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"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation
Category Archives: Eastern Democratic Alliance
May 21, 2013Posted by on
Raday Matos Matos, a young dissident from the city of Baracoa, Guantanamo province, spoke with this blog about a recent march that 7 members of the Juan Pablo II Opposition Movement and of the Eastern Democratic Alliance from the mentioned city carried out this past Saturday, 18th of May, as part of the Boitel and Zapata Live Campaign, kicked off to honor Cuban martyrs Orlando Zapata Tamayo and Pedro Luis Boitel, political prisoners who died after lengthy hunger strikes. The march was also to publicly denounce the social situation which everyday citizens go through on the island. The demonstration was repressed by political police forces, but the dissident managed to receive solidarity on behalf of their neighbors.
The dissidents set out in march carrying signs which read “Down with hunger“, “down with the dictatorship“, “down with low salaries“, “long live peace” and “freedom“.
The arrests took place minutes after the march started, which went from La Laguna neighborhood all the way to Marti Park.
Raday recounts, “before the arrest we were physically assaulted by secret agents at the service of the political police. In fact, they hurt a woman amongst us the most, Daisy Romero Fernandez“.
Other assaulted dissidents were Luis Noa Silva, Jorge Luis Reyes and Francisco Luis Manzanet, president of the Juan Pablo II Movement. The latter also provided this audio with more details about the activity, published on the YouTube account of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU).
The police officials snatched the signs which the dissidents were carrying and ripped them, all of this before the stare of various everyday citizens who, according to Matos Matos, started to shout messages against the repressors and in favor of the activists.
With further violence, the agents forced the activists inside police vehicles which took them to the National Revolutionary Police Unit of the municipality, where they were all kept for a number of hours. In the case of Raday, the agents issues a written warning for him because of his acts of civil disobedience.
On the following day- May 19th- the majority of the dissidents in all of Baracoa awoke to find their homes surrounded by the political police. The agents were impeding the activists from stepping outside of their homes.
“We have been surrounded, harassed and haven’t been able to leave our own homes. Other activists have called me to confirm that they are going through the same things, saying that the political police and State Security are keeping a tight vigilance over their homes“, denounces Matos, “many police vehicles have been passing by my house, going around, keeping watch, surrounding each of our homes“.
Persecution of dissidents on behalf of the State police have been increasing in the city of Baracoa, but everything indicates that it is because of the growing level of activism out on the streets, especially on behalf of young nonconformists.
“We accuse the government for all the repression, persecution and all the aggression“, said Raday Matos.
Listen to the audio of Raday Matos Matos (in Spanish):
For more information from Cuba, contact:
Raday Matos Matos- Cell Phone: +58-144-692 / Twitter: @radaymatos
Francisco Luis Manzanet Ortiz- Cell Phone: +58-325-844
May 5, 2013Posted by on
Gertrudis Ojeda Suarez and Yoandri Naoski Ricardo Mir are residents of Banes, Holguin, and parents of 3 underage children. They live under constant surveillance, harassment and repression at the hands of Cuban political police agents, just because they have ideas different than those who are in power.
Gertrudis is a member of the Ladies in White and both are members of the Eastern Democratic Alliance, a pro-freedom group based in the Eastern region of the island. Recently, the violence against them has duplicated, mainly affecting their children.
This past Thursday, 25th of April, Gertrudis and Yoandri stepped out of their home in the Nuevo Banes neighborhood, accompanied by 7 other dissidents, and carried out a peaceful protest-march in solidarity with the more than 60 hunger strikers of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) who are demanding the immediate release of activist Luis Enrique Lozada Igarza, who was arbitrarily arrested last April 9th and who has also been on hunger strike since. The protest was a success, considering that its spontaneous nature allowed them to surprise police officials who usually crack down on similar activities quickly. The 9 activists returned to the house without any problems after having marched several blocks shouting messages in favor of the freedom of all political prisoners and in solidarity with the everyday people.
