Pedazos de la Isla

"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation

Category Archives: Librado Linares

Consequences of police violence in Sagua la Grande, Cuba (Images)

Didier Martinez and his wife Natali. Sagua la Grande, Villa Clara.

On August 20th 2013, the political police organized and carried out an act of repudiation against dissident Didier Martinez, surrounding his home in Sagua la Grande, Villa Clara, where he was with his family, among them his wife and underage child, as well as other activists.  The mob – made up by police officials dressed in civilian clothing and other people who have obligations with the dictatorship – not only shouted obscene words to the dissidents, but also damaged the house and eventually beat those present.

This audio published by ‘Radio Repubica’ captures the testimony of Luis Enrique Monzon Rivero, one of the activists of the Central Opposition Coalition who was in the house.  Monzon denounces that the agents were using a mysterious liquid in an attempt to burn down the door of the house and also began to throw rocks.  They were armed with sticks and machetes.  The repudiation lasted various hours and only ended for a short while, seeing as on the following day – August 21st – another one was carried out, according to statements by former political prisoner Librado Linares Garcia on his Twitter account (@LibradoLinares).

Linares sent out another message on the 22nd explaining that “at 1:30 AM, they threw 4 pieces of metal at Didier’s house, damaging it.  His small child was terrorized”.

The violence worsened on the 23rd.  Librado tweeted, “Didier Martinez and his wife Natali were savagely beat by 2 State Security agents”.  Their son, who is only 3 years old, witnessed the whole thing.

However, Linares Garcia said that the everyday people “showed solidarity with the repressed” and “repudiated the repressors”.

Now, photos have arrived straight from the island showing the scars left on Didier’s body by a system which does tolerate the diversity of ideas (courtesy of activist Niurcy Acosta Pacheco).  See them for yourselves:

Pots and pans ring throughout Cuba in solidarity with the Venezuelan opposition

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:

Dissidents protest sentence of political prisoner (Video)

Orlando Triana Gonzalez

On Wednesday, January 23rd, dissident Orlando Triana Gonzalez, member of the Cuban Reflection Movement, was sentenced to 2 years and 8 months of prison due to his political activism. The prison sentence was dictated in the Tribunal of Camajuani and numerous dissidents were arrested throughout the central province of Villa Clara as they tried to make it to the trial to show solidarity with Triana, among them Librado Linares Garcia, leader of the MCR.

But a group of 4 dissidents in the municipality Quemado de Guines- 3 of MCR and 1 from FANTU- carried out a protest march with signs condemning the sentence and demanding freedom for Triana Gonzalez. The demonstrators were Maydelis González Almeida, Nosbel Jomolca, Juan Carlos Fernández Morales and Yosmel Martínez.

Upon hearing the news of the sentence in the afternoon, we carried out a march down Second Avenue South in Quemado de Guines with signs and shouting slogans demanding freedom for Orlando Triana and all political prisoners“, said Gonzalez Almeida, “this dictatorial regime has committed yet another one of its injustices“.

The pro-freedom activist adds that the trial was “based on lies and false testimonies against the human rights defender Orlando Triana“.

During the protest, neighbors did not repudiate the demonstrators when they shouted slogans of freedom, while political police agents did not have time to carry out arrests, affirmed Maydelis. The video of the protest below:

Meanwhile, Librado Linares, who spent various hours detained in a police vehicle for trying to make it to the trial, said that the Movement which he leads will continue demanding freedom for Orlando Triana Gonzalez.

For more details from Cuba:

Librado Linares – Phone: +5352-378-063 / Twitter: @LibradoLinares
Maydelis Gonzalez- Phone: +5358-217-833 / Twitter: @maydeliscuba1

Cuban Reflection Movement meets to finalize 2012 and launches new magazine

Librado Linares Garcia

A group of dissidents from the Cuban Reflection Movement have managed to meet this Saturday, December 29th, in Camajuani, Villa Clara to bid farewell to 2012 and to launch their independent magazine “Cuban Messenger X“.

Librado Linares Garcia, a former political prisoner from the group of the 75 and the general secretary of the Movement, said he felt very satisfied to see that the group of activists managed to arrive to his home, despite the presence of the political police outside.  “In the meeting, there is a representation of the different delegations which exist of the Movement in other municipalities and provinces“, explained Linares, “In reality, this end of the year encounter also serves as a projection of the future“.

In regards to the “Cuban Messenger X” magazine, Linares Garcia says that it has been launched digitally for several weeks now, meaning that it has been published online in PDF format.  In this reunion, the magazine was being taken to the public in its print version.  The dissident leader recounted that “the magazine has had a positive acceptance from the people, and I think it will mark the behavior of the Movement and of the opposition in general in the central region of the country.  It will be a means by which we will communicate with the rest of the population“.

