the parishes if they wanted to participate in the Masses. Public transportation all provided by the regime, to and from the Masses, was supervised by members of the Communist Youth and the Communist Party. The days of the Masses in Havana and Santiago de Cuba were “days off’ for Cubans who, in spite of their indifference or lack of interest in the Catholic Masses, had to sign in at their workplace and were transported to the Plazas in their respective cities.  

The Cuban blogger and independent journalist Luis Felipe Rojas resident of the city of San German in Eastern Holguin, remained under arrest the entire time of the Pope’s visit (March 24-28), and his wife and son remained under house arrest in spite of the fact that he and his family had signed up in his parish to attend the Mass in Santiago de Cuba. Rojas denounced that the telephone and communication companies in Cuba: ETECSA and CUBACEL, lent themselves to cut-off the cell phone and landline communication of all those targeted by the communist regime during the Pope’s visit to Cuba. Activists throughout the island also denounced that whenever they received a call, either from abroad or from others in the island, a Havana phone number would appear on their phones: +72041234, a number that connects to the Cuban Ministry of the Interior.

James Burke, the Cuba Campaigner at Amnesty International declared that: “As our efforts to communicate with government critics, human rights activists and independent journalists across Cuba are continually frustrated, it becomes clear that repression of dissent by the Cuban authorities during the Pope’s visit has become increasingly Orwellian.

The political police knocked on activists’ doors with summons that ordered them to appear at police units during the days of the Pope’s visit. Fines would be applied to those who did not show up. In attachment are copies of these official forms with the stamp of the Ministry of the Interior for: Margarita Aleman Mederos, Raul Caraballo Pereira, Antuan Clemente Hernandez and Armando Lorenzo Collado Batista. Human rights defender, Niurka Luque, under arrest since March 18, 2012 for trying to attend the Ladies’ in White “Literary Tea” (held on the 18th of every month) was transferred on March 30 to the Maximum Security Women’s prison of Manto Negro. Andres Carrion Alvarez, a 40 year old Cuban who cried out “down with communism” at the Pope’s Mass in Santiago de Cuba is still detained at the Special Police Unit of Versalles in Santiago de Cuba. Carrion was violently beaten by plain clothes government agents; including a man wearing the Red Cross emblem who used the stretcher to beat him brutally over the head. The International Red Cross is investigating this incident. Amnesty International declared Yasmin Conyedo and her husband, Yusmani Alvarez prisoners of conscience. Both remain under arrest since January 8, 2012 in the central city of Santa Clara.

Yasmin Conyedo is an independent journalist of the group, United Antitotalitarian Front and a Lady in White. Her husband, Yusmani Alvarez is an activist of the Young Democratic League of Las Villas. They are both falsely accused of attacking the home of a communist party official in their hometown of Villaclara who had initially subjected the couple’s home to a pro government mob attack the same day of the arrest. Yasmin was transferred to the Prison of Guamajal and Yusmani to the Prison of La Pendiente on January 16, 2012.   Amnesty Int’l also declared prisoners of conscience brothers Antonio Michel Lima Cruz and Marcos Maiquel Lima Cruz who are serving a three year prison sentence since Christmas Day 2010 for singing a protest song in the street.   Amnesty Int’l Report on Cuba/ Yasmin Conyedo, Yusmani Alvarez, Antonio Michel Lima Cruz and Marcos Maiquel Lima Cruz:    

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 peacefully on behalf of fundamental freedoms are in danger. We are particularly concerned with the cases of the activist couple Yasmin Conyedo and Yusmani Alvarez, the brothers Antonio Michel Lima Cruz and Marcos Maiquel Lima Cruz, Andres Carrion Alvarez, Niurka Luque and with the continued physical and mental harassment against all members of the Ladies in White, Laura Pollan throughout Cuba.  International recognition of the peaceful resistance and solidarity for these human rights defenders 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 Page: Coalition of Cuban-American Women
Twitter: @COCAW1
PINAR DEL RIO: All phone lines were cut off Yaser Reinoso Ramos
LA HABANA: Most phone lines are cut off Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo (released 3/28/2012) Julio León Fonseca (released 3/28/2012) Julio Aleaga Pesant William ( musician ) Danilo Maldonado, El Sexto   Ismael de Diego (poet and actor) Claudio Fuentes (photographer) Francisco Chaviano González Enrique Losada Julio Vega Santiesteban Roberto Tapia Ferrer Rubén Sanchez Vega Leidi Coca Quesada Omaida Padrón Ascuit Jennifer Fonseca Padrón Karen de Jesús Belkis Felicia Jorrín Morfa Lázara Mitjans Cruz Blanca Hernández Moya Ciro Díaz (blogger and guitarist of the group”Porno para Ricardo”) Naiyibis Corrales Jiménez Laura Elena Capote Loret de Mola Katia Sonia Martín Veliz Ricardo Salabarría Odalis Caridad Valdés Suárez Raúl Ramírez Puig Gerardo Páez Díaz Ulises Cintra Suárez Jerry Curbelo Aguilera Manuel Cuesta Morúa Alberto Méndez Ivonne Mayeza Galano Mercedes Fresneda Julio Regatillo Berta Soler Fernández Alejandrina García de la Riva Laura Labrada Pollán Niurka Luque Alvarez (detained, beaten and on hunger strike from March 18, 2012. Taken to the máximum security Women’s Prison of Manto Negro on March 29, 2012. Lucy Castermau Yesica Castermau Jorrín Belkis Jorrín Morfa María de los Angeles Rojas Pereira Roberto de Jesús Guerra Pérez- (Under arrest from March 27- 28, 2012) Magalys Norbis Otero- (Under arrest from March 27-28, 2012) René Rouco Machín

