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"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation
Category Archives: Damaris Moya
April 19, 2013Posted by on
On the night of Wednesday, April 17th, Cubans in diverse parts of the country rang their pots and pans as a display of support and solidarity with the Venezuelan opposition, a movement which also uses these methods of civil disobedience.
The protest was convoked by the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front, a coalition which groups numerous internal opposition organizations. Other groups, as well as members of Cuba’s civil society, participated.
Jorge Luis García Pérez ‘Antúnez’, secretary general of the Front, said in an audio published on his YouTube account that “a group of members of the Cuban resistance in different provinces shook neighborhoods and towns with the pots and pans protest” despite the fact that “the political police had a violent reaction against these activists”.
In the city where Antunez lives- Placetas, Villa Clara (right in the center of Cuba) – dissidents rang their pots and pans despite being surrounded by political police agents which threw rocks and shouted profanity. One of the rocks hit a 6 year old as well as the leading dissident Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera, president of the Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights, who is still suffering from a brutal beat-down at the hands of State Security agents in March.
Santa Clara (another city in the province of Villa Clara) was the scene of another demonstration, where member of the Central Opposition Coalition met at the home of Damaris Moya Portieles to carry out the protest. There, the political police arrested various dissidents, while they organized a violent act of repudiation. Regardless, independent blogger Carlos Michael Morales said that those present began to shout “Down with Nicolas Maduro, Down with Communism” and “Long Live Capriles“.
Other pots and pans protests were reported in the province of Camaguey, according to activist Santos Fernandez Sanchez, member of the Pro-Human Rights Party of Cuba. Former political prisoner of conscience Librado Linares Garcia reported on his Twitter account (@LibradoLinares) that in Cienfuegos there were also protests, which provoked a violent reaction by the State police.
In Havana, numerous demonstrations were reported in more than 6 different municipalities, according to dissident Jose Diaz Silva. Among the municipalities was Boyeros, where Lady in White Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo carried out a significant pots and pans protest along with her family and other activists. Agents of the Rapid Response Brigades and the political police surrounded the house and began to throw rocks, dirty water, eggs, tar and even used condoms. Julio Leon Fonseca, husband of Sara Marta, received a death threat from one of the agents in the mob.
“We have done this in support of the Venezuelan opposition, who are out on the streets demanding their rights”, said Sara Marta Fonseca in an audio published on ‘Radio Republica’, “they [the political police] have broken our windows…they came in to our porch and tore down signs. These are the things dictatorships do when they are about to topple…they are very bothered because the pots and pans rang in many parts of Cuba in support of the opposition and people of Venezuela”, said the dissident.
Alternative blogger Yusnaby Perez said on his Twitter account (@Yusnaby) that pots could be heard in parts of Central Havana.
“Not only in Central Havana”, read another message by Perez, “the pots and pans could also be heard in the town of Santa Fe…there are people on the street with signs”.
He managed to publish a video of the demonstration on YouTube minutes later:
Other pots and pans protests were confirmed in places like Mayabeque, Granma, Holguin and Guantanamo.
“We paid tribute and showed our support with our brothers in Venezuela, a country which was victim of a grotesque electoral fraud at the hands of Nicolas Maduro’s regime which is trying to perpetuate itself in power”, reiterated Antunez, “may these words serve to send all of Venezuela our respect, our admiration, our affection, and so that they know that the Cuban Resistance stands with them”.
The complete audio by Antunez here:
March 8, 2013Posted by on
It’s not rare for Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera to suffer a beating by uniformed agents in Cuba. Both she and her husband, the renown dissident and former political prisoner Jorge Luis Garcia Perez ‘Antunez’, live under constant police vigilance, which does not allow them- the majority of times- to freely move throughout their own city of residence, Placetas, or throughout the country, for that matter. And when they manage to surpass vigilant cordons and arrive to other destinations, they are eventually intercepted and deported. This was proven once again on Thursday, March 7th 2013, when the activist was brutally beaten by State Security agents and left lying unconscious on a street in the city of Santa Clara.