Only a few minutes passed when, suddenly, numerous agents of the State police showed up in front of the house. Among them were agents Freddy Aguero and Lieutenant Colonel Roilan Cruz Oliva, notorious oppressors of the area. In just a matter of minutes, the agents raided the house, savagely beating Gertrudis, Yoandri and all others present, even two brothers of the Lady in White- Yadian Vergara Suarez and Yunior Vergara Suarez.
In an audio published by ‘Radio Republica’, Ojeda Suarez recounts how she was beaten by various members of the Ministry of the Interior to the point that they even broke her mouth. Her mother, Justina Suarez Rojas, was pushed and threatened, while Yoandri Naoki was beat and detained, taken in a cop car to the unit known as Pedernales, infamous for its inhumane conditions and horrid treatment against inmates (most of who are there unjustly). The police broke various objects inside the house and took various belongings of the dissidents, among them their only cell phone.
Witnessing all these events were the youngest children of Ojeda and Ricardo: Bianca Ricardo Ojeda (6) and Yoandri Naoki Ricardo Ojeda (5). The minors started to desperately scream for their parents.
Gertrudis was released a few hours later but Yoandri Naoki remained arrested for a little over a day. While she was still alone in her house, the political police organized a mob to carry out against an ‘act of repudiation’ against Gertrudis on the night of April 26th. During the repudiation, Ojeda was completely in-communicated.
Juan Miguel Gonzalez Marrero, a human rights activist and neighbor of the dissident couple, confirmed to this blog that the act of repudiation ended at about 9 PM.
On Thursday, May 2nd, the police once against lashed out against the activists, organizing a second act of repudiation outside the home of Gertrudis and Yoandri, and later, another outside the home of Juan Miguel Gonzalez. The reason this time around? Earlier that day they had held a vigil in the home of Ojeda Suarez, praying for the freedom of all political prisoners on the island.
“As soon as the vigil ended at Gertrudis’ home, I left towards my house and was brutally detained by State Security“, said Gonzalez, “I was threatened while in the police unit by Freddy Aguero, captain of State Security“.
The repudiation occurred that night, after his release. The participants were mostly members of the Communist Party, while almost none were neighbors. They shouted offensive words, slogans and threats against the dissidents.
Gonzalez points out that his 13-year-old daughter, Dayani Gonzalez Rodriguez, is also suffering psychological problems.
“She has witnessed various detentions firsthand and she is very afraid…she doesn’t even want to go to school“, he said.
The children of Gertrudis and Yoandri are also on the same path.
“They have traumatized my children. They don’t want to eat, they don’t go to school. They are treated differently and looked badly upon just because of the way their parents think, just because we are against this regime”, expressed Ojeda Suarez in another audio published by ‘Radio Republica’. “The State is torturing two children”.
On another note, Naoki denounces that the police agents robbed “67 signs, 28 books, a cell phone, the charger, and even a monument to Orlando Zapata Tamayo (assassinated political prisoner)” from his home. “They even took books by Jose Marti. In fact, an instructor known as Ezequiel from Banes told me: ‘this is not the Jose Marti I know’ and I responded, ‘as far as I know there is only one Jose Marti. What happens is that many of his thoughts are censored in this country and not included in your books’“.
“The mobs also woke my children up during the second act of repudiation on May 2nd…my kids are traumatized“.
Everything indicates that the acts of State-sponsored repression will continue against Gertrudis Ojeda Suarez, Yoandri Naoki Ricardo Mir and all other dissidents in Banes, Holguin, but they have taken on a posture of persistence and bravery.
“My defense is to say the truth…I am prepared for them [the regime] to come…and I do not care if they kill me…I do not mind dying for a just cause, to defend the human rights of all Cubans”, affirmed Gertrudis Ojeda.
For more information from Cuba, contact:
Juan Miguel González Marrero- Cell Phone: +24-803-580
April 5, 2013Posted by on
Death threats, nocturnal attacks, persecution and confrontations against human rights activists of different pro-freedom groups. Those are the scenes being reported from Velasco, Holguin. In all of these cases, government officials- retired and active- have been signaled as the culprits.
