- RT @RosaMariaPaya: Lo que dijimos esta mañana en la #ErmitadelaCaridad martinoticias.com/contentlive/fa… 5 hours ago
- RT @FelixReyesGutie: #Cuba Huelguista Luis E Santos Caballero trasladado dsde la sala d observacion para neurocirugia cama# 8. 6 hours ago
- RT @primavradigital: #Cuba #BillyJoeLandaLinares joven miembro d #RedComunicadoresComunitarios arrestado hoy 4PM. Conducido 11Unidad #PNR. … 6 hours ago
- RT @antunezcuba: Al menos 54 carteles en apoyo a Luis E Caballero se reportaron hoy en ciudad d Camaguey #cuba 7 hours ago
- RT @santacuba1: Santacuba1 hoy 18/6/2013 citiadas las biviendas de opocitores pasificos en grua nueba ciego de avila por la seguridad del e… 9 hours ago
- RT @SantosFSanchez: #Cuba 54 carteles anticastrista y 500 volantes aparesen hoy en camaguey en apollo y solidaridad a luis enrrique santos … 9 hours ago
- RT @SaraMartaCuba: #Cuba en Sta Clara Luis E Santos en huelga d hambre reclama vivienda, dictadura amenaza con demoler casas recién constru… 16 hours ago
- RT @SaraMartaCuba: #Cuba régimen castrista pretende demoler 16 casas y desalojar familias en calle 263 y Final Rpto Abel Sta Maria Boyeros,… 16 hours ago
"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation
June 17, 2013Posted by on
A total of 177 Ladies in White marched in different provinces of Cuba this past Sunday, June 16th, dedicating the walk to Father’s Day, according to a tweet publish by former political prisoner of conscience Ivan Hernandez Carrillo (@ivanlibre).
In Havana, 58 women made it to Mass in the Santa Rita Church and afterward marched down 5th Avenue, demanding freedom for all political prisoners. The Ladies celebrated Father’s Day together with various male dissidents which accompanied them.
Leticia Ramos, representative of the female group in the province of Matanzas, told Sayli Navarro that a total of 22 women marched there. Navarro published the information on her Twitter account (@SayliNavarro).
2 women were able to march and participate in Mass in Ciego de Avila.
Ivan Hernandez also tweeted that a total of 62 Ladies in White marched in Santiago de Cuba and made it to Mass in the National Cobre Shrine.
In other Eastern provinces various women marched and made it to Mass. In Guantanamo 12 managed to do so and in Holguin another 15 did. However, in Holguin, specifically in the municipality of Banes, Gertrudis Ojeda Suarez was arrested when she tried to leave her house to march to church. Ojeda denounced that the same thing happens to her every Sunday and that they are “completely arbitrary detentions“. Other arrests were reported in Eastern Cuba, while other women marched in that same area.
This Father’s Day, the situation of the numerous political prisoners who are unjustly behind bars in Cuba was highlighted. The majority of these prisoners happen to be fathers. Among the cases are that of Ramon Munoz Gonzalez, husband of Sonia Garro (also a political prisoner) and president of the Independent Afro-Cuban Foundation, dissident rapper Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga “El Critico” who is the father of a little girl who is just months old and Osvaldo Rodriguez Castillo who is in prison for creating a new dissident group and for protecting his son from participating in military service (his son Osvaldo Rodriguez Castillo is also in prison). These are just three cases. There are many more like them. And it’s for these Cubans that the Ladies in White march.
June 17, 2013Posted by on
The debate about whether dissidents working for a democratic Cuba should turn to hunger strikes or not always rises in and out of the island whenever these protests are undertaken. Whichever the opinions may be, the reality is that, right now, in Cuba there are 3 human rights activists on hunger strike, all of them on the verge of losing their lives due to the serious deterioration of their health. And while their lives extinguish slowly, the dictatorship ignores their demands.
Luis Enrique Santos Caballero
A member of the Central Opposition Coalition (CCO) and of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front, from the city of Santa Clara, Villa Clara. Has been carrying out his hunger strike since May 24th, demanding a home after he was forcefully evicted alongside his wife Ramona Maday García, an activist of the Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights. Santos Caballero spent more than 15 years behind bars and upon being released his father had passed away and he had nowhere to live. He spent some time living at the homes of friends and fellow dissidents until he finally decided to occupy an abandoned establishment. Police forces violently evicted Santos from this establishment. He has been under constant persecution since then.