Perez Aguilera, president of the Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights, was with other women of the group participating in the weekly march they carry out every Thursday to pay homage to Cubans who have died while trying to achieve freedom in the country, when the violence took place. It was around 9 AM when the others were detained: Damaris Moya, Yanisbel Valido, Natividad Blanco, Ramona García and Yris Tamara Aguilera herself.
The women were taken directly to cells in different police units throughout the region, but agent Eric Francis Aquino Yera and one known as Misael kept Yris in a separate police vehicle, by herself, from which she was taken out, or better said- dragged out- by her hair and thrown against the pavement various times to the point that she was left unconscious after suffering blows to the head, according to declarations made by Antunez in an audio published on the YouTube account “PlacetasCuba100″ (belonging to Yris Perez).
Minutes later, some neighbors showed up to the home of Damaris Moya in Santa Clara and told her husband, Yanoisy Contreras, that there was a person abandoned out in the road, passed out. ”We first thought it would be a drunkard”, said Antunez in the audio, “but when Yanoisy went to the corner of the block and saw that heart-wrenching scene, where Yris was just thrown there, bleeding and passed out… we urgently took her to the 20th Anniversary Hospital of Santa Clara”.
Yris’ condition was grave, which is why she was rushed to the Armando Milian Castro Hospital, located in the same city, where she was submitted to various exams. However, the hospital authorities, in collaboration with State Security, expelled Yris Tamara from the hospital as soon as she gained her conscious back.
Upon arriving to Moya’s home, other dissidents who displayed solidarity with Yris were detained, among them Michel Oliva Lopez and Alberto Reyes Morales. Others in Sagua la Grande, Villa Clara and Velasco, Holguin also were surrounded and arrested for protesting against the events.
“We are highlighting the seriousness of this situation”, said Antunez about his wife, “we hold the dictatorship accountable for the life of Yris”.
Due to the countless beatings she has received- product solely of political persecution- Perez Aguilera has developed a cyst in the lower back part of her neck. She frequently suffers migraines, dizziness spells and other sharp pains due to this wound which she has not been able to tend to medically.
Eric Francis Aquino Yera, one of the agents who attempted against the life of Yris this Thursday, is the same official who, in 2012, threatened to rape the 5 year old daughter of Damaris Moya- Lazara Contreras.
The attack against the president of the Rosa Parks Movement comes the day prior to International Women’s Day, celebrated around the world.
These beatings have not managed to force Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera to give up her fight in the past, which gives rise to an important question- what is the real news here? Is it the fact that the dissident was repressed? Or, rather, that she keeps going out to the streets demanding rights for all Cubans, despite whatever kind of consequence?
For more information form Cuba, contact:
Jorge Luis García Pérez ‘Antúnez’ – Cell Phone: +52-731-656 / Twitter: @antunezcuba
October 14, 2012Posted by on
This Sunday 14th of October, the year anniversary of the death of Laura Pollan, leader of the Ladies in White, operations unleashed by the police forces of the Cuban regime produced numerous arrests throughout the island, but such actions were not able to impede the activities carried out in honor of Pollan.
A wide range of tributes were reported in the country since Berta Soler, representative of the Ladies in White, announced a week of activities last October 7th.
For example, that same day women carried out their traditional march along Havana’s 5th Avenue and screamed slogans like “Laura Pollan Lives“, while dissident Martha Beatriz Roque Cabello managed to arrange a daily Mass throughout the week in the San Juan Bosco Church in Havana in memory of the fallen leader of the Ladies in White. In the eastern town of Manzanillo, where Laura was born, various human rights activists met at the cemetery where part of her ashes remain and carried out a prayer vigil and deposited several white gladiolus flowers, the symbol of the peaceful struggle of the Ladies in White.
The actions continued all week in other regions: Holguin, Baracoa, Bayamo, Matanzas, Santa Clara, and Pinar del Rio, among others.