This April 1st, Yonart Rodriguez Avila, the representative of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy in the Eastern region of the country, denounced that while he was with his mother, Lady in White Mariblanca Avila Exposito, in their home, the retired Rapid Response Brigade official Miguel Leyva Leyva showed up to offend and threaten them.
“Leyva Leyva said that he is the owner of this area and that he would destroy our home and anything we build“, said Yonart, explaining that the repressor had threatened to destroy a small fence they had been building around the house a few days before.
“I want to mention that this individual is very dangerous“, said the dissident, “He dedicates himself to provoke activists out on the street. If he walks near us on the street he bumps into us on purpose, he spits towards us, and he asks us what we are looking at“.
Leyva has participated in acts of repudiation and beatings against dissidents in Velacsco, as well as other regions of Holguin.
George Luis Leyva Ferras, of the Cuban Youth Movement and the Eastern Democratic Alliance, reported that on March 31st the dissident Julio Perez Zaldivar, of the Republican Party of Cuba, received a death threat by an active functionary of the Rapid Response Brigades named Mario Naranjo Sanchez.
“Naranjo Sanchez told this activist that he was carrying a gun, which the political police gave him and authorized him to use as he wished, and that on his list to kill was Perez Zaldivar, my wife Daylin Guerrero and me [Leyva Ferras]“.
The agent also told Leyva Ferras that “all the karate experts in Velasco are at his disposition so that, when he decided, they attack us“.
Meanwhile, on April 1st Miguel Leyva, Mario Naranjo, Fernando Molina and Ruben Velazquez (whom all operate together) were seen walking through the streets of Velasco carrying knives, according to neighbors.
“A neighbor who is my friend confirmed this to me“, explained Ferras, “and the same neighbor heard them say that they were going to stab me to death. The repressors are saying this everyday“.
The homes of Mariblanca Avila and Eirnice Cespedes, respectively, have also been stoned during the night recently.
Also, on the night of April 2nd, activist Raul Rodriguez Leyva, of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) was assaulted by an unidentified person who tried to stab him. Rodriguez managed to escape the attack, dodging the stabs, but the knife sliced the dissident’s shirt, according to Yonart Rodriguez. This happened on 18th Street in the Varona neighborhood of Velasco.
José Daniel Ferrer García, leader of UNPACU, denounced the same situation on his Twitter account (@jdanielferrer), explaining that those nocturnal attacks “are ordered by the regime’s political police”.
Rodriguez Avila described it as “an attempt on the activist’s life“.
Among the recently threatened and affected dissidents are Mariblanca Avila Expositio, Yonart Rodriguez Avila, Julio Perez Zaldivar Raul Rodriguez Leyva, Eirnice Cespedes Estrada, George Luis Leyva Ferras and Daylin Guerreron, as well as the two small children of the latter- Jason (3 years old) and Jessica (1). Within this group there were members of the Ladies in White, the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy, the Republican Party of Cuba, the Patriotic Union of Cuba and the Eastern Democratic Alliance.
Some of these activists have turned to state organisms to denounce their cases but the functionaries have ignored their claims.
“We want to send an alert to the world about these situations, and not only what is happening to us, but what is happening with all activists in Cuba“, said Yonart Rodriguez Avila, “we say no to violence, no to death, no to abuses and we say no to beatings“.
“Anything that happens to us is the fault of the regime and its repressors… they are capable of doing anything against us“.
For more information from Cuba, contact:
Yonart Rodríguez Ávila- Cell Phone: +53-602-782 / Twitter: @yonartcuba José Daniel Ferrer García- Cell Phone: +53-146-740 / Twitter: @jdanielferrer
April 2, 2013Posted by on
Two friends were chatting with other youths at the pier in the city of Baracoa on the afternoon of Sunday, March 31st, when they were suddenly arrested by political police agents and shoved into vehicles. The detainees were Raday Matos Matos and Rafael Alejandro Hernandez Real, two young Cubans who have, recently, been kicked out of their jobs, schools and have been persecuted for having ties with the Cuban opposition.