The dissident began to protest with his wife in the Vidal Park of Santa Clara for a number of days, demanding a home. He was arrested, beaten and repudiated by government mobs on various occasions. Santos decided to start a hunger strike, moving his protest to the city of Placetas, specifically in the home of dissident Jorge Luis Garcia Perez ‘Antunez’.
Santos Caballero has only one kidney. He lost the other organ after a brutal beating by his jailers while he was still in prison. It is precisely because the lack of one kidney that his health has deteriorated so quickly and why his health is critical. Authorities have ignored his demands but Santos has said that he will take his protest to the final consequences. #SOS
For more information from Cuba:
Jorge Luis García Pérez ‘Antúnez’ – Cell Phone: +52-731-656 / Twitter: @antunezcuba
Osvaldo Rodríguez Acosta
The home of dissident Osvaldo Rodríguez Acosta and his family in the town of Bejucal was raided by police forces on September 2012 after he had announced the formation of a new pro-freedom group, the Patriotic Alliance, and that his oldest son, 24 year old Osvaldo Rodriguez Castillo, refused to participate in military service. Father and son were beaten until the point that their heads were broken. Juana Castillo, wife of Osvaldo Rodriguez, was also physically assaulted while her youngest son (12 years old at the time) witnessed everything. The minor is severely traumatized.
The 3 activists were rapidly detained and sent to an arbitrary trial in 2013. Osvaldo Rodriguez was sentenced to 9 years of prison, his son to 7 years and Juana was sentenced to 5 years of correctional labor. Osvaldo (father) is jailed in the Combinado del Este Prison, where he began his hunger strike on May 10th, protesting all the abuses against his family and the authorities’ refusal to allow family visits. His son is being held in Valle Grande Prison of Havana. On June 8th, dissident and Lady in White Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo, from Boyeros, Havana, reported that Osvaldo Rodríguez Acosta had been transferred to the National Hospital’s penal ward, already with more than 30 days on hunger strike and in a “critical” state.
Fonseca has informed on her Twitter account that Rosa Acosta, mother of Osvaldo Rodriguez, suffered a pulmonary effusion and was interned in the National Hospital, where her son resides. Authorities have not allowed them to see each other. #SOS
For more information from Cuba:
Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo – Cell Phone: +53-379-01 1/ Twitter: @SaraMartaCuba
Wilbert Parada Milán
Wilbert Parada Milán is a member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU). He was violently detained along with Roberto Hernandez on March 30th in Habana Vieja. He began his hunger strike on May 13th in the Valle Grande Prison, also in Havana.
In a recent interview with this blog, José Daniel Ferrer García, leader of UNPACU, explained that Parada’s arrest was due to the constant activism he had been carrying out throughout the capital, carrying out civic protests and handing out pro-freedom literature.
In another recent interview to ABC, Yudisnelis Rodríguez Reina, wife of the dissident, explained that the hunger striker is in “critical state” in a cell of the Cominbado del Este’s hospital.
Jailers have not allowed Wilbert to have family visits and he has reportedly lost consciousness on a number of occasions. Relatives and fellow dissidents fear for the worst with this activist, who finds himself in a struggle between life and death. #SOS
For more information from Cuba:
José Daniel Ferrer García – Cell Phone: +53-146-740 / Twitter: @jdanielferrer
Luis Enrique Santos Caballero, Osvaldo Rodríguez Acosta, Wilbert Parada Milán. Three names we shouldn’t forget. No more repression, no more dictatorship.
June 13, 2013Posted by on
Primario y Julito, dissident rap duo based in Havana, have joined forces with Raper Issac, from Santiago de Cuba, in a new song and video: “Lambon“.
“My thing is not a whim, my thing is not a vice, my thing is desire for freedom”, says the opening of the new single published on the YouTube channel of Roberto de Jesus Guerra, director of the independent news agency ‘Hablemos Press‘. Guerra helps the young rappers record and promote their work.
Both Primario y Julito and Raper Issac, like all other independent musicians on the island, are prohibited and censored from any air time in the country, yet they are still popular amongst the everyday population, especially the youth. Musicians such as these hand out CDs with their music on the streets.