On Saturday the 13th, the Ladies in White held a meeting in their headquarters, situated in Pollan’s home on Neptuno Street, in Havana. Many of these women were arrested or kept from leaving their homes so that they not arrive to the encounter, but 18 of them were able to carry out the activity.
Marta Díaz Rondon, a Lady in White from the Eastern municipality of Banes, in Holguin province, was one of the women who were present. Diaz Rondon had to leave days before in order to arrive to the capital, where she managed to surpass numerous police cordons and arrive to the group’s headquarters.
Diaz says that the activity was carried out in an atmosphere of peace in the house, as the women “lit candles in front of pictures of Laura Pollan and deposited various flowers”. Meanwhile, outside the atmosphere was not the same. The regime organized mobs around the home which consisted of state police agents in civilian clothing and various pre-university students and even dancers who tried to make the act of repudiation seem like a simple “celebration” before the eyes of the international media.
Not only did the mobs blast pro-government music, but their members also shouted insults and obscene words at the women. The Ladies in White simply responded by singing the national anthem and shouting such slogans like “Laura Pollan Lives” and “Free Cuba“.
Nearby streets were closed off by the police and all traffic was re-routed to keep any other activists from arriving to the encounter.
On the following day- Sunday the 14th- a number of women throughout the country were reported as detained.
In the case of Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo, the renown dissident recounted that her home was surrounded by political police agents since 1 AM to keep her from leaving her house and joining the peaceful march to the Santa Rita Catholic Church. Neighbors told her that uniformed officials were keeping a tight vigilance over all the corners of the Rio Verde neighborhood of Boyeros, Havana, where her home is located.
“In addition, the agents had the objective of keeping any other dissident from arriving to my house to pay our own tribute to that grand leader that was Laura Pollan Toledo“, said Fonseca.
Meanwhile, the State Security agents Sanper and Alejandro ‘visited’ the headquarter of the group and threatened the women, telling Berta Soler that the Ladies in White could not march. However, Soler and Laura Labrada Pollan (Laura’s daughter) told the agents that they would not accept their instructions and they went out anyway and carried out their march with 48 women. They were accompanied also by other figures of the opposition like Hector Maceda (former prisoner and husband of Pollan), Ofelia Acevedo (widow of Oswaldo Paya), Antonio Rodiles, Hugo Damian Prieto and former political prisoners Ivan Hernandez Carrillo and Arnaldo Ramos.
Hernandez Carrillo was reporting from the scene of the activities through his Twitter account: @ivanlibre.
A group of women from Santiago de Cuba managed to surpass numerous police cordons and arrive to the Santa Rita church, joining the group of more than 40 women who had already arrived. Meanwhile, back in Santiago, another 30 women made it to the El Cobre Shrine.
In the central city of Santa Clara, 6 women from the Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights were violently arrested when they were showing solidarity with the Ladies in White by trying to assist Mass in La Pastora Church. The detainees were Idania Yánez Conteras, Damaris Moya Portieles, Yaite Cruz Sosa, Ana Rosa Alfonso, Xiomara Martin Jiménez and Yanisbel Valido Pérez.
Idania Yanez explains that the women were dressed in white- as a form of solidarity, as these women always wear black during their protests- and that they were dragged off the bus they were aboard while they were “beaten“.
“State Security official Yunier Monteagudo Reina and other agents intercepted the bus we were traveling and started to physically assault us“, detailed Yanez, “Yunier hit Damaris Moya in the face and broke her lips… they dragged us throughout the floor, they shoved us and then they detained us and took us to the local police unit“.
The activists from the Rosa Parks Movement started to shout slogans against the government and others in honor of Laura Pollan while they were being assaulted.
Yanez said that at no point did the everyday people demonstrate hate towards them. Instead, they looked at the events in horror and demonstrated their solidarity with the protestors.
Other activists were arrested as was the case of Angel Moya Acosta and Raul Borges, among many others, but the internal opposition achieved their objective: honoring Laura Pollan, that Lady who made the Cuban regime tremble with just a flower, demanding peace, freedom and justice.