But what exactly led to their arrests that afternoon?
“We were arrested just for expressing ourselves and saying, not even shouting, that we do not believe in Fidel“, said Raday Matos.
“We were just talking there when we said that… there were a few police agents walking near the area, and suddenly when a police vehicle drove by, these agents pulled the car over. And at that moment they pushed us, told us we were detained and tried to put handcuffs on us“, recounts the young Microbiology graduate, “I didn’t allow them to handcuff me and told everyone present that saying that I do not believe in Fidel is not a crime“.
Matos and Hernandez were taken to the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) Unit of Baracoa, where they were kept for approximately 3 hours.
Raday says that “while in the unit, they pushed Rafael Alejandro and I jumped in to defend him. I stood between the police and him, and then they pushed us both. I couldn’t identify the official who did this to us by name but I saw his badge, which had the number 25461 on it“.
The officials handed them a written warning, which alleged that they had “altered public order”.
“We refused to sign the document“, affirmed Matos, “because neither of us altered the public order. In fact, it was them [the police] who altered the order“.
In 2012, 24-year-old Rafael Alejandro Hernandez Real was expelled from his job in the Ministry of Public Health for starting to associate himself with the opposition and for giving interviews with radio stations being broadcast from exile. In addition, he officially joined the Eastern Democratic Alliance; a pro-freedom organization based in the East of Cuba, and because of this was kept from continuing his law degree in the university. He was also one of the students who, in 2008, publicly questioned communist functionary Ricardo Alarcon. (Part of his story here).
Meanwhile, Raday Matos Matos was able to complete his microbiology track but has been under vigilance and persecution by the State police since he also joined the Alliance.
“We will never remain silent, we will always say, in front of the Cuban population and in front of the entire world, what we are thinking“, expressed Matos Matos, “As we told the people there during our arrest: they were arresting us for no reason and it is not a crime to speak your mind“.
“We will remain in the fight, ready for anything they throw our way“.
Raday’s audio (in Spanish):
For more information from Cuba, contact:
Raday Matos Matos- Cell Phone: +58-144-682
“PalenqueVision”, the audio-visual project of the Eastern Democratic Alliance, produced this documentary titled “Jovenes de Baracoa” (‘The Youth of Baracoa’), where Raday Matos and Rafael Hernandez are interviewed, among others.
March 22, 2013Posted by on
During the midnight hours of March 21st, the paramilitary agent Miguel Sarduy stabbed Juan Pavon, a citizen of San German, Holguin, to death, according to a report by human rights activist Eliecer Palma, of the Eastern Democratic Alliance (ADO), in his Twitter account (@eliecerpalma1).
In conversation with this blog, Palma said that he had confirmed the news after talking to neighbors who witnessed the crime.
The victim, Juan Pavon, who lived on 13th Street, “dedicated himself to lend money to people, and Sarduy had an outstanding debt with him. With this already existing debt, Sarduy told him to lend him more money, which Pavon refused. The response of the paramilitary agent was to tell him ‘I am going to kill you’ and that is exactly what he did“, explained Eliecer.
Pavon’s body was found with 7 stab wounds. He leaves behind two children, one female and one male. He was about 60 years old and had already retired.
Miguel Sarduy, also known as ‘Mingue’, “is a man who is despised in this community of San German. This man was used by State Security to act as a vigilante for the regime, to watch us, the activists, to impede our rights. He was completely at their service“.
Recently exiled dissident Luis Felipe Rojas Rosabal has denounced Sarduy in the past on his blog, “Crossing the Barbed Wire”. In Rojas’ case, the agent would constantly keep watch over him and his family; he would threaten and repudiate them, all under the orders of State Security. Other repressors like Jorge Leyva and Alredo Caraba Llosa operated alongside him.
