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"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation
Category Archives: Ivan Hernandez Carrillo
June 17, 2013Posted by on
A total of 177 Ladies in White marched in different provinces of Cuba this past Sunday, June 16th, dedicating the walk to Father’s Day, according to a tweet publish by former political prisoner of conscience Ivan Hernandez Carrillo (@ivanlibre).
In Havana, 58 women made it to Mass in the Santa Rita Church and afterward marched down 5th Avenue, demanding freedom for all political prisoners. The Ladies celebrated Father’s Day together with various male dissidents which accompanied them.
Leticia Ramos, representative of the female group in the province of Matanzas, told Sayli Navarro that a total of 22 women marched there. Navarro published the information on her Twitter account (@SayliNavarro).
2 women were able to march and participate in Mass in Ciego de Avila.
Ivan Hernandez also tweeted that a total of 62 Ladies in White marched in Santiago de Cuba and made it to Mass in the National Cobre Shrine.
In other Eastern provinces various women marched and made it to Mass. In Guantanamo 12 managed to do so and in Holguin another 15 did. However, in Holguin, specifically in the municipality of Banes, Gertrudis Ojeda Suarez was arrested when she tried to leave her house to march to church. Ojeda denounced that the same thing happens to her every Sunday and that they are “completely arbitrary detentions“. Other arrests were reported in Eastern Cuba, while other women marched in that same area.
This Father’s Day, the situation of the numerous political prisoners who are unjustly behind bars in Cuba was highlighted. The majority of these prisoners happen to be fathers. Among the cases are that of Ramon Munoz Gonzalez, husband of Sonia Garro (also a political prisoner) and president of the Independent Afro-Cuban Foundation, dissident rapper Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga “El Critico” who is the father of a little girl who is just months old and Osvaldo Rodriguez Castillo who is in prison for creating a new dissident group and for protecting his son from participating in military service (his son Osvaldo Rodriguez Castillo is also in prison). These are just three cases. There are many more like them. And it’s for these Cubans that the Ladies in White march.
June 10, 2013Posted by on
As occurs each Sunday, dozens of Ladies in White took to the streets of their respective cities this June 9th to participate in Mass and pray for the freedom of all political prisoners and later carry out civic marches carrying flowers and photos of some prisoners.
In the Cuban capital- Havana- 76 Ladies in White participated in Mass in the Santa Rita Church, according to a message published by dissident and former political prisoner Ivan Hernandez Carrillo on his Twitter account (@ivanlibre). Moments later, Angel Moya Acosta, also a former political prisoner of conscience, tweeted (@jangelmoya) that 62 women carried out the habitual march down 5th Avenue accompanied by another 40 male activists.
In the central province of Villa Clara, 6 Ladies in White marched and assisted Mass, while in Sancti Spiritus 2 women managed to do the same.
Ivan Hernandez added that a total of 21 women marched and made it to Mass in the province of Matanzas. 7 of them made it to the city of Colon, 12 in Cardenas and another 2 in Perico.
In the Eastern province of Santiago de Cuba 40 women marched to El Cobre National Shrine. At least 3 arrests were confirmed, however, according to Hernandez Carrillo. The detainees were Moraima Díaz Pérez, Edelmis León and Graciela Domínguez.
Sayli Navarro, a young member of the Ladies in White, informed on her Twitter account (@SayliNavarro) that a total of 12 women marched and made it to Santa Catalina de Ricci Parish in the province of Guantanamo, despite the strong vigilance on behalf of State Security agents.
In Holguin province, various arrests occurred, among them of Gertrudis Ojeda Suarez in the municipality of Banes. She told this blog that “just like every other Sunday, I was detained by State Security and forcefully taken to the local police unit, amid verbal threats“. Last weekend, the same agents threatened to handcuff and beat Ojeda.
The dissident has been victim of constant vigilance and police persecution. In fact, the government agents have raided her home and carried out numerous acts of repudiation on various occasions. These actions have mainly affected her underage children.
“All of this is proof that repression against Ladies in White and the opposition continues in Cuba. That is why I am denouncing, for all the world to hear, all these arrests I am being victim of, as well as my other sisters in struggle, all of them carried out by the dictatorship of the Castro brothers“, declared Gertrudis.
A number of other women were able to march in the municipality of Holguin. Meanwhile, in the municipality of San German activist Eliecer Palma used his Twitter account (@eliecerpalma1) to confirm that 6 Ladies in White “managed to march and participated in the Church of San German, along with other dissidents”.