Other rappers- such as Angel Yunier Remon “El Critico”, based in the Eastern town of Bayamo, are subjected to constant government persecution. In Remon’s case, he has been in prison for nearly 3 months and may soon face charges for making music, carrying out peaceful demonstrations, and hanging up anti-government signs on his home.
Check out the new single by Primario y Julito and Raper Issac, “Lambon”:
June 12, 2013Posted by on
The following video of Werlando Leyva Batista, member of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) who was attacked with a machete by a paramilitary agent on June 8th in Holguin, was sent by independent journalist Alexei Jimenez Almarales. In the video, we see Leyva Batista in the hospital, with a cast on his arm, explaining what happened to him at the hands of his oppressor, “Amauri”:
June 12, 2013Posted by on
As has been reported through various media outlets, this past Saturday June 8th dissident Werlando Leyva Batista, a member of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) in the Eastern province of Holguin, was attacked with a machete by a paramilitary agent known as Amaury, hailing from “El Martillo” neighborhood.
In an audio published by MCL on their YouTube account, Leyva Batista recounts that the aggressions against him are due to his work “promoting ‘The Path of the People’ and working towards freedom”. The majority of the injuries he obtained after the attack are on his hand and his thigh, though he assures that the objective of the aggressor was to assassinate him. Leyva Batista provided further details in another audio published by ‘Radio Republica’Now, during the dawn hours of this June 12th, various activists from diverse pro-freedom groups displayed their solidarity with Werlando in the Lenin Hospital of Holguin where he has been checked in. The dissidents received threats for their gestures of solidarity. Independent journalist and Holguin native Alexei Jimenez Almarales sent the following report from the island:
“More than 10 dissidents were threatened on the morning of June 12th for standing in front of the Lenin Hospital in the city of Holguin.
These human rights activists were showing solidarity with MCL activist Werlando Leyva Batista who received two machete blows three days ago. They are at the Hospital under threats of being detained, as authorities have said they will call the police.
Those present are:
Yoel Ordeñe Garrotiza, Yonis Leon Abarta, Osnai Pérez Matinés, Luis Quintana, Julio Cesar Ramos Cúrvelo, Juan Carlos Iznaga Santisteban, Denis Pino Basulto, Liliana Campos Buzón, Robier Cruz Campo, Madelaine Escobar Barseló, Juan Carlos Reyes Ocaña, Jorge Taylor y Daniel Rodrigué Osorio”.
The pro-freedom MCL, as well as the Cuban opposition in general, has denounced the increase of repression against activists. The past few months have seen the increase of death threats, persecution, arbitrary arrests, acts of repudiation and spontaneous beatings at the hands of the political police apparatus. However, everything indicates that as these repressive measures increase, so too does solidarity amongst activists, regardless of the groups they belong to, something which greatly worries the dictatorship.
For more information from Cuba, contactar:
Alexei Jiménez Almarales – Cell Phone: +52-552-925 / Twitter: @jugandomelavida
June 11, 2013Posted by on
Sonia Garro, a member of the Ladies in White, and her husband Ramon Alejandro Munoz, president of the Independent Afro-Cuban Foundation, have been held in prison since March of 2012 after a violent arrest by the political police days before Pope Benedict’s visit to the island. The dictatorships’ authorities have not carried out a trial for either of the dissidents and they have been subjected to various inhumane treatments.
Most recently, the digital newspaper “Diario de Cuba” published an update on Garro’s health condition, which has worsened due to the fact that she was confined to a punishment cell for 10 days.
Opposition groups, individuals and members of the Ladies in White continuously demand the release of Garro and Munoz, but they are also in need of international solidarity.
Here’s the report by ‘Diario de Cuba’, in English (My Translation):
Sonia Garro’s health worsens after spending 10 days in a punishment cell
The health of political prisoner Sonia Garro, who has been in prison without a trial for 1 year and 3 months, has worsened after the authorities of the Guatao Women’s Prison sent her to a punishment cell for 10 days, according to a denouncement made to “Diario de Cuba” by Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White.
According to Soler, two common female prisoners – used by the jailers as “provokers” to cause incidents- tried to involve Garro in a “riot” where several of the prisoners burned mattresses and left 18 injured in another Detachment.
Seeing that this did not yield the desired results, they tried to involve Garro, who was watching television at the time, trying to make her become angry by offending her. They demanded that she change the channel and that she sign a paper with slogans against the government.