July 14, 2012Posted by on
18 years ago, forces of the Cuban regime assassinated 41 people who were trying to flee the country in search of freedom in the United States aboard an old tugboat (“13th of March”). The crime occurred on July 13th, 1994, when a couple of other state vessels persecuted the tugboat (which had 69 people on board), blocked its path, and used a cannon to fire water at the Cubans. 41 of those people died, drowned or from the impact, and among them were 11 minors.
In 2012, during the anniversary of this massacre, the repression of the regime (the same one which committed the crime) was not able to impede Cubans throughout the island from honoring the victims.
On the eve of the anniversary, about 18 activists in Santa Cruz del Sur, Camaguey, met at the home of dissident Yoan David Gonzalez Milanes to carry out a candlelight vigil followed by a pots and pan protest in memory of the vicitms. On the following day, July 13th, this same group had plans to march out of the home up to a local river, where they would deposit flowers in honor of those assassinated. However, government mobs surrounded the home, shouted violent slogans, kicked down the door, and impeded the dissidents from stepping out. Regardless, on the morning of Saturday July 14th, the dissidents once again tried to step out of the house, and this time they did, although they were arrested by forces of the political police.
Another successful pots and pan protest took place on July 12th in the city of Placetas, in Santa Clara, where dissidents like Jorge Luis García Pérez “Antúnez”, Marta Díaz Rondon and Leticia Ramos Herrería participated. They were carrying out a meeting there, debating a new opposition campaign dubbed “Towards the National Strike”.
July 13th began with the news that 6 activists from the Central Opposition Coalition in Santa Clara also carried out a peaceful march to a local river to also deposit flowers, but all of these members were violently arrested. Among them was Idania Yánez Contreras, Rolando Ferrer Espinosa, Alcides Rivera and Damaris Moya Portieles. However, Alcides Rivera managed to throw the flowers into the river right before being arrested. In the case of Yanez Contreras, she was shoved into a police vehicle and kept in there for nearly an hour before being taken into custody in a police unit, with the engine off, the windows up and under the scorching sun.
The Free Yorubas Association of Cuba, a religious organization independent from state control, carried out a religious ceremony a couple of days before the anniversary, in which they prayed for the victims and prayed for the freedom of Cuba.
In Havana, the home of Lady in White Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo had already been completely surrounded by the political police for 5 days, keeping her family and other dissidents from going out to the street. Fonseca explained that, although they could not make it out, she managed to hang a large sign on her porch with messages condemning the Castro regime for the tugboat massacre and honoring the victims, highlighting that there were minors among the murdered. The activist added that other members of the group which she presides over- the Pro Human Rights Party of Cuba- did manage to surpass police cordons and pay tribute to the victims publicly in the same province of Havana.
Meanwhile, also in Havana but in the neighborhood of Arroyo Naranjo, Eriberto Liranza Romero said that various activists from the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy shocked the police, despite having been under threats and vigilance for 2 weeks, managing to throw flowers into a local river. On the morning of Saturday the 14th, Liranza explained on Twitter that other activities were being carried out by other members of the same youth group.
In Banes, Holguin, a group of dissidents from the Eastern Democratic Alliance marched to a river as well, successfully throwing flowers. These same dissidents managed to surpass a police cordon which had been set up by State Security Major Roilan Cruz, one of the main culprits of Orlando Zapata Tamayo’s assassination in 2010.
Other similar activities were reported in other provinces and cities, although telephone interruptions made it difficult to confirm further details.
Meanwhile, various Cubans across the island sent out messages through Twitter, using the hashtag #Remolcador13M (#Tugboat13M). One of these Twitter users was former political prisoners Pedro Arguelles Moran who mentioned the anniversary and emphasized that the crime was executed under “orders of the Castro tyranny“.
