Pedazos de la Isla

"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation

Category Archives: Ana Maria Aguilera Paneque

Ladies in White denounce constant persecution in Holguin province

I want to let the world know about the situation we Ladies in White are going through in the province of Holguin, Sunday after Sunday“, said Berta Guerrero Segura, representative of the women’s group in the mentioned province, highlighting that each weekend the women are arrested by the political police in order to impede them from assisting Sunday Mass to pray for the freedom of all political prisoners.

Guerrero explains that since 2012 the Jesus Christ Redeemer of Men Church, located in the Pueblo Nuevo neighborhood in the city of Holguin, “has been surrounded and under the surveillance of police officials on all four corners“.  These same agents arrest the women whenever they get near the temple, that’s if they even manage to make it out of their homes as these are constantly surrounded as well.

The persecution has expanded to the point that the Second Chief of Confrontation in the area, Yordanis Martinez Leon, has told Berta Guerrero and the rest of the women that “if they want to go to church they will have to buy a helicopter to drop them off inside because he is not going to allow them“.

Due to the constant arrests, a number of Ladies in White from Holguin try to assist Mass in another local church- the Cathedral of San Isidoro.  The vigilance is just the same there lately.

For instance, this Sunday 5th of May, only 3 women made it inside the San Isidoro Church and only 2 at Jesus Christ the Redeemer.  In the municipality of Cacocum another 2 Ladies marched and participated in Mass.  A total of 8 women were arrested.

Yesterday, May 5th, a police agent went inside The Redeemer Church and told the religious authorities that the Ladies in White were provoking public disorder.  A number of other agents entered the church after that“, recounted Guerrero.  “The two women who made it inside were mistreated by a woman who calls herself Eva and says to work in the church“.

On past Sundays the police has invaded the church, even offending Father Aldama on a number of occasions.  We have presented our complaints to the archbishop and the church in general but up to now we have not received a single response“.

Guerrero adds that during the Mass there are State Security agents keeping tight vigilance over the women, photographing the few who manage to make it inside.

When the women are arrested they are abandoned in desolate areas, far from their homes, such as the dumpster or near a cemetery.  Many are threatened with death, as the recent cases of  Bárbara Bauza Drigg and Ana María Aguilera Paneque.

On May 5th, State Security agents not only arrested Barbara Bauza and Ana Maria Aguilera, but they also threatened them with death.  They told them that they would kill them and leave them, once and for all, inside the cemetery because they were giving them too much trouble“, denounced Berta Guerrero.  The women were not able to identify the aggressor because he did not provide a name or badge number.

In 2012 Lady in White and Holguin native Caridad Caballero Batista (now in exile) could only assist Mass a total of 2 times.  She was violently arrested on each attempt every Sunday.  The same repression has continued throughout the entire province against these women who, despite the threats, keep marching, refusing to accept their homes as prison cells.

I am denouncing this regime run by the Castro brothers, for what may happen to any of us“, said Berta Guerrero.

Despite State violence, a total of 143 Ladies in White made it to Mass throughout the country, according to a report by the independent news agency ‘Hablemos Press’.  The female activists dedicated the march to detained hunger striker Luis Enrique Lozada Igarza and in solidarity with the more than 60 activists on hunger strike to demand his freedom.

For more information from Cuba, contact:
Berta Guerrero Segura- Cell Phone: +53-632-110

Last Sunday of 2012: Ladies in White Keep Marching

Ladies in White throughout the country made it to Mass and carried out their weekly march this last Sunday of 2012, the 30th of December, after a year in which repression against them, and the opposition in general, has increased drastically.

32 of these women arrived at Mass in the Santa Rita Church of Havana, 7 in Pinar del Rio, 20 in Matanzas, 6 in Guantanamo, 2 in Ciego de Avila and 2 in Holguin, affirmed Berta Soler, representative of the female group.

Soler considered the situation to be “an achievement“, considering that in nearly all the cases, in the mentioned provinces the Ladies in White arrived at their respective churches, surpassing police cordons and evading arrests, except in Holguin where 9 of the women were detained.