It’s important to point out that each one of these cases where Ladies in White march there has also been a strong presence by the political police which sets up cordons days before to arrest the women or to keep watch over them. Many times, the Ladies in White have to leave their homes on Friday or during dawn hours of Saturday and passing through fields or desolate places to arrive to their respective churches and surpass these cordons.
Regardless, these women continue out on the streets so that the everyday people can listen to their demands and to show them that it is possible to obtain a public space on the island, despite the dictatorship’s repression.
May 16, 2013Posted by on
Technology and social networks once again prove their importance when it comes to Cuba, despite the fact that the totalitarian system practices a severe form of censorship.
Caught on camera above is Kenny Aguero, a State Security agent in the province of Matanzas. The photo was taken by former political prisoner Ivan Hernandez Carrillo and published on his Twitter account (@ivanlibre). Aguero operates mainly in the city of Cardenas and is a repressor of dissidents, especially of Ladies in White, such as Leticia Ramos Herreria and Elizabeth Pacheco. He dedicates himself to persecute this women, verbally offend them, arrest them and beat them without mercy (testimony in this audio). In one of his most recent actions against the opposition, he summoned Marisol Fernandez Socorro, also a Lady in White, to a police unit because of her activism out on the streets.
In the following photo, also published by Hernandez Carrillo, is Aurio Cueto, another collaborator of the regime:
According to Ivan, Cueto testified against him and also activist and former prisoner of conscience Felix Navarro during their trial in the Black Spring of 2003, when 75 journalists were sent to prison. Both Matanzas natives were sentenced to 25 years behind bars. Cueto currently continues to keeping a tight vigilance over activists in different cities of Matanzas, as well as helping the police to arrest them for their peaceful activities.
With each photo, each Tweet, and each post in an alternative and free blog, the impunity of the dictatorship continues to dissolve.
For more information from Cuba, contact:
Ivan Hernandez Carrillo- 52-599-366 / Twitter: @ivanlibre
April 29, 2013Posted by on
The Cuban Coalition of Independent Unions (CSIC), a group which demands the rights of Cuban workers and unions, has called on all Cuban workers to not participate in the May 1st parade, which the regime promotes every year on that date to mark International Workers Day. This event is used by the government to spread false propaganda of a country where worker’s rights are respected. Below is the declaration:
THE CUBAN COALITION OF INDEPENDENT UNIONS (CSIC)
DECLARATION FOR THE FIRST OF MAY
INTERNATIONAL WORKERS DAY
In 1886, the blood of the martyrs of Chicago fertilized the path of recognition for the working class. Their first victory: an 8 hour work shift. In 1939 the Confederation of Cuban Workers (CTC) was born, grouping the most important union leaders of the times, achieving success in the Cuban workers movement, where union rights were a reality until they disappeared when the single and governmental Cuban Workers Central (CTC) was formed, whose General Secretariat is a member of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC), moving farther away from union leadership each time, staying away from representing the essential problems which affect our selfless Cuban workers.
The CSIC congratulates all Cuban workers, reaffirming that they have the right to be a part of independent unions and to instill the necessity of truly representing workers within the unionist movement.
Considering the level of oppression which the working class is subjected to, the Cuban Coalition of Independent Unions (CSIC) calls on workers to NOT ASSIST THE MAY 1ST MARCH.
- Demand a debate in regards to the Workers Code Project, which will come in effect in the next few months. Its legal contents have still not been made public.
- Allow all self-employed workers to create independent unions of the CTC, which respond to their work objectives
- Give professionals the right to work independently, outside of the work shift established, and in the specialty in which they are trained
- To not limit human creativity in the sphere of self-employment
- Demand state unions to defend workers from administrative injustices
- Demand the fulfillment of the International Work Norms (NIT) from the International Work Organization (OIT), of which Cuba signed.
- Revise cases of social assistance for the homeless
- Lower the prices of items of basic necessity
- Establish just one currency with which workers could acquire indispensable products in order to subsist
- The right of workers to carry out strikes
WE CALL ALL UNIONS TO UNITE IN DIVERSITY, the only path to achieve the goals and objectives for which so many generations have fought for.
We remain firmly committed with the working class, with democracy, with civil society, for the respect of human valor and with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
We are seeking peace, tranquility, and unity and benefits for the Cuban working class. This is our best tribute to the martyrs of Chicago.