Soler said that Garro, a member of the Ladies in White, asked one of the jailers to intervene, but this person simply responded “solve the problem on your own”.
The dissident tried to disconnect the television from its plug but the cable broke, explained Soler. She said that was the reason the prison authorities used to sent Garro to a punishment cell.
Among other health ailments, the activist suffers a skin infection. Doctors have ordered that she have a frequent change of hygiene and clothes, said Soler. She cited several relatives of the political prisoner, adding that Garro passed the entirety of the 10 days in the punishment cell “without being able to shower”, with the same blanket, and in “inhumane conditions” which has led to the worsening of her skin condition.
The family of Garro, the Lady in White who has spent the most time in prison and who, to the date, has not had a trial, has denounced on previous occasions that the authorities have refused her access to medical attention. She has also denounced manipulations at the hands of her jailers as well as provocations against her in prison.
Garro was detained on March 2012 along with her husband, Ramon Alejandro Munoz, during a violent operation in which the regime used specialized forces and rubber bullets.
During her arrest, the activist was injured in one of her legs and she is still suffering complications. The authorities are accusing her and her husband of “public disorder” and “assassination attempt”.
Last April, Munoz, who is being held in the Combinado del Este prison, carried out a hunger strike, was also held in a punishment cell and received a strong beating because he demanded a solution to his case, as well as that of his wife’s.
To read the original article in Spanish, click here.
June 10, 2013Posted by on
A number of signs with messages in favor of the everyday people and against the Cuban dictatorship appeared in different parts of the municipality of Antilla, Holguin province, this Sunday June 9th.
Mildred Noemi Sanchez Infante, a member of the Ladies in White and also of the pro-freedom groups Eastern Democratic Alliance (ADO) and the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) said that the majority of the signs read “Down with Hunger“.
She explained that the mentioned slogan is something which demonstrates the discontent and desperation of the citizens on the island, as well as one of the main concerns of Cubans: finding food.
Among the places where the signs appeared was the popular cafeteria known as “La Popular” located in Maximo Gomez Street and on the walls of the Cuban Women’s Federation office on Maceo Street. These said “Down with Fidel”.
Sanchez Infante said that the apparition of the signs led the National Revolutionary Police to worry.
“The PNR agents quickly showed up and erased the signs on the Federation’s office“, said the activist, “the messages reflect the true feelings of the people of Antilla“.
Sometimes, signs are hung by members of the internal opposition while other times they are placed by neighbors and everyday citizens who express themselves in this manner.
Other common messages on the signs are “Down with Unemployment”, “Fair Salaries”, and “Food for our Children”.
For more information from Cuba, contact:
Mildred Noemí Sánchez Infante – Cell Phone: +52-615-097
June 10, 2013Posted by on
As occurs each Sunday, dozens of Ladies in White took to the streets of their respective cities this June 9th to participate in Mass and pray for the freedom of all political prisoners and later carry out civic marches carrying flowers and photos of some prisoners.
In the Cuban capital- Havana- 76 Ladies in White participated in Mass in the Santa Rita Church, according to a message published by dissident and former political prisoner Ivan Hernandez Carrillo on his Twitter account (@ivanlibre). Moments later, Angel Moya Acosta, also a former political prisoner of conscience, tweeted (@jangelmoya) that 62 women carried out the habitual march down 5th Avenue accompanied by another 40 male activists.
In the central province of Villa Clara, 6 Ladies in White marched and assisted Mass, while in Sancti Spiritus 2 women managed to do the same.
Ivan Hernandez added that a total of 21 women marched and made it to Mass in the province of Matanzas. 7 of them made it to the city of Colon, 12 in Cardenas and another 2 in Perico.
In the Eastern province of Santiago de Cuba 40 women marched to El Cobre National Shrine. At least 3 arrests were confirmed, however, according to Hernandez Carrillo. The detainees were Moraima Díaz Pérez, Edelmis León and Graciela Domínguez.
Sayli Navarro, a young member of the Ladies in White, informed on her Twitter account (@SayliNavarro) that a total of 12 women marched and made it to Santa Catalina de Ricci Parish in the province of Guantanamo, despite the strong vigilance on behalf of State Security agents.