The detainees in the mentioned Eastern province were Bertha Guerrero Segura, Ana María Aguilera Panque, Romelia Piña González, Marlene Abreu Almaguer, Rosa María Naranjo Nieve, Eleiny Villamonte Cardozo, Viviana Campo, Eunices Céspedes Estrada y Bárbara Bauza Driggs.

Bertha Guerrero, representative of the group in Holguin, detailed that the arrests occurred during early morning hours, especially that of Eunices Cespedes, resident of the municipality of Velasco, who was abruptly arrested at 4 in the morning.

They kept us arrested up to around 12:30 in the afternoon, after Mass had ended in the Jesus Christ Redeemer of Men Church“, said Guerrero, “Afterward, they left us stranded in different parts on the outskirts of Holguin, forcing us to walk miles to get to our homes“.  State Security agents placed a video camera this year in front of the mentioned church to keep watch over the Ladies.  The same camera had previously been installed outside the home of recently exiled Lady in White and human rights activist Caridad Caballero Batista, who also suffered countless arrests this year for trying to make it to church.  The camera was relocated as soon as she left the country.

During her arrest, Bertha Guerrero denounced that the Second Chief of Confrontation, known as Yordanis Martinez Leon, told her that “if the Ladies in White want to make it to church, we’d have to buy ourselves a helicopter to drop us off at the church because they were never going to let us get there“.  It is not the first time this repressor tells her that.

Sunday after Sunday we have been detained and, in addition, also threatened with our children and families“, added Guerrero, citing the case which also occurred this Sunday, where one of the detainees- Barbabra Bauza- “had her son arrested because on Saturday, some citizen burned a Cuban flag in the Calixto Garcia park.  Her son was arriving home in the morning and since State Security had not been able to arrest or blame anybody, they did so with him, taking him to the instructional unit known as Pedernales.  Agent Rafael Chapman, of State Security, told Barbara that he does not care if her son is a minor (16 years of age), for he would invent a crime for him and take him to prison.  This happens simply because he is the son of a Lady in White“.  She added that the women are ready to take to the streets in protest to demand his freedom.

Guerrero said that despite the repression, the Ladies in White of Holguin will continue marching and that she has hope that 2013 will bring good things for Cuba.

In an emotional case, Leticia Ramos Herreria, representative of the Ladies in White in the province of Matanzas, explained that in addition to the fact that 20 women of the province made it to Mass, in the church known as “The Parish” in the city of Cardenas, a group of these acitvists were greeted with respect and admiration by churchgoers.

The people rose from their seats when it was time to share the greeting of peace, and they came up to us, hugged us, and gave us their blessings“, recounted Ramos, “When we left the church, we carried out our march and many people also came up to us, displaying their support, greeting us, saying that we are doing the right things and saying that they hope more people rise like us“.

Leticia said she felt lots of happiness, considering that “we have achieved to carve out a space not only in the church but also amongst the people“.

There have been far too many beatings, arrests, deportations, threats, and other forms of State persecution and violence against the Ladies in White this 2012.  In fact, one of the most repressive of cases occurred in February when two members of the group- one from Pinar del Rio and the other from Palma Soriano- suffered miscarriages after police arrested and harassed them.  Their names are Noralys Martin Hernandez and Taimi Vega Biscet. (Read more about these cases here).

Regardless, everything signals that the increase in repression is attributed to the fact that the group has significantly increased in size and that its members have not stopped defying the dictatorship for one moment.  They have been persistent in their marches, declarations and activities.

Despite the repression“, said Berta Soler, “the most important thing is that the Ladies in White will continue stronger and more prepared than ever.  We will continue our peaceful struggle for the freedom of all political prisoners as well as the respect of human rights in 2013.  We will continue to grow throughout the island.  The Cuban government’s repression has only made us more united“.