The Pastor and blogger Mario Felix Barroso tweeted, “The assassins are still out on the street, but God will do justice“. Meanwhile, Yoani Sanchez recalled that she was 17 years old when the massacre occurred and mentioned that many people, including her friends, would also risk their lives at sea in search of freedom. She explained that she did not know of the crime until “a couple of months after“, but affirmed that “ignorance does not free us of responsibility“.
“Help us to not forget them“, continued another Tweet by Sanchez, “to denounce the injustice“. The blogger also published a link to a harrowing testimony by one of the survivors.
June 21, 2012Posted by on
Alfredo Viso, an exiled Cuban activist has shared the audio above (in Spanish) of Barbara Moya Portieles, mother of hunger striker Damaris Moya Portieles, an active dissident who finds herself in a delicate state of health due to the protest which she has been carrying out for more than 2 weeks. With this strike, Moya Portieles demands that the State Security agent Eric Francis Aquino Yera be taken before a tribunal for threatening to rape her 5 year old daughter. This threat occurred when Damaris was detained in a prison cell after having participated in a candlelight vigil for the release of all Cuban political prisoners in the city of Santa Clara in early May.
The government agent, Aquino Yera, explicitly told Damaris that he would rape her daughter and also ordered various common prisoners- who have committed violent crimes- to repeat the threat.
As soon as Damaris was released on the following day, she took her daughter- Lazara Conteras- out of school and has not let her go back since, because she fears that she may really be raped or kidnapped. After two weeks of not assisting class, the school principal began a legal process against the dissident, alleging that she has deprived her child of weeks of education. However, Moya Portieles affirms that her small daughter will not return to school until they can assure her that nothing will happen to her, something that no school or government official has done to the date.
Her mother, and the vast majority of the internal Cuban opposition, have called on the international community to show solidarity with Damaris Moya Portieles and her family. In fact, former political prisoner Jorge Luis Garcia “Antunez” announced the launch of a campaign by the name of “We Cannot Let Damaris Die”, which was convoked by the Orlando Zapata National Resistance Front. This campaign asks all Cuban dissidents and everyday citizens to carry out peaceful activities in support of the human rights activist.
There is also the video below, published on the YouTube account of Antunez (in Spanish), in which Barbara Moya offers another harrowing testimony, expressing much fear for the life of her daughter and the security of her grand-daughter:
June 7, 2012Posted by on
This past Sunday June 3rd, Damaris Moya Portieles- activist from the Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights- declared herself on hunger strike in the city of Santa Clara. Moya decided to start this kind of protest because during the month of May, the police agent Eric Francis Aquino Yera threatened to rape her daughter, Lazara Contreras Moya, who is only 5 years old. These threats occurred while the activist was being held in a prison cell after being arrested for hosting the weekly vigil for the freedom of all political prisoners in her home. Some common prisoners also threatened to rape her underage daughter, but all of them did so under the orders of Aquino Yera.
With her hunger strike, Damaris Moya said that she is protesting against so much government impunity and she is demanding that the culprits be tried and taken to court for their threats, mainly Eric Francis Aquino Yera, and that functionaries of the government and/or her daughter’s school can prove to her that nothing will happen to her child.
From the moment of the threat, Damaris Moya has not allowed her daughter to assist school, because she is very fearful that something may happen to her. After two weeks of not assisting class, principals from the school carried out a legal process against Moya. Regardless, the dissident has stressed that as long as the oppressors are loose, the life of her daughter is in danger, and because of this she will not assist class.
This Wednesday June 6th, Damaris Moya reported to “Radio Republica” that her home was completely surrounded by numerous police agents because she had hung signs with anti-government messages on her porch. These signs read “Fidel and Raul Castro: traitors, murderers, and dictators”, “Out of Cuba tyrants”, and “Long Live a Free Cuba”. According to the activist, these same agents broke into her porch, smeared the walls with excrement, and snatched and ripped the signs. During these aggressions, Moya explained that agent Eric Francis Aquino Yera was parked behind the house as a form of mockery and threat.
However, despite the hostile atmosphere against her and her family, Damaris Moya Portieles has said that she will continue her hunger strike and that she will not allow her daughter to return to school until her case is resolved.