April 3rd 2013
CUBAN COALITION OF INDEPENDENT UNIONS
Cuban Coalition of Independent Unions (CSIC)
Long live the Cuban working class!
Long live the Cuban Coalition of Independent Unions!
María Elena Mir Marrero.
National Independent Confederation of Cuban Workers (CONIC)
Maybell Padilla Pérez
Unitarian Council of Cuban Workers (CUTC)
Iván Hernández Carrillo
Confederation of Independent Workers of Cuba (CTIC)
Ladies in White celebrate release of Calixto Martinez, demand the same for all other political prisoners
April 15, 2013Posted by on
In what was an emotional encounter, 43 Ladies in White managed to carry out their habitual march in Havana this Sunday, 14th of April, not only with the presence of various human rights activists, but also with the participation of recently released independent journalist Calixto Ramon Martinez Arias. The Ladies, in addition to celebrating the victory of Calixto’s liberation, also demanded the release of the many other political prisoners still behind bars in the island.
“When liberated, it is the duty of all political prisoners to come with the Ladies in White and stand with them in their bastion of freedom”, said Martinez Arias in declarations made to former political prisoner Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, published on his Twitter account (@ivanlibre).
Calixto Ramon Martinez was released from prison after more than 7 months behind bars, thanks to the solidarity of people in and out of Cuba who carried out campaigns and public activities to pressure the regime.
The Ladies in White also dedicated their march to Enrique Ros, famous Cuban exiled historian who passed away this week.
Ivan Hernandez tweeted that 16 Ladies in White marched and assisted Mass in the province of Matanzas, while 2 surpassed police cordons in Ciego de Avila and made it to church.
In Guantanamo, 10 Ladies in White marched and participated in Mass.
Meanwhile, in the province of Santiago de Cuba, 32 Ladies in White made it past operations set up by State Security and made it to El Cobre National Shrine. A number of women were reportedly detained between Saturday and Sunday.
Anyer Antonio Blanco, member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), published an audio on his Twitter account (@anyerantoniobla) where his mother, Lady in White, Ana Celia Rodríguez, was being arrested alongside another activist in Santiago. Rodriguez was forcefully taken out of a vehicle and sent to a police unit for various hours.
The Ladies in White have made it very clear that despite that they are being subjected to different forms of repression, they will continue risking it all on the streets to demand freedom for each and every Cuban who resides behind bars for thinking differently.
José Daniel Ferrer, leader of UNPACU, later expressed in his Twitter account (@jdanielferrer) that “with all the brutal repression, and the advantage of media and resources, once again, the Ladies in White surpass the methods of the political police”.
The Corner of the Indignant, an independent sales spot, turns 1 despite repudiation and repression (Videos)
April 11, 2013Posted by on
The Corner of the Indignant, an independent sales point established by Lady in White and activist Rosario Morales la Rosa, best known as “Charito”, turned 1 year old this 10th of April. Morales has withstood all kinds of repudiation and repression on behalf of the State during her time managing her small store which carries house products. On the eve of it’s anniversary, the political police organized three aggressive acts of repudiation against her.
The Cuban mother explains that the first act of repudiation occurred during afternoon hours right in front of The Corner, located on Villa Panamericana in Havana. “A mob made up by members of the Communist Party, members of the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution, teachers and students of primary and secondary schools, and athletes carried out an intense act of repudiation against me which lasted about two hours“.
A second act took place minutes later. However, Rosario Morales stayed firm in her small sales point.
“The mobs wanted to rip off my shirt which had the word ‘Change’ written on it”, the dissident told this blog, adding that the mentioned shirt serves as her ‘uniform’ while she works in The Corner. She was pushed and some of the people pulled her shirt, although they didn’t manage to rip it off of her. “In fact, they even screamed at me telling they were going to leave me without clothes“.
When the government-organized activity came to an end, Charito decided to return to her home in Cojimar. There, at around 8 PM, another mob was organized by State Security, this time even more violent in their insults.
“The people in this third mob were carrying stick and rocks“, recounted Morales, “they started to shout offensive slogans at me, and also screamed ‘mercenary’, ‘worm’, ‘down with the rotten roots’, and ‘use a machete on her, she’s alone‘”. They also shouted messages such as “Long Live Hugo Chavez” (of Venezuela) and “The street belongs to Fidel”.
The third act of repudiation lasted from 8 PM to 9:30 PM, approximately.