For more information from Cuba:

Berta Soler- Cell Phone: +5352-906-820

Bertha Guerrero Segura- Cell Phone: +5353-632-110

Leticia Ramos Herrería- Cell Phone: +5352-481-807

State Police Raid Home of Lady in White, Fire Water, Beat, and Arrest All Those Inside

In the Eastern city of Holguin, a group of approximately 14 Ladies in White were participating in a monthly encounter in the home of Glisedis Piña Gonzalez (member of the women’s activist group) this Saturday, August 18th, when the house was raided by combined forces of the political police and State Security and all those inside- mostly women and children- were beaten and arrested.

Zuleidis Pérez Velázquez, a Lady in White from that same city of Holguin, could not assist the meeting (due to a personal illness) but shared details of the brutality.

Very horrible violations have occurred”, said Velazquez, “at around 4:30 PM, paramilitary mobs carried out an act of repudiation against the women, shouting insults and throwing rocks at them”.

In addition to throwing rocks to the activists, the mobs fired water at them, according to reports by Berta Soler and Yuri Miguel Carralero  to the “Háblalo sin Miedo” voice recording service.

It was during this repudiation that the police forces raided the home. “They violently searched the entire house, and all those women inside were beat all the way out and then arrested, and taken to police units.  Along with the women, they also detained about 5 or 6 men (…) and also arrested 5 under age children who were also taken to police units”, detailed Perez Velazquez.

Among the male detainees was independent journalist Alexei Jimenez who also managed to phone  ‘Hablalo sin Miedo’ (which translated into English literally means ‘Speak Without Fear’) where he explained that the agents attacked him with sticks on the head and ribs.  “It is obvious that the people who were there doing that to us were police officers dressed in civilian clothing, not enraged everyday people.  They were mobs organized by State Security agents“, assured Jimenez, referring to a common tactic applied by Cuba’s communist police apparatus to make it seem that everyday citizens are the ones attacking dissidents.  Jimenez is frequently beaten and arrested each Sunday when he tries to accompany the Ladies in White to church in Holguin.

In the case of the women, among the detainees were Romelia Piña González, Glisedis Piña González, Berta Guerrero Segura, Eleini Villamonte Cardozo, Danay Mendiola, Rosa María Naranjo Nieves, Lisbeth Peña Hernández, Nelda Molina Leyva, Barbara Bouza and Ana María Aguilera Paneque.

The children who were detained were released during night hours, along with Ana Maria Aguilera Paneque (the only Lady in White released as of August 18th 2012).  The children were sons and daughters of Ladies in White and activists.

Zuleidis Perez managed to establish communication with the 14 year old daughter of Romelia Piña Gonzalez once she arrived home.  The minor was very nervous and, amid her fear, was only able to share some details with Zuleidis about what had happened in that house (her aunt’s home).

Other arrests of Ladies in White took place on that same morning in the same province of Holguin in the municipalities of Banes and Cacocum, when various women tried to travel to the city of Holguin to participate in the meeting.  These detainees were Gertrudis Ojeda Suarez and Miladis Piñales Rosa in Banes, and Marlenis Abreu Almaguer in Cacocum.  These three were released at around 6 PM.

A wave of escalating violence has been occurring throughout the island against human rights activists, among them many Ladies in White.  These actions are being accompanied, in most cases, by home raids and brutal beatings.  One other recent example is that of Lady in White Mildred Noemi Sanchez, from the municipality of Antilla, who had her home raided by police forces, was beat violently in front of her family, and arrested for more than 96 hours this past 13th of August.  State police said they were searching for “enemy propaganda” in her house- a common term for any written or audio-visual materials which deal with the defense of human rights.

Meanwhile, the “Hablemos Press” independent news agency, with its headquarters in Havana, recently released a report in which they detailed that in the first 14 days of August more than 200 arrests of peaceful dissidents have occurred, while between the 10th and 14th, more than 20 home raids took place.

As for the detained women, Zuleidis Perez expressed: “[As of August 18th] we do not know of their whereabouts, so we are declaring them disappeared and we fear for their lives.  If the police was capable of breaking into the home, beating them, and breaking furniture and other objects, then we should not doubt for a second that they are very capable of killing or disappearing them”.