“Miguel Sarduy is one of the typical cases in Cuba where the police uses citizens who have committed crimes for their dirty work“, said Rojas Rosabal from Miami, “Up to the moment of committing the crime- a murder in this case- his job was to watch us dissidents in San German. He would follow each of our steps, or he would just stand outside his house to inform who would go in and out of my house, then he would inform another ‘informant’ and, in sum, for the political police. And it’s something that they still do in Cuba, use delinquents and criminals to harass and provoke peaceful human rights defenders“.
The authorities have detained Sarduy, although it is not clear if they will process him. Just three days ago, he physically assaulted his sister, which resulted in his detention, but he was freed a few days later, according to Eliecer Palma.
Palma adds that the fact that the political police uses people like Sarduy to repress dissidents constitutes a grave danger for the lives of all those who decided to publicly oppose the Cuban dictatorship.
For more information from Cuba, contact:
Eliecer Palma- Cell Phone: +52-771-487 / Twitter: @eliecerpalma1
March 18, 2013Posted by on
This 17th of March was the first Sunday in which the Ladies in White marched throughout the streets of Cuba with their leader- Berta Soler- out of the country. The women also dedicated their weekly march in commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the Black Spring, when 75 dissidents (the majority independent journalists) were arrested and sentenced to years of prison after quick trials.
Ivan Hernandez Carillo, an ex political prisoner from this same group of the 75, informed on his Twitter account (@ivanlibre) that in Havana 51 Ladies in White marched and made it to Mass at the Santa Rita Church.
Hernandez also pointed out that in the province of Matanzas a total of 18 women marched. 4 did so in the city of Colon, 3 in Perico, 1 in the Espana Central and another 10 in Cardenas. In Ciego de Avila province 2 women reportedly made it to Mass.
In the Eastern region of the country, 60 Ladies in White assisted Mass in the National ‘El Cobre’ Shrine (Santiago de Cuba) and 8 made it in Guantanamo province.
Former political prisoner (also from the 75) and leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, denounced on his Twitter account (@jdanielferrer) that a group of Ladies in White in the province of Holguin were arrested by the political police, among them the representative of the group in that area, Berta Guerrero Segura.
“These dignified Cuban women suffer persecution, violence, arbitrary arrests, economic asphyxiation, hunger, etc.”, highlighted another tweet by Ferrer.
Isael Poveda Silva, from the Eastern Democratic Alliance, said on his Twitter account (@IsaelCuba) that Lady in White Mildred Noemi Sanchez Infante was “insulted, offended, and arrested by State Security agents” as she was stepping out of her home in Antilla, Holguin. The same thing happened to her last Sunday.
Meanwhile, Berta Soler, national representative of the group, has been denouncing the situation each of these women face on her first trip ever outside of Cuba, on international forums and interviews with diverse media outlets. With the slogan “Yes to Cuba, No to Castro“, Soler has declared that the Ladies in White and the opposition in general have grown stronger despite the regime’s violent tactics and that, in reality, there have been no actual reforms by the totalitarian system, instead “tiny moves” which try to give an image of change to the rest of the world.
The repressive wave known as the Black Spring of 2003 was what led to the creation of this female group, made up by mothers, wives, sisters, daughters and aunts which demanded freedom for their relatives.
This Sunday was also the third anniversary in which many of these women were beaten and violently arrested by police agents in Havana, just days after the death of political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo. These acts of violence are common each Sunday, but when this happened on that March of 2010, the images were captured by the cameras of the international media and went around the world, inspiring a high level of solidarity, including a march of more than 100,000 people in Miami just days later.
March 15, 2013Posted by on
Cuban dissident Isael Poveda Silva, from Guantanamo province, informed on his Twitter account (@IsaelCuba) that, once again, the authorities have lashed out against a young university student that has reached out to the opposition- Juannier Rodriguez Matos. See the tweets here:
The messages explain that the young Juannier participated in the ninth anniversary celebration of the pro-freedom Eastern Democratic Alliance in the town of Antilla during the past month of February, giving a speech about leadership and values. His scholarship in the University of the East, in Santiago de Cuba, was suspended on Wednesday, March 13th, and he will have to go before a disciplinary commission. The same thing has happened with a number of other students who have joined the Alliance or other dissident groups, some of the most recent being Alejandro Hernandez Real and Raday Matos Matos.