For more information from Cuba:
Damaris Moya Portieles – (Cell Phone): +5342-218-079
May 18, 2012Posted by on
Via the Cuban Democratic Directorate:
This video was taken on the night of May 2nd, 2012 in Santa Clara, Cuba, after the accustomed candlelight vigil which is held throughout the island for “the freedom, without exile, of all political prisoners“. In this specific case, the vigil is being held in the city of Santa Clara at the home of Damaris Moya Portieles. That night, as the vigil came to an end, the activists stepped outside to take photos of themselves and to record a message of solidarity with the political prisoners, but the civic activity was violently interrupted by police agents of the Cuban regime who rapidly detained all the participants.
Just moments after the arrest, Damaris Moya denounced that she was confined to a dungeon in a local police unit while State Security agents threatened to rape her 5 year old daughter (the entire testimony can be read here). The main culprit for this threats was agent Eric Francis Aquino Yera, who also participated (and conducted) the arrest hours earlier.
Apparently, the Cuban oppressors think that their actions- physical aggressions and verbal threats included- will go unpunished and/or undocumented. However, the fact that their are videos and audios of these events proves that the outcome will not be like that.
On her part, Damaris Moya has not allowed her young child to return to school, for she fears that she can really be raped. Despite this harassment, the activist has assured to the international community that she will keep fighting until the aggressors are taken to tribunals and until there is freedom in Cuba.
Alarming and Rising Violence Against Cuban Resistance: Punches, Sticks, Raids, and Sexual Harassment
February 9, 2012Posted by on
In the municipality of Moa, in the province of Holguin, 3 Cuban regime henchmen carried out various physical blows against the Lady in White Annie Sarrion Romero to the point that they broke two of her front teeth this past Tuesday February 7th, according to her husband, the coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) in Moa, Juan Carlos Vazquez Osoria.
The brutal assault occurred when Sarrion was on her way to her job on Tuesday morning. She was confronted by the group of men, under the direction of political police chief in that area, Leandro Morgado, and they all began to threaten her for her dissident activities. Amid the provocations, Sarrion stood firm and non-violent. The agents, however, responded with violence. Two of the “men” who punched her to the point of losing two teeth were Víctor Laurencio Blanco y Neuris Basulto.
According to Vazquez Osoria, Blanco and Basulto are waiting to travel to Venezuela to carry out medical missions in that country. “In the case of Victor, I know that he has already traveled twice to Venezuela, and now they all have their papers ready to travel once more“, denounced the activist. He adds that “pay is so poor here in Cuba that they have to do these things” to be accepted and approved by the regime to travel.
It is precisely against this corruption and violence which Osoria and Romero peacefully protest against, and for this reason, they are beaten, arrested, and suffer other sorts of harassment. For example, this same week, on Monday February 6th (the day before Annie was beaten), Juan Carlos Vazquez explains that along with his wife and other dissidents of the UNPACU they began to put up anti-government signs outside their home. “In our signs we wrote slogans like ‘just salaries for all workers’, ‘milk for the kids’, ‘freedom for all political prisoners’, and ‘down with hunger and misery’, in addition to putting up the UNPACU flag‘”, says Osoria. Quickly, during the afternoon, a mob repudiation attack was organized by the regime outside the house.
It was at this moment that the communist mobs raided the house. “Someone who goes by the title of Lieutenant Colonel Andres broke down our door, began to hit us, and even broke my cellphone“, denounced the dissident. The mobs then began to drag all the dissidents outside out of the house- Annie Sarrion Romero, Maritza Cardosa Romero (both Ladies in White), Mario Antonio Borges, and Geraldo Sarrion (son-in-law of Osoria).
“My wife was dragged, as we all were, and they beat her. They hit me over the head with sticks. And then we were all detained and taken to the local National Revolutionary Police Unit”, said Osoria.