(Listen to Zuleidis’ audio- In Spanish):

For more information from Cuba:

Zuleidis Perez Velazquez – Cell Phone: +5358-244-778

Ladies in White Denounce New Threats by Police in Holguin

In Cacocum, Holguín, the home of Lady in White Berta Guerrero Segura has been completely surrounded by State Security agents, agents of the Rapid Response Brigades, and paramilitary troops from the Ministry of the Interior (MININT) for 6 days, in order to try and impede that she or her family assist Mass or step out of the house to meet with other local activists.

My home has been surrounded since Friday, July 20 th, and it is something which is happening week after week”,  denounced Guerrero Segura, signaling that the agents carrying out the operations are “Reymundo Rodríguez Pupo, agent Wilson from Holguín and also Joel Guerrero, among others”.

These same oppressors have been threatening Guerrero, her husband (activist Franklin Peregrino del Toro) as well as numerous other women from that area, saying that if they try to continue their activism or carry out public demonstrations, they will be detained until after the 26th, a date which the regime uses to celebrate and glorify the 26th of July Movement which was headed by dictator Fidel Castro.

The number of arrests of these Eastern Ladies in White have also increased, as was proven this past Sunday, July 22nd, when 8 of these women were violently arrested in the province of Holguin when they tried to make it to church.

The 8 were Ana María Aguilera Paneque, Adisnidia Cruz, Maydelin Guerrero Silva, Yoandra Garrido Silva, María Rosa Rodríguez Silva, Rosa María Naranjo Nieve, Danaime Diota and Rosaida González Escalona.

Meanwhile, another 7 women did manage to surpass police cordons and make it to Sunday Mass, among them Berta Guerrero.  Many may recall that now exiled Lady in White, Caridad Caballero Batista, would continuously be arrested weekend after weekend to keep her from going to church during the present year, but alongside her many other women would also be detained.  Guerrero Segura is one of these women, who during 2012 has not been able to make it to church on Sunday’s due to the fact that she is always arrested and kept in detention cells for a number of hours until Mass has concluded.

Zuleidis Pérez, another Lady in White from the municipality of Holguin denounced that “there is a horrible police operation underway” during these days against activists in the Eastern region of the country.  “Despite this, and under these circumstances, on the 23rd we were able to carry out a symbolic wake in honor of Oswaldo Paya in my home“.

Berta Guerrero adds that numerous activists were able to carry out a pots-and-pans protest at her home in Cacocum during the night of the 24th to celebrate the Day of the Resistance (each 24th of the month) and also to pay homage to Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero

Guerrero also sent out a message to the international community, in regards to the increased repression against the Ladies in White and the civic opposition: “The Castro regime is desperate, and they deny us our rights to freedom of movement, religion, as well as the rights of our families, because they also impede our relatives from coming to our homes.  They also arrest them“.

We are always under threat, and we were denouncing that this is a totalitarian regime which is based on repression, harassment, and vexation against dissidents and Ladies in White“.

For more information from Cuba:

Zuleidis Perez – Cell Phone: +5358- 244- 778

In the City of Holguin, Ladies in White Surpass Police Cordon, Make it to Sunday Mass

This May 20th was the second consecutive Sunday in which the Lady in White Caridad Caballero Batista managed to surpass a strong police cordon and arrive to the Jesus Christ Redeemer of Men Church in the city of Holguin, this time accompanied by 5 other women of the group- Barbara Bauza, Romelia Piña González, Lisedis Piña González, Ana María Aguilera Paneque and Nelda Molina Leyva. The Sunday prior to this, only Caballero Batista was able to make it to church without being detained.  Before this, the activist had not been able to assist Sunday Mass during 2012 because of constant arrests.

Caballero recounts that a large number of political police officials were shocked after they surrounded her home for hours during that morning to later find that she had already left and made it to church.  Usually, the Lady in White cannot even walk two blocks from her home when she is violently taken into custody.  This time, she used a new method.