More details on the way…
March 13, 2013Posted by on
Three different cases of acts of repudiation, acts of vandalism, and arrests were recently reported in different parts of Cuba. These actions not only affected the targeted dissidents, but also their relatives, leaving scars especially on those who are underage. These crimes, executed by the political police, are nothing new in totalitarian Cuba, but in this post, we document 3 new cases. Vueltas, San German, Palma Soriano. Three different towns and three similar actions against activists of diverse pro-freedom groups.
Friday, March 8th, 2013. Vueltas, Villa Clara. Raúl González and Niurcy Acosta Pacheco, a couple belonging to the dissident Cuban Reflection Movement, dropped off their 11 year old son, Daniel David, at a friend’s house to celebrate his birthday. The last thing they expected that afternoon was that Daniel would be arrested for being present at a party.
González, in conversation with“Radio Republica”, said that during the party the children started to play with fireworks, among them those known as “small bombs”. It was then that the Chief of Sector of Vueltas, whose last name is Mesa, showed up to the house, snatching the ‘toys’ away from all the children and sending them home- all of them except Daniel, who he forcefully took to the local National Revolutionary Police unit. Mesa told the young boy that his friends were waiting for him in the mentioned unit, but it was just blackmail.
The child told the official that he did not have to be in that place. Mesa’s response, as well as that of other functionaries, was to threaten Daniel with being handcuffed.
Daniel was detained for a little more than two hours. ”At about 10:30 PM he was left outside and told to go back home on his own”, denounced his father in the same audio. A friendly neighbor recognized the child and helped him get back home. His parents, Raul and Niurcy, presented complaints in different institutions but have received no response.
“We know very well that this is just a method [of State Security] to try and destabilize the kid, and at the same time, us”, said Raul Gonzalez.
Monday, March 11th, 2013. San German, Holguín. At about 1 AM, the home of the sister of activist Eliecer Palma Pupo, of the Eastern Democratic Alliance, was stoned by various unidentified people who ran away after committing the acts of vandalism. The activist’s mother and sister were inside the house, and so was his 6 year old daughter.
This was not the first time the house, where Eliecer spends much of his time, is attacked with rocks. According to another audio of ‘Radio Republica’, one of the cases the activist recalls was in 2011, and during the current year of 2013, he has received numerous threats from State Security, especially the agent who goes by the name of Julian, who told him he’d take take repressive measures against him because of his activism. This is why Palma Pupo assures that the actions were carried out by the regime.
Afterward, the dissident explained to this blog that “one of the rocks penetrated a window, broke the blinds, and landed very close to my daughter. This has left her very afraid“.
Eliecer and his sister went to the PNR unit of San German to formally present a complaint. Up to the moment, the authorities have ignored their demand.
Saturday, March 9th, 2013. Palma Soriano, Santiago de Cuba. Of the three cases, the most violent. Jose Ramos Corrales, member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) made a call of desperation and condemnation after his home, located in the neighborhood of Nuevo Palma, was surrounded by mobs organized by the political police. The members of the hate mob were armed with stones, bottles, sticks and machetes and challenged the dissident and his family to step outside so that they “could kill them”.
In audios published on the YouTube channel of UNPACU and ‘Radio Republica’, Ramos recounted that his 10 year old daughter was inside the house, hearing all the vulgar insults being shouted and witnessing all the acts of violence.
Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, leader of UNPACU, said in his Twitter account (@jdanielferrer) that the mobs “tore down the fence and the wall [of Ramos' home], they stole their furniture, clothes, a kitchen stove and even a small car to sell pizzas” that they had inside.
“The entire operation against the Ramos-Marrero family was directed by the Communist Party and the agents of its political police”, added another message by Ferrer.
Meanwhile, Ramos was violently arrested during the raid and he was kept in a cell until Monday, just to find his house surrounded once again for another act of repudiation. The same mobs once again threatened him and his family with death.