In Holguin province, various arrests occurred, among them of Gertrudis Ojeda Suarez in the municipality of Banes. She told this blog that “just like every other Sunday, I was detained by State Security and forcefully taken to the local police unit, amid verbal threats“. Last weekend, the same agents threatened to handcuff and beat Ojeda.
The dissident has been victim of constant vigilance and police persecution. In fact, the government agents have raided her home and carried out numerous acts of repudiation on various occasions. These actions have mainly affected her underage children.
“All of this is proof that repression against Ladies in White and the opposition continues in Cuba. That is why I am denouncing, for all the world to hear, all these arrests I am being victim of, as well as my other sisters in struggle, all of them carried out by the dictatorship of the Castro brothers“, declared Gertrudis.
A number of other women were able to march in the municipality of Holguin. Meanwhile, in the municipality of San German activist Eliecer Palma used his Twitter account (@eliecerpalma1) to confirm that 6 Ladies in White “managed to march and participated in the Church of San German, along with other dissidents”.
It’s important to point out that each one of these cases where Ladies in White march there has also been a strong presence by the political police which sets up cordons days before to arrest the women or to keep watch over them. Many times, the Ladies in White have to leave their homes on Friday or during dawn hours of Saturday and passing through fields or desolate places to arrive to their respective churches and surpass these cordons.
Regardless, these women continue out on the streets so that the everyday people can listen to their demands and to show them that it is possible to obtain a public space on the island, despite the dictatorship’s repression.
June 10, 2013Posted by on
This past 20th of May, Cuban Independence Day, numerous pro-freedom activities were carried out throughout the island. Now, a video has arrived from Santiago de Cuba which shows a march carried out by 16 dissidents, members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), throughout various blocks of the Sueño Neighborhood. The participants of the march described it as a “spontaneous” and “successful” demonstration.
The activists who marched were not repressed by the political police during the moment of the activity, and much less by everyday citizens. They demanded freedom for all political prisoners, mentioning specific names such as Bismark Mustelier, Jorge Cervantes Garcia and Dany Lopez de Moya. They also shouted “Zapata Lives“, “Harold Cepero Lives” and “Oswaldo Paya lives“, among other messages in favor of freedom and true change.
Cuban political police agents, infuriated by the success of the march, organized a mob which carried out an act of repudiation against the dissidents when they returned to the home of Daniel Barriel Sanjurjo. The mob shouted offensive slogans as well as things like ‘Down with the worms’ and ‘Leave the country’. As a response, the activists expressed “Down with the political police” and “Long live the Cuban People“.
The dissidents did not back down at any moment. Some of them were detained and beat later on. See the video here:
June 7, 2013Posted by on
The Cuban punk-rock band Porno Para Ricardo has announced the launch of their new album “Maleconazo Ahora” (‘Maleconazo Now’), on sale through the music downloads website “BandCamp”.
Gorki Luis Aguila, lead singer and guitarist of the group, has been promoting the new production through his Facebook page. In an interview with this blog in March of 2013, the rocker described the disc as being “very fluid, very fast…one song comes on and then an interview, and everything kind of gets mixed together and it makes you feel like you are at the place where it happened [The Maleconazo]“.
For Gorki, the Maleconazo of 1994, when countless Cuban citizens took to the streets of Havana to protest, was “a symbol of activism” and was also a necessary cry for “something fair“.
The first single from the new album has been “Este Año Si Se Cae”, where the musicians experiment with the sounds of reggaeton and collaborate with other independent artists such as Primario y Julito and David Omni Zona Franca. The lyrics of the mentioned song assure listeners that if Cubans really want the dictatorship to fall, then it will be possible.
Other songs in “Maleconazo Ahora” include “Yo Odio Mi CDR“, “Amor del G2“, “Yo No Trabajo Para los Castro” and “Mi Bandera“. It also includes an acoustic version of “Este Año Si Se Cae”, with the participation of rapper Raudel ‘Eskuadron Patriota‘.
Porno Para Ricardo, which are completely censured in Cuba but still have a large fan base among everyday people, recently announced a “mini-tour” in Barcelona and Madrid to promote the disc. They have turned to their fans and to the ‘CrowFunding’ network so that they receive at least 1 dollar donations per person to fund this trip to Europe:
To take a listen to the new CD and buy your copy today, click here. It’s only $7 USD.