When she arrived to the church, Caridad explained that there was “an immense police operation” waiting for the Ladies in White.  “They had a number of buses, police cars, and motorcycles stationed just two blocks from the church.  In fact, they were even using firefighters who were waiting to oppress us as well as female prison guards“.

Despite all of this, through the “new tactics“, the 6 Ladies in White were able to assist Sunday mass in its entirety.  Upon arriving at the temple, Caballero Batista said that the churchgoers were overcome with emotion.  They welcomed the women and chatted with them for a while.

However, other Ladies in White in Holguin did suffer arrests, as were the cases of Berta Guerrero Segura, Adisnidia Cruz, and Zuleidys Perez Velazquez, according to Caballero, who speculated that the number of arrests was most likely greater but she “could not confirm about other women because our telephone service was blocked during the entire time of our trip to church as well as after the Mass“.

We were able to march.  We walked with the gladiolus in our hands while the everyday people were staring at us, nervous at what could happen with us.  The regime was not expecting this“, she said, clearly emotional, “Thanks to the grace of God, this Sunday- which is the second to last Sunday of Lent- we were able to assist Mass.  We thanked God for having let us arrive, at least some of us“.

Caridad  stood by her Christian faith, assuring that “through the help of his angels, Jesus Christ allowed us to arrive to church, proving that there is no authority which can hold us down“.

For more information Cuba:

Caridad Caballero Batista – Cell Phone:  +5352-629749   // Twitter: @caricaballero

Despite the Arrests, the Vigilance and the Threats to their Family, these Dissidents Will Not Stop Protesting

Caridad Caballero Batista shows her bruises, products of State brutality in Cuba

Arrested and beaten more than four times during just the first month of 2012 and constantly threatened and surrounded, Caridad Caballero Batista  has once again been victim of repressive acts at the hands of the Cuban dictatorship this past Sunday, January 29th, when she was violently detained as she was trying to make it to the Jesus Redeemer of Men Church in the city of Holguin, to pray for the immediate freedom of Cuba.  But Caballero Batista is not the only one in her family to suffer the repression- her young son Eric and her husband Esteban Sande Suarez are also harassed because of the family’s dissident posture.  The latter- Esteban- was also arrested this past Sunday, and so were other Ladies in White and activists, all for the same reason.

Caballero narrates that the arrests occurred at 8 in the morning.  The first Ladies in White- besides her- to be arrested were Zuleidys Pérez Velázquez , Adis Nidia Cruz Hebreo, Ana María Aguilera Paneque, Berta Guerrero Seguro and Isabel Peña Torres.  All the gladiolus flowers they were carrying were snatched from their hands by State Security agents and destroyed.

After being violently pushed into police vehicles, the women were taken, as is custom, to the Instructional Unit known as Pedernales, located in the outskirts of Holguin.  In the case of Adis Nidia Cruz, from Pedernales she was taken to the police unit of Buenaventura, Berta Guerrero was taken to a cell in the police unit of the Rafael Freire municipality, while Ana Maria Paneque was confined to a cell in the Frontiers Unit of Gibara.  It was also reported that Lady in White Maritza Cardoza Romero was arrested in Moa.

As soon as the arrests took place, a group of dissident men who belong to diverse opposition organizations like the Liberal Party of Cuba, the Pedro Luis Boitel Movement and the Eastern Democratic Alliance marched all the way to the Pedernales Unit to demand the freedom of the Ladies in White.  “These men were also arrested“, explains Caballero Batista.  Their names are  Juan Carlos Verdecía Domínguez, Luis Jaime Merino, Félix Tomas Zapata, Esteban Sande Suarez, and Marco Antonio Lima. “In the case of Esteban (my husband) he was put in a torture cell of Pedernales, where the beds are really just concrete slabs and located about 6 feet ontop.  Jaime Merido was handcuffed inside the cop vehicle and the agents shoved a dirty rag into his mouse so he would not talk”,  denounced Caballero.

