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"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation
Crackdown in Matanzas
March 3, 2012Posted by on
Colon and Perico, cities from Cuba’s central Matanzas province, were the scenes of a crackdown by the Castro regime against Cuban dissidents in that area this past Monday, February 27th.
One of the victims of the government violence was Angel Moya Acosta, an ex political prisoner from the group of the 75, who, on that morning, was on his way to the home of also ex prisoner from the 75, Felix Navarro Rodriguez, in the city of Perico. Upon arriving at that city, Moya noticed that there was a very strong combined operation, composed of State Security, the Rapid Response Brigades, and the National Revolutionary Police. According to the human rights activist, “a State Security official intercepted me and ordered me to leave that area, he confiscated my ID card, and called for a police vehicle“.
Moya assured his oppressors that as a free man he could transit through whatever part of his country he desired. However, the agents aggresively forced him into a police vehicle and drove him to the police unit of Playa Larga. “In that Unit, I was confined to a dark cell, without water, without my belongings, without a mattress, and completely infested with mosquitos and without being allowed access to a phone to inform my relatives of my situation“. The dissident, who spent nearly 8 years in the dungeons of the Cuban dictatorship, assured that those who oppress the country “use this kind of cells to torture the detainees, in an attempt to have us stop our activities“. And that’s how they kept him until the following day, Tuesday February 28th, until 10 AM.
Meanwhile, in Colon, and also on February 27th, the homes of dissidents Carlos Olivera and Juan Francisco Rangel were completely surrounded by State Security mobs. “My house had been surrounded since 2 AM. At around 8 AM, I decided to go out to the street (also to the civic activity being held in the home of Felix Navarro) but the police operation impeded me from doing so“, explained Olivera. A State Security Major told Olivera that he was not allowed to leave his home, to which the activist responded by saying that his house “will not become a prison“. Olivera tried to continue on his way but was rapidly arrested by force and shoved into a police vehicle, but not before writing a brief message on his Twitter account (@ColiveraCuba), denouncing that he was being detained. In addition, the dissident began to shout slogans in favor of freedom- “We want Multi-Party elections“, “Long live freedom of expression“, and “Down with the dictatorship“. As if he were a criminal for defending the rights of the people, Olivera remained behind the bars of a Colon police station until 8 PM.
The same tactics were applied against Juan Francisco Rangel when he also tried to go to the home of Felix Navarro. Rangel explains that “about 20 political police and State Security agents surrounded my home“, but despite this, he also decided to go out. In just instants, the police agents informed him that he could not continue. Among the oppressors was an official which savagely beat Rangel on December 5th, 2011, cracking his forehead. “There was also a person called Jesus Yanez, who is the Cultural Director here in Colon, who participates in acts of repudiation and other aggressions. Yanez also treated my wife with disrespect during the confrontation this Monday“, said Rangel, who told the agents that he would not tolerate further disrespect and abuses against his family. “At that moment, the physical aggression began and two agents ran up to me. That’s how they then shoved me into a police car, which I was able to see its license number- #208. Another repressor known as Alexander Guerra pushed me against the roof of the car and I hit my head“. Rangel’s wife managed to record the violence, which can be seen here:
In addition, Rangel informed that his sister-in-law Caridad Burunate, who is a Lady in White and member of the Pedro Luis Boitel Party for Democracy, was surrounded at that same moment in her house in Colon. “In her case, she was surrounded by more aggresors than me“.
Meanwhile, the former prisoner of the Black Spring, Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, was able to go out to a street in Colon, carrying a sign with images of the political prisoners Yasmin Conyedo and Yusmani Alvarez (both who have been arrested since January 8th, 2012) and Ernesto Borges, who is currently in a critical state of health due to a hunger strike he has been sustaining in protest for his freedom. Carrillo was able to upload a photo he took of himself just minutes before going out to the street. Only a few minutes later, he was brutally arrested by the repressive forces of those who were keeping surveillance over him. But, despite the brutality, a very important fact is that the moment of the arrest was caught on video. Since images are worth more than words, here they are:
In regards to this crackdown and the increase of violence which the Cuban dictatorship has unleashed against the civic Resistance on the island, the former political prisoner Angel Moya declared that “each passing day, the opposition is becoming stronger, and is very capacitated to lead the country towards the objectives we have always wanted to achieve, and we are not going to allow, at any cost, that the Cuban regime impede our victory“.
For more information, directly from Cuba:
Ángel Moya Acosta- Cell phone: (011-5353-820-595), Twitter: @jangelmoya / Carlos Olivera- Cell phone: (011-5352-562-839), Twitter: @ColiveraCuba / Juan Francisco Rangel- Cell phone: (011-5353-287-437), Twitter: @JFRangelCuba / Iván Hernández Carrillo- Cell phone: (011-5352-599-366), Twitter: @Ivanlibre / Caridad Burunate- Cell phone: (011-5352-563-003)