MATANZAS: Leticia Ramos Herrería (arrested March 26 and relased March 29, 2012) Emilio Bringas Evora Mercedes de la Caridad De la Guardia José Morejón Morejón Lázaro Díaz Sánchez Francisco Rangel Manzano Ysabel Marrero Burunate (golpeada) Carlos Orlando Olivera Martínez (violently arrested) William Acevedo Roque Rubén Montes de Oca Nelson Ruiz Alonso Félix Navarro Rodríguez Edelvis Granda Pérez Raudel García Nelson Acosta Ríos Iván Hernández Carrillo

CIENFUEGOS: Pablo González Villa (arrested March 27, still under arrest 3/30/2012) Justo Luis Alonso García ( arrested march 27, still under arrest 3/30/2012) Alexis Santana González (arrested March 27, still under arrest 3/30/2012) Yoel Morera Martínez (arrested March 25 Released March 28) Eduardo Cortés López, (arrested March 27 Released March 28) Ricardo Pupo Sierra, (arrested March 26 Released March 28) Juan de Dios Medina Vazquez (arrested March 26 Released March 28) VILLA CLARA: Rolando Ferrer Espinosa, Maria del Carmen Martinez Lopez, Natividad Blanco Carrero, Leonardo Rodríguez Alonzo

CAMAGUEY: Virgilio Mantilla Arango, Elicardo Freire Jiménez Osmani Leonardo Fernández. Frank Adán de la Rosa Rudel Montes de Oca Quesada

LAS TUNAS 78. Ramón Velázquez Toranzo 79. Ismelis Quiñones Ortega

HOLGUIN: Luis Felipe Rojas Rosabal, Delmides Fidalgo López, Mariblanca Ávila Esposito, Anni Sarrión Romero, Juan Carlos Vázquez Osorio, Jorge Luis Freeman Palermo, Jorge Luis Claro Velazquez, Juan Oriol Verdecia, (Under arrest from March 24-28 2 PM) Rafael Meneses Pupo, (Under arrest from March 24-28 2 PM) Alexander Rodríguez Santiesteban (Under arrest from March 24-28 2 PM) Maritza Cardoso, Caridad Caballero Batista, Marta Díaz Rondón, Milagros Leiva Ramírez. Anyer Antonio Blanco Rodríguez Eliécer Aranda Matos Yeri Curbelo Aguilera Eliécer Palma Pupo Antonio Caballero Pupo Bernardo Torres Roldán Maira Guerrero Silva Bertha Guerrero Segura Marco Antonio Lima Dalmao Adis Nidia Cruz Sebré Isabel Peña Torres Judith Ferrer Segura Yosvany Anzardo Yoandri Naoski Ricardo Mir (Under arrest from March 24-28 2 PM) Delvis Martínez Albides (Under arrest from March 24-28 2 PM) Niober Cansino Acosta (Under arrest from March 24-28 2 PM) Ariel Cruz Meneses (Under arrest from March 24-28 2 PM)  

GRANMA Emiliano González Olivera Léster Lora Carbonell Alexis Rivero Rodríguez Antonio Santí Soto Félix Rivero Cordobí Armando Pacheco Yaquelin García Hans