The Lady in White adds that on the following day, Monday the 30th, the guards of Pedernales announced their morning inspection, where prisoners must recognize their presence.  “Esteban refused to participate because he had not committed a single crime and, besides, he is not a soldier to be paying tribute to those same people who oppress us“, she explains, “for that reason, they threw him down from his bed and onto the floor.  The same happened with Juan Carlos Verdecia, for the same reason“.  Both men still have bruises and sharp pains due to the aggression.

Once again, citizen solidarity reigns 

All of the women who had been arrested were released on Monday at around 3 in the afternoon.  Berta Guerrero, Lady in White and wife of dissident Franklin Peregrino del Toro, was abandoned in a remote area of the Rafael Freire municipality, even though her house is located in the town of Cacocum, miles away.  Without any money or a purse, Guerrero tried using her cellphone to communicate with her husband, but she did not have enough credit.  It was then that, according to Caballero Batista, “local Cubans- the real Cubans- noticed this. One man approached her and offered to take her back home“.  Adis Nidia, who was similarly abandoned in another area, counted with the solidarity of a man who paid her bus ticket so she could return home.

In the case of Caridad Caballero and Esteban Sande, they were left outside Pedernales and had to walk and find their own ways to get back home.

Though these dissidents were kept in sealed-off cells and under constant threats, Caballero highlights that 4 other Ladies in White did successfully make it to church.  “These women were Romelia Piña González, Gisely González, Nelia Molina Leyva and Gloria Piña González. They were able to participate in mass and prayed for the freedom of all political prisoners and for the freedom of all those detained, as well as all Cubans”.  

Son of dissident couple who suffers from medical issues is also victim of Castro-sponsored violence

Caridad and Esteban denounced that Eric Sande, their 19 year old son, is also victim of the tyranny’s repression, despite his young age and the fact that he suffers from a medical condition which affects his brain.  “It is a condition where, sometimes, he does not receive enough oxygen in his brain“, explains his mother, “when this happens to him, his blood pressure drops and he often even loses consciousness“.  Not even taking this into consideration, the regime’s authorities arrested Eric during the week of January 20th and he was victim of numerous physical abuses.  His blood pressure dropped very low during this time as he was being held in inhumane conditions.

Eric Sande, son of Caridad Caballero and Esteban Sande Suarez

When we were arrested this Sunday 29th, my house was surrounded by State Security, despite the fact that Esteban and I were not even there.  An official from the Confrontation Unit, whose last name is Martinez Leon, came here“, denounced Caridad, “and aggressively threatened my son, telling him that he would have to pay for his parents activism“.

In addition, Batista points out that Eric- who frequently attends Sunday mass- is preparing himself for his confirmation.  Some local authorities have even gone as far as to harass him in church and trying to impede that he take the necessary classes required for this religious service.

We are holding State Security responsible for what could happen to our son“, declares Batista.

The Cuban dictatorship never attacks dissidents only.  Instead, they also go after their families, whether they be young or old, men or women.  Accepting these consequences and holding tight to their compromise with freedom for Cuba, Caridad Caballero Batsita and Esteban Sande Suarez have affirmed that they will continue with their acts of Resistance.  In fact, when they were released from their dungeons this past weekend, Caballero says that she looked her oppressors in the eyes and assured them that “it looks like we will see each other again next Sunday because we are not going to stop going to church, we will not stop being Ladies in White, and we will continue with our activities“.

Once Again, Ladies in White & Other Dissidents Impeded from Going to Church

Caridad Caballero Batista

On Sunday January 16th numerous arrests of Ladies in White and other dissidents occurred in the Eastern region of Cuba- particularly Holguin- as human rights activists were once again impeded from assisting their local churches.  The dissidents had plans to demand the freedom of Ivonne Malleza, Ignacio Martinez and Isabel Haydee Alvarez, as well as to pray for the health and spirit of hunger-striking political prisoner Wilman Mendoza, whom is currently in critical condition in the Juan Bruno Zayas Hospital of Santiago de Cuba.  According to the independent journalist and Lady in White Caridad Caballero Batista, the arrests began on Saturday morning with the violent arrests of Marta Diaz Rondon, Gertrudis Ojeda, and Miladis Rosa, as these three Ladies in White traveled from their native town of Banes towards the city of Holguin where they had planned to participate in Sunday mass.