Meanwhile, the national coordinator of UNPACU- the former political prisoner Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia- denounced that on Tuesday, agents of the dictatorship also arrested 5 activists of that pro-democracy group. Those arrested were Ana Celia Rodríguez Torres, Yanisel Figueredo Valdés, Kenya Leguin (Ladies in White), Julio Cesar Vega Santisteban and Elieser Consuegra Velázquez. “The men were released during afternoon hours, but up to this moment (Wednesday) the women have not yet been released”, explained Ferrer, who also classified this violence against the Ladies in White and the Cuban Resistance in general as an emergency.
“These women- the Ladies in White- are victims of a merciless and constant harassment; not only are they constantly and arbitrarily detained, not only are they beaten, but they are also confined to filthy prison cells in police units and, once there, police agents sexually harass them”, denounced the former prisoner of conscience. During the first weeks of 2012 countless cases of sexual abuse against the Ladies in White and other female dissidents have been reported. “They have inappropriately and forcefully touched these women while they search their bodies for phones, cameras, and camera memory cards. Not only do they suffer these searches of the entire body, but they are also touched and immobilized”.
Ferrer cites a specific example, when recently “a political police official brought a lover of his and started to have sex next to the cell where Lady in White Karina Quintana was being held, and later another agent arrived and started to make perverted sexual gestures at the Lady in White“. Another case was when “during the weekend of February 3rd to the 5th, on Saturday night, 2 agents of the police in the 3rd Unit of Santiago de Cuba- known as “the motorized unit”- walked into the cell where Lady in White Liudmilla Cedeno Martinez (wife of Guillermo Cobas, coordinator of UNPACU in El Caney) was detained and started to also carry out perverted gestures as they stared at the dissident“.
In addition, Ferrer pointed out examples in other parts of Cuba, like in Placetas (central Cuba) where women from the Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights were recently arrested with much violence, and also sexual harassment. Among the women were Yris Tamara Aguilera, Idania Yanez and Damaris Moya- whom all confirmed that some were grabbed in the breasts or touched in other places by regime agents. Another case, as Ferrer cites, was against (also Lady in White) Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo, in Havana. Fonseca is also victim of constant surveillance, physical aggression, and sexual harassment by communist henchmen. “It is not enough for the dictatorship to beat dissidents“, denounces Ferrer, “We know very well that tyrannies sustain themselves in power through very low and degrading acts, as the political police is doing here in Cuba. But it is very worrying and alarming, due to the magnitude of these actions against peaceful and brave women“.
Juan Carlos Vazquez Osoria echoed the same denouncement, adding that “these acts of vandalism and aggression of the Castro regime are being done in order to plant terror in everyday people, so that they will not join the struggle for freedom. But people are noticing, because there is far too much necessity- the streets are not clean, there are no good schools for our children, hundreds of kids can’t even go to school, and many of those who do go without shoes because the streets are so bad that their shoes are torn“.
“And we are fighting against all of this, and that is why they violently attack us“, declares the dissident.
Jose Daniel Ferrer and Juan Carlos Vazquez are just some of the voices informing the world about the alarming and incrementing level of violence against dissidents in Cuba. We must listen.
February 9, 2012Posted by on
(Video via the blog of Antunez- “I Won’t Leave, I Won’t Shut Up“)
The women of the Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights once again stayed true to their promise of marching publicly throughout the streets of Santa Clara this February 1st. The march, however, was rapidly and violently interrupted by agents at the service of the Cuban dictatorship. This is the same arrest which was caught on audio and posted on Antunez’s blog a few days ago, as well.
This time, they also captured the arbitrary arrest on video, but they also captured something else of equal importance- the incredible fear which the Cuban regime is feeling. This fear is displayed on the video as we can see two Castro regime agents stupidly (there is no other word to describe it) using a bed sheet in an attempt to try and cover the violence against the women from being captured on film. We can see them moving left and right, trying to match their bed sheet with the camera, but we can also see them fail, and the dissident recording the event manages to capture some images. The women were sexually harassed, touched, and beaten- among them were Yris Tamara Aguilera, Idania Yánez Contreras and Damaris Moya.