SANTIAGO DE CUBA: Misael Valdés Díaz, (under arrest from March 26-28). Jorge Cervantes García, (violently arrested, a hand required 8 stitches) Guillermo Cobas Reyes Liudmila Rodriguez Palomo, Angel Verdecia Díaz Andry Verdecia Osorio Ramón Bolaños Martínez Sergio Lescay Despaigne Maikel Osorio Martínez Rulisán Ramírez Rodríguez Rolando Humberto González Rodríguez Yelena Garcés Nápoles Eduardo Pérez Martínez Armando Sánchez La O Angel Lino Isaac Luna Karina Quintana Hernández Yannai Ferrer Santos Ana Celia Rodriguez Torres José Batista Falcón Miguel Rafael Cabrera Montoya José Enrique Martínez Ferrer Bismark Mustelier Galán Dani López de Moya Luis Ernrique Losada Igarza Mercedes Fonseca Fernández Adriana Figueredo Fernández Yaima Bejerano Díaz Doraisa Correoso Pozo Adriana Núñez Pascual Madelaine Santos Grillo Agustín Ferrer Ovidia Martín Catellanos Yoselin Ferrera Espinosa Jesús Priman Salermo Annia Alegre Pécora, (arrested intermittently since March 23. Remains under arrest as of 3/30/2012) Yamiselis Figueredo Valdés Omaidis González Leiva Tania Montoya Vázquez Yanelis Elégica Despaigne Vivian Peña Hernández Yunieski Domínguez González Roberto González Feria Ángel Mir Espinosa, ( Practicing Catholic in the city of San Luis.. Was assigned by his Parish to sit in the first row during the Pope’s Mass in Stgo. de Cuba but was kidnapped by the Political Police on March 25, 2012. His wife, a Lady in White decided to go on a hunger strike in front of the Police Station where her husband was being held. He was thus released March 26, 2012. Alexis Yanchoi Kuán Jerez Anyer Antonio Blanco Eliécer Martínez Ferrer Ovidio Martí Calderín Yoselín Ferrera Espinosa Adriana Rodríguez Fernández Rafael Alvarez Rodríguez Rubén Torres Saínz Yaquelín Baín García Aliana Isaac Lemus Juana Irena Parada Ernesto Roberto Riverit Andrés Pérez Suárez Reinaldo Castillo Martínez Tatiana López Blanco Yamiselys Aleaga Cayamo Orlando Humberto González Eliécer Porto Barrero Adriana Figueroa Fernández José Ramos Corrales Luis Edilio Martínez Pérez Martín Osorio Rolando Reyes

GUANTANAMO: Francisco Luis Manzanet Ortiz Roberto González Pelegrín, Rodolfo Bartelemy Cobas, Isael Poveda Silva, Reinier Cubas, Randy Caballero Suárez, Roneidi Leiva Salas Yordis Sofía Rodríguez Raúl Durán Montero Roberto Quiñones Lores Enyor Díaz Allen Oscar Savón Pantoja Ramón Olivares Abello Rogelio Laborde Rivero Yordis García Fournier Eldri Abello Batista Released and placed under house arrest with State Security agents posted to prevent them from attending the Papal Masses in Santiago de Cuba or Havana.

PINAR DEL RIO Yoel Reinoso, Víctor Rodríguez Morejón, Raquel Rodríguez Riverón, Dianelis Rodríguez Suárez, Yoangel Palacios Hernández, Luis Enrique Milián, Jose Rolando Caceres Soto, Adalberto Abascal Quintana, Roberto Blanco Gil, Raquel Rodriguez Suarez Eduardo Diaz Fleitas. Dagoberto Valdés

HAVANA Jorge Castor Veliz Díaz,(Under arrest from March 23-26) Hermógenes Guerrero Gómez Mayra Morejón Hernández- (Arrested and released March 27. Was hurt when a patrol car tried to run her over.)  Heriberto Liranza Ainí Martín Valero Yosvani Manuel Martínez Martínez Ignacio Martínez Montero

MATANZAS Caridad Burunate Gómez Regla Burunate Gómez Sahilí Navarro Eduardo Marco Pacheco Ortiz José Hernández López (golpeado) Laysis Barzola Nelson Curbelo Rodríguez Nilda Leiva Gonzalez Lázaro Ariel Padrón López Beatriz Gómez García Félix Gregorio Sierra Soto Caridad González González Giraldo Sigler Cruz Luisa Ramón Rodríguez Dagoberto Santana Marichal Edilei Moreno Fernández Juan Francisco Sigler Amaya

VILLA CLARA Yris Pérez Aguilera Jorge Luis García Pérez “Antúnez” Idania Yánez Contreras Yanisbel Valido Perez, (Released suffering from a hemorrhage through the nose)   Alcides Rivera Rodríguez Librado Linares García Juan Manuel Sarduy Segredo Magaly Broche de la Cruz

HOLGUIN Cristián Toranzo Fundichely Mildred Nohemí Sánchez Infante Antonio Buenamor Fundichely Wilmer Rivas Marín Yusy Ramírez Eusebio Andrés Martínez Fundichely David Guibert Durán Eliso Castillo González Roilán Ramírez Reinosa Jorge Luis Díaz Marín Rafael Martínez Leiva Andrés Martínez Fundichely Amada Pileta Julio César Ramos Curbelo

SANTIAGO DE CUBA: José Daniel Ferrer García Yoandri Fuertes Hernández Wildo Izaguirre Fuentes Belkis Cantillo Ramírez Aymeé Garcés Leiva Marta Beatriz Ferrer Cantillo (minor) Daniela Valcárcel Garcés (minor) Yusmel Acosta Aguilera, Caimanera, (Family member of a human rights defender. Released after a beating on March 30)

GUANTANAMO Jorge Corrales Ceballos Rolando Rodríguez Lobaina, ( arrested March 25. Released on March 26 and placed under house arrest. Had been detained in Havana on March 23, 2012.)

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