Caballero Batista recounts that in Cacocum, Holguin, dissidents Franklin Peregrino del Toro and his wife Berta Guerrero were also detained.  Meanwhile, in the city of Holguin Batista was arrested alongside her husband Esteban Sande Suarez and Isabel Pena Torres (Lady in White).  All of these arrests occurred at around 8 am.

The arrest was very violent“, recalls Caridad, “We received physical blows on our arms, on our heads…we were kicked in our legs and all over our bodies“.

After the beating, Caballero, her husband Esteban, and dissident Isabel Pena were taken to the Instructional Unit of Pedernales, located in the outskirts of Holguin.  Upon arriving at the Unit (notorious for its deplorable cells and harsh treatment against inmates) a guard physically attacked Caridad Caballero.  “The guard punched me on the mouth because he wanted me to remain silent and not demand my rights“, explained the activist who did not cease protesting the aarbitrariness.

After being beaten, Caballero was pushed into a cell where there were two other women who were trying to pass as inmates.  But the reality of these women was another.  “Those women were not prisoners, they were placed their intentionally to harass me“, denounced Batista, who noticed that both these women had participated in violent acts against her and other dissidents in the town of Banes, when Reina Luisa Tamayo- mother of fallen political prisoner Orlando Zapata- still lived there.  The false inmates tried to intimidate Caridad but the dissident remained true to her anti-dictatorship posture.

While Batista, Sande, and Torres remained detained, various other dissidents, including Zuleidy Pérez González (Lady in White), Juan Cordero Perdomo, Enrique Núñez and Luis Jaime Merino head out to the State Security Unit to demand freedom for the three tireless activists.  These activists who had demonstrated such a sign of solidarity were also arrested by force and taken to Pedernales.  Batista added that “in Cacocum, in addition to Franklin Peregrino and his wife, also detained was Rosaida Gonzalez Escalona at aroudn 1 pm.  She was taken to the unit in the midst of constant physical aggressions“.

Caridad, Esteban and Isabel were released at around 1 in the afternoon.  Though numerous Ladies in White and other activists could not assist mass due to the violent operations against them, Caballero Batista nevertheless points out that she feels “joyful, because other women could end up going to church in Holguin afterall“, referring to a group of Ladies in White which managed to surpass the chord of vigilance set up around the area.  These women were able to assist mass during the morning at Jesus Christ the Redeemer of Humans, located in Holguin in the Pueblo Nueva neighborhood on 5th Street.  “Knowing that there are even a few of us in mass makes us much stronger“, adds Batista.   Among the Ladies in White who were able to assist mass on that morning in Holguin were Grisel Piña González, Ana María Aguilera Paneque, Noemi Hidalgo Gómez y Naida León.

——————-

During that same Sunday, another set of violent arrests of 19 Ladies in White occurred in Santiago de Cuba as the female activists left mass in El Cobre Sanctuary and marched towards the Juan Bruno Zayas Hospital to morally support Mariza Pelegrino, wife of the very critical Wilman Mendoza.  Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia explained to ‘Hablalo sin Miedo‘ that the arrests were brutal.   

Notes of Repression (October 19th, 2011- Pt. II): State Security Threatens Dissidents for Demonstrating Peacefully

In Holguin, State Security threatens human rights activists for participating in non-violent activities
by Caridad Caballero Batista

On the 19th of October at around 8:20 in the morning, the activist Ana Maria Aguilera Paneque, from the Pedro Luis Boitel Abraham Human Rights Movement, was ‘visited’ and severely threatened by a State Security official known as “Chapman”.  According to Ana Maria, the oppressor told her that if she continued taking part in dissident acitivties, she was going to face serious consequences, and that the would take reprisals against her family.  Ana Maria Paneque lives on 18th Street #166, between 33rd and Linea, Pueblo Nuevo, Holguin.

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