And the truth is that the Cuban dictatorship feels a deep fear because of the public and peaceful activities which Resistance members are carrying out on the streets of the island, in addition to much fear because of the new technologies being used by dissidents, such as cameras, Twitter, and internet- because they know very well that not even their repressive machinery can deter reality, Resistance, and change.
Watch the fear of the dictatorship for yourselves:
February 2, 2012Posted by on
Via the blog of Antunez- “I will not shut up, I will not leave”: Female dissidents from the Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights who had plans to march through the streets of Santa Clara today, February 1st, were brutally beaten and arrested by State Security agents during their peaceful protest against impunity.
Idania Yánez Contreras, member of the Rosa Parks Movement, was able to provide an audio, via telephone, of the moment she and other women were going out to protest in the street. Towards the middle of the audio, once can hear the women being violently arrested.
Below is the audio (in spanish) followed by a translated transcription:
Moment of March for Freedom and Against Impunity in Santa Clara, and audio of Brutal Arrests
febrero 1, 2012 por antunezcuba
Voice of Idania Yanez Contreras, the president of the Central Opposition Coalition and member of the Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights. February 1st, 2012.
“Here we are in the headquarters of the Central Opposition Coalition, located in Prolongacion of Marta Abreu 93rd A e/B and C in the Virginia neighborhood, in the city of Santa Clara. This march takes place every 1st day of each month. Right now, we are surrounded by a large number of State Security officials and police agents. We dedicated the past march to demand the freedom of Ivonne Malleza Galano and her husband Ignacio Martinez, and we are dedicating this one to demand the freedom of Yazmin Conlledo Riveron and her husband Yusmani Rafael Alvarez Esmoris, who are both currently unjustly jailed since January 8th, and being accused of false charges. But we are also taking advantage of the occasion to celebrate the 99th birthday of the person who we have named our movement after- Rosa Parks.
From the municipality of Placetas, these are the women participating today: Xiomara Martín Jiménez, Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, Yaité Diosnelly Cruz Sosa
From Santa Clara: Yanisbel Valido Pérez, Damaris Moya Portieles, María del Carmen Martínez López and myself, Idania Yánes Contreras.
We are carrying a blanket with the phrases “March for freedom and against impunity”, “Freedom for Yazmin Conlledo and Yusmari Alvarez, unjustly imprisoned”, “Rosa Parks Movement”, and “Long Live Human Rights”.
Right now we are walking out of the house, we know that we are not going to be able to walk very far, they are already there…they are looking at us and well, we are starting our march.
Freedom for Yazmin Conlledo Riveron and Yusmani Rafael Alvarez Esmoris!
Long Live Human Rights!
Down with Repression! Down!
They are arresting us!…
(Loud and disturbing screams of pain and of protest, voices of different women)
Take your hands off of my breasts, you murderer, take your hands off my breasts, murderer, human rights violator. Do not hit me, you murderer, stop hitting me. They are going to kill us!
Take your hands off of my breasts! Take your hands off you henchman! Do not touch my breasts! Stop, murderer!
(Voice of one of the agents speaking to another): She has a cell phone, there it is!
You murderer, get your hands off of my breasts!
The call is cut at this moment.
Minutes after the arrest, Barbara Moya, mother of Damaris Moya Portieles (one of the women arrested) and witness of the brutal aggresions against these women, said:
“The State Security officials and the National Revolutionary Police ran up to these women and pushed them. The women sat down on the floor as a sign of civic protest and each woman was attacked by 6 to 7 police officials, who picked them up from the floor and aggressively pushing them, that’s how the political police acts in this country. There were about 20 or 30 officials for these women from the Rosa Parks movement.
We were recording everything that they were doing to the women. State Security officials took out a bed sheet and were putting it in front of the camera to try and keep us from recording. We told them that the world was going to find out about all of this, because even if they put that sheet over the camera, we were able to record something”.