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"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation
Police agents physically assault rapper and his pregnant wife
November 4, 2012Posted by on
Ángel Yunier Remón Arzuaga, known as “El Critico del Arte” from rap duo “Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso” (‘The Unwanted Children’), and his wife Yudisbel Castellon, who is 7 months pregnant, were physically assaulted twice by State Security and National Revolutionary Police agents on the same day- this past Sunday, October 28th 2012 in the municipality of Bayamo.
The musician recounts that the first aggression occurred in the morning, while he was with his wife at his aunt’s house. His aunt is Jaquelin Garcia, a well known Lady in White from Bayamo and wife of political prisoner Ariel Arzuaga. That morning, Jaquelin was arrested by various police officials as she was trying to go to Mass. The young couple witnessed the arbitrary detention.
“Just a few minutes after her arrest, a State Security vehicle approached me. There were various agents inside, among them the one known as Matamoros- a well known repressor in the area“, recounted Angel Yunier, “The agents stepped out and one of them told Matamoros to take my cell phone which I wasn’t even using, it was in my pocket“.
Remon Arzuaga had just gotten a hold of his cell phone recently after it had been robbed by the police on various occasions during the past weeks during other arbitrary arrests. The young rapper uses his phone to communicate with news stations abroad to denounce situations such as these as well as to take pictures of government repression. During this detention, he decided to quickly give his phone to his wife in an attempt to prevent another robbery.
“It was at that moment that two male agents (Matamoros and another unidentified official) ran up to my wife and I. In her case, they beat her…in fact, they even elbowed her on her stomach and left her there full of pain. It all happened in a matter of seconds. They snatched the phone from her and left us lying on the street“, said Angel.
19-year old Yudisbel decided to go with her husband to a local hospital to try and get herself checked, considering that she was very fearful that the aggressions had affected her 7 month pregnancy.
“In the hospital, they told me that they could not attend me because their were no available doctors, so they sent me home“, said the young Cuban, “I then went to the department of Citizenship Attention to try and turn in a formal denouncement about the entire situation but they told me that I did not have sufficient proof“.
After the fruitless hospital visit, the youths directed themselves back to their Bayamo home, which was already surrounded by numerous police vehicles. However, they decided to walk to the centric area known as La Rotonda to buy some food for that night. It was then that the rapper was arrested and both were once again assaulted.
“Agents of the National Revolutionary Police arrived in a vehicle with license plate #522 and they detained me without giving me a single explanation. I was completely incommunicated and my family did not know anything about me“, said the rapper who spent a total of 72 hours detained in a police unit located in the Cauto Cristo municipality, an area far from his home.
“During the detention, I had to declare him as disappeared“, expressed Yudisbel, “I had no information about him. I was only able to see how they handcuffed him and took him away. I went to countless police units to ask about him but no one gave me any information“.
When Angel Yunier “El Critico” was released during the night of Wednesday the 31st, his first concern was his wife’s state of health. To his relief, he found out that she had been able to finally make it to a hospital, where they told her that her pregnancy had not been affected by the physical blows. However, Yudisbel affirms that she still feels “pains” in her stomach area where she was hit.
The fact that a woman is pregnant does not stop the regime’s agents from carrying out beatings or violent arrests. In February of 2012, two Ladies in White from different provinces suffered miscarriages after police aggressions as the women were trying to make it to church to attend Sunday Mass. They were Taimi Vega Biscet from the Eastern town of Palma Soriano y Noralys Martin Jiménez from Cuba’s westernmost province, Pinar del Rio.
“Those in power in this country are bent on carrying out a failed political system, and they kidnap citizens and also try to kidnap our thoughts. They want to silence our voices. They have accused me of ‘public disorder’, when in reality I was minding my own business. I witnessed how they beat my wife…they did not care that she is pregnant. This has been an assault“, said the musician.
Yudier Blanco Pacheco, “Street Conscience”, the other member of The Unwanted Children, said he “joined Angel Yunier and his wife in solidarity” and accuses “agent Matamoros and the entire State Security apparatus for all the violence against us. In the end, we are artists, but it hurts them to know that we denounce the Cuban reality“.
The second album of The Unwanted Children, titled “This Has Gotten Worse”, has been nearly ready for release but countless arrests in the past few months have kept the duo from officially launching it and from finalizing the production of some songs and music videos.
“Regardless, we are going to continue on this path and we are going to keep on making music“, affirmed Blanco Pacheco.
For more information from Cuba:
Angel Yunier Remón Arzuaga – Cell Phone: +5352-556-935
Yudier Blanco Pacheco – Cell Phone: +5352-577-859
And to see the duo’s music video for “Bayamo”, click here.