Ramos expressed the most worry for his young daughter, denouncing that he has had to take her to a mental health doctor to try and calm her nerves.
The video of this repudiation, and the moment of desperation faced by the young girl, was captured on video and published by UNPACU. See for yourselves:
March 7, 2013Posted by on
During afternoon hours of February 26th, in Havana, a building located directly across the street from the Central Train Station collapsed, killing one 15 year old boy who was trapped in the rubble, and injuring another two, according to “Hablemos Press” . The scene turned even more chaotic when various political police agents who were present lashed out against various people who were trying to figure out the whereabouts of their loved ones. Also witnessing the events were dissidents Yonart Rodríguez Ávila and Denis Pino Basulto, both from the Eastern region of the country, who were arrested for displaying solidarity with the victims’ relatives.
Rodriguez Avila described his arrest in the “Foro Juvenil Cubano“, the blog of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy, explaining that police agents covered the mouth of one of the relatives of the deceased and applied martial arts locks on others, keeping them from getting close to the scene of the disaster. It was then that the activists started to shout out slogans against the regime and in solidarity with the victims, which led to their arbitrary arrests.
Denis Pino told this blog that “a police agent applied a headlock on me, pushed down on my neck and strangled me. They dragged me, and delivered physical blows on my ribs and my head. They asphyxiated me until the point that I passed out“. The dissident was later taken to a nearby hospital but, once he awoke, he refused to be treated there for fear that they would attempt on his life.
“I left the hospital, I just walked out through a hallway“, he said.
Upon knowing that Yonart Rodriguez was still detained in the Dragones Unit of Havana, Pino Basulto set out towards that unit, protesting outside along with Yonart’s mother, the Lady in White Mariblanca Avila Exposito, also from Velasco, Holguin.
“We were protesting there, demanding the release of Yonart“, explained Denis, “but they kept him there until the following day, on February 27th, and I was detained again for a few hours“.
Mariblanca Avila added that February 26th was her son’s 32nd birthday, which he spent in a dungeon.
On his part, Denis points out that he emerged from his arrest with “lots of pain in my throat, pain in my ribs and on my arms. It was a very violent arrest. We were treated like animals“.
“I want the world to know what is happening in Cuba. After 50 years of dictatorship, the buildings are still collapsing“, expressed Pino Basulto, also highlighting the absurd fact that activists were arrested for displaying solidarity with a family at the time of their profound pain and desperation. “This regime has increased repression against human rights activists. We are demanding that this repression, which is constant, come to an end“.
Denis Pino Basulto has been victim of police violence on numerous occasions due to his pro-freedom activism within various groups such as the Pedro Luis Boitel Movement, the Eastern Democratic Alliance (ADO) and Independent and Democratic Cuba (CID). One of the most violent cases against this young dissident occurred on January 8th, 2012, when he was savagely beat by police officials in Holguin province, who covered his face with a plastic bag.
Various sources have indicated that politically-driven arrests have upped on the island so far during this year. The independent news agency based in Havana, “Hablemos Press“, for instance, documented 471 arrests of activists throughout Cuba only in the month of February, the shortest month of the year.
For more information from Cuba, contact:
Denis Pino Basulto – Cell Phone: +52-552-837
Yonart Rodriguez Avila – Cell Phone: +53-602-782 / Twitter: @Yonartcuba
Eastern Democratic Alliance launches new documentary through PalenqueVision, celebrating 9th anniversary
March 2, 2013Posted by on
The repressive methods of the Cuban political police could not impede members of the Eastern Democratic Alliance from coming together in the Eastern town of Antilla to celebrate the 9th anniversary of their foundation this past 16th of February.
PalenqueVision, the audio-visual project of the Alliance, captured the moment of the reunion, in which about 50 dissidents participated. In the video, they send their messages of unity, resistance and loyalty to the struggle for a free Cuba.
Filmed, edited and produced inside the island, here’s “Anniversary of the Alliance“. Congratulations.
For more original content produced by PalenqueVision, visit their YouTube channel.