Former political prisoner Ivan Hernandez Carrillo later published on his Twitter account (@ivanlibre) various videos of the acts of repudiation:
On that same day, activist Ernesto Ulloa was also harassed by police. Morales said she thought the repression was due to the fact that various anti-regime signs and graffiti appeared that morning on Villa Panamericana with messages such as “Down with Hunger” and “Down with the regime”. There were also writings which demanded freedom for Calixto Ramon Martinez Arias, jailed journalist who was actually released that night after 7 months of confinement.
Charito does not dismiss that the repudiation was also a message on the first anniversary of her store. The Corner of the Indignant sells home products at low prices, such as towels, bags, and coffee. Morales explains that on various occasions people who have participated in acts of repudiation against her go to her establishment to obtain products which are far too expensive in State outlets. Instead of refusing to offer them her services, Morales sells it to them or, in many cases, even gives it to them for free.
The Lady in White has been fined, arrested, harassed and beaten not only for her activism within the internal opposition but also because of her independent store, which is quite popular amongst locals.
At around 4 PM on Wednesday, April 10th, Ivan Hernandez reported that the regime was preparing yet another act of repudiation against Morales la Rosa, which would make it the 4th in less than 24 hours.
“In these very moments, the regime is organizing another act of repudiation in front of Charito’s home. This would be the 4th”, detailed the message. Another tweet minutes later said “according to her son Reinier, agents are building a stage with microphones and speakers in front of their house to repudiate them”.
Everything seems to indicate that the system’s repression against Charito will increase, but so too will the operation of The Corner of the Indignant and the activism of its manager.
For more information from Cuba, contact:
Rosario Morales la Rosa- Cell Phone: +53-857-319
Iván Hernández Carrillo- Cell Phone: +52-599-366 / Twitter: @ivanlibre
April 8, 2013Posted by on
Each Sunday various arrests of Ladies in White in different parts of Cuba are reported, but this 7th of April, the first Sunday of the month, a group of 60 women were detained by the political police in the province of Santiago de Cuba, simply for trying to make it to Mass. Regardless, members of the group managed to march in other provinces, defying police operations organized by the regime.
Under the direction of Laura Labrado Pollan (daughter of Laura Pollan) and Belkis Cantillo (visiting from Santiago), 54 Ladies in White marched down Havana’s 5th Avenue after participating in Mass at Santa Rita Church, where they prayed for the freedom of all political prisoners, emphasizing the case of Sonia Garro, who has just recently been transferred to a hospital due to a skin infection obtained in prison, according to her sister Yamilet Garro.
These activists from Havana were accompanied by more than 30 men, all of them public dissidents.
In Matanzas province a total of 17 women marched and participated in Mass. 3 made it in Ciego de Avila and 10 in Guantanamo.
Pro-freedom activists Iván Hernández Carrillo (@ivanlibre), Sayli Navarro (@SayliNavarro), Ángel Moya Acosta (@jangelmoya) and Anyer Antonio Blanco (@anyerantoniobla) reported and confirmed these numbers in their respective Twitter accounts.
Despite 60 arrests in Santiago de Cuba, 4 women surpassed police cordons and made it to El Cobre National Shrine. In Holguin province, various Ladies were reportedly arrested.
It is common for these women from Santiago (many who hail from other Eastern regions) to leave their homes since Friday or Saturday to surpass police operations and arrive to mass at El Cobre Shrine. Many times they have to sleep at bus stations, cross and hide in fields or walk miles under rain and intense heat to escape police persecution. Some times, once near the temple they are refused vacancy by priests at the service of State Security.
On his Twitter account, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia (@jdanielferrer) explained this Sunday that “the Ladies in White of Santiago de Cuba, cross fields, hills, rivers and creeks to try and stay a night in the small hotel of El Cobre”.
The Ladies in White continue marching because they have already conquered a public space, all due to their 10 years of relentless perseverance. They will not allow any government soldier and/or official to take this space from them. The arrests may increase, but so too will the public demonstrations by these brave women.
March 25, 2013Posted by on
This Sunday, March 24th 2013- Palm Sunday- Ladies in White marched to their respective churches throughout the country as they do each week to pray for the liberation of all political prisoners. However, the religious date did not keep the political police from carrying out a number of arrests of these women.
20 dissidents walked alongside 54 Ladies in White who marched down Miramar’s 5th Avenue, in Havana, toward the Santa Rita Church, where they were able to participate in Mass, according to a tweet by former political prisoner Angel Moya Acosta (@jangelmoya).
Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, also a former political prisoner, detailed in his Twitter account (@ivanlibre) that a total of 20 women marched and made it to Mass in the province of Matanzas- 4 in the city of Colon, 1 in Central Espana, 2 in El Roque, 2 in Perico and 11 in Cardenas.
Sayli Navarro, activist and daughter of former political prisoner Felix Navarro, published some photos of Ladies in White marching in Matanzas on her Twitter account (@SayliNavarro):
In Ciego de Avila province, 2 Ladies participated in Mass on Palm Sunday, while in Sancti Spiritus 1 made it.
11 women marched and assisted Mass in Guantanamo, and 2 were arbitrarily arrested at the Check Point of Caimanera, according to Sayli Navarro.
Meanwhile, Lady in White Jaquelin Garcia reported that in Granma province various women were detained but 1 managed to make it to church. She was not able to march in the morning but assisted evening Mass.
In Santiago de Cuba a total of 41 Ladies in White arrived to El Cobre Shrine, though another 16 suffered arrests at the hands of the State Police.
It was once again proven that the political police is not capable of even respecting a religious date which this female group observes, and at the same time, the same repressive organs prove that they continue fearing a group of women dressed in white, flowers at hand.
March 22, 2013Posted by on
When political police agents showed up at the home of former political prisoner of conscience Ivan Hernandez Carrillo in the city of Colon, Matanzas, this 20th of March, his mother Asuncion Carrillo was the one who opened the door. Ivan was not home, so Asuncion refused to receive the police citation they were bringing for her son which ordered that he had to show up to the local police unit on the following day. However, Hernandez Carrillo quickly took to his Twitter account (@ivanlibre) to make it very clear to the agents that he would not go to any police unit.
“I respect what each person choses to do, but I am not going to any police unit with or without a citation“, said Ivan, “They are going to have to arrest me and drag me through the street to take me to a police unit, but I am not going to comply with any citations to see any police chief so that he treat me like a delinquent and criminal, because I am neither of those things“.
Due to the information he constantly reports through Twitter and photos, videos, and audios, the political police constantly watches this former prisoner of conscience. When he is not being persecuted by some State Security agent, many times his cell phone is blocked or his calls are interrupted.
When Thursday arrived, Ivan stayed true to his word; he did not cooperate with the orders of the police.
Dissidents Juan Francisco Rangel and Lázaro Díaz Sánchez, from Colon, were also summoned for the same day- Rangel at 11 AM and Diaz Sanchez at 2 PM. Both were interrogated by agent Raudel, with the same accusations and threats as always because of their pro-freedom activism.
“Like I said, I respect the decisions of everyone, but my own is that I will not go to any unit“, emphasized Hernandez Carrillo.
As of now, the renown dissident has not suffered repercussions because of his decision, although it is assumed that the State will continue to harass him. Regardless, his decision proves that power lies in the citizen, not in the repressive bodies of the regime.
* Special thanks to activist María Cama (@mspianoteacher) for this information
For more information from Cuba, contact:
Iván Hernández Carrillo – Cell Phone: +52-599-366 / Twitter: @ivanlibre
March 18, 2013Posted by on
Lady in White Sonia Garro Alfonso and her husband Ramon Alejandro Munoz have spent exactly one year in prison, without a trial, this Monday 18th of March, the same day of the 10th anniversary of the Black Spring, when 75 dissidents were imprisoned because of their pro-freedom posture.
Garro and Munoz, both members of the Independent Afro-Cuban Foundation, were arrested after being attacked with rubber bullets and suffering a beating by police forces in their Havana home. The prison authorities have not provided any clear information to their relatives as to why they are in prison or why they have not had a trial, although it is obvious that this has happened to them because of their activism. Yamilet Garro, Sonia’s sister, has taken on the task of visiting and taking care of Sonia and Ramon, although many times she has been denied her right to visits or to give them medicines or food, despite the fact that they both have health complications.
Sonia Garro and Ramon Munoz have an underage daughter together, which Yamilet has also been caring for.
In an audio recently published by former political prisoner Iván Hernández Carrillo, Yamilet Garro asked for more solidarity to free her loved ones. Meanwhile, an online petition was created to collect signatures to demand the same, while the hashtag #FreeSoniaGarro has gained much popularity on Twitter and Facebook.
Ladies in White as well as other dissidents throughout the island have dedicated their marches, protests, vigils and other activities in solidarity with Garro, Munoz, and the rest of the political prisoners in the country.