2012 has seen a sharp increase in the production of magazines, bulletins, and independent newspapers, both in digital media and in print, by dissident groups, activists, writers, and other sectors of civil society.

Each Saturday, the Cuban Reflection Movement tries to meet in different municipalities and cities of the central provinces to carry out public pro-freedom demonstrations, carry out debates, vigils, or other civic activities.  For the most part, these encounters are met with aggressive actions by the political police, who beat, detain and/or deport the activists, as can be seen  in this video. However, the Movement always manages to carry out some sort of activity.  This Saturday 29th, many of its members were able to come together for a moment of celebration and activism, despite the fact that a number of police agents were keeping watch over the home.

The following video, although not in the best of quality, captures the moment of Saturday’s encounter.  It was sent by Maydelis Gonzalez Almeida, a renown activist of the Movement who, despite countless arrests, continues carrying out her activism on the streets of Cuba.  The activists are proudly shouting “Cuban Reflection Movement” in the short clip:

Dissidents in Villa Clara Refuse to Accept their Homes as Prisons (VIDEO)

(The video above shows images of the details in this post, when 3 activists were being surrounded by regime agents, via: Maydelis Gonzalez Almeida)

The home of dissident couple Maydelis González Almeida and Nosbel Jamorca Buenavides, located in the municipality of Quemado de Guines, in Villa Clara province, was surrounded by members of the political police and State Security during the dawn hours of October 20th, who impeded the activists from going out to the streets.  Also present in the house was human rights activist  Juan Carlos Fernández MoralesThe previously mentioned are all members of theCuban Reflection Movementand were planning to travel to the municipality of Camajuani to participate in a meeting at the home of the leader of that organization,  Librado Linares García.

Linares García had Tweeted that morning that in addition to the situation in Quemado de Guines, dissidents were also surrounded in other municipalities such as Caibarien, Cumanayagua, and Vueltas, all of which belong to the province of Villa Clara.

According to Maydelis González, she noticed that her home was surrounded at around 5 AM.  “When I took a glance outside I saw several State Security and police agents stationed there.  They told me, my husband and Juan Carlos that we could not step out and that had to stay inside our homes“, explained the dissident, highlighting that the operation was being led under the direction of Jose Roque, a State Security official from Quemado de Guines.

The response of the activists was firm:  “We are not going to accept our homes as prisons“.


Agent Roque told them that if they kept trying to step out, Maydelis would be taken to Penal Instruction in Santa Clara and that the two men would be detained in dungeons of the Quemado de Guines Police Unit.

I told them that they could send me wherever they wished“, said Maydelis, “but I was going to step out of my house…and so we continued with our plans“.

The agents continued with the police cordon- which can be seen in the video attached to this post- but the response of the activists was to start shouting slogans against the agents and so that the citizens could hear, such as “Down with Raul because Fidel no longer exists“, and “The Streets Belong to the People“.

Quickly, the police officers called the delegate of Quemado de Guines, known as Jose Lazaro, to bring his Lada vehicle (the green car which can be seen in the video) and they shoved us into the car and we were taken to the Quemado de Guines Unit until afternoon hours“.

In that Unit, there was also another activist who was detained- Yosmel Martinez Corcho, of the Central Opposition Coalition.

After the detention, the 4 dissidents were sent back to the home of Maydelis and Nosbel, where they carried out a meeting and where they continued to shout slogans against their oppressors.

The video attached to this post is courtesy of Maydelis Gonzalez Almeida, from the Cuban Reflection Movement.  The quality of the images are not perfect, considering it was recorded with a cellphone from inside the home, but one can clearly hear the slogans being shouted by the dissidents.  

For more information from Cuba: 

Maydelis González Almeida – Cell Phone- +5358-217-833

Librado Linares García – Twitter: @LibradoLinares

 

The Citizen’s Demand for Another Cuba Continues to Count on Support of the Population

The Citizen’s Demand for Another Cuba, document which demands the Cuban regime to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, continues to count on increasing support and acceptance from the popultation, according to former political prisoner of conscience and leader of the Cuban Reflection Movement, Librado Linares Garcia.

Linares Garcia explains that this past Monday, October 15th, dissident Niurcy Acosta Pacheco, also from the Cuban Reflection Movement, handed out more than 50 copies of the Demand amongst the local population in the Central Park of the town of Vueltas, in the municipality of Camajuani, of Villa Clara province.

While she was handing out the documents, an agent of the National Revolutionary Police known locally as ‘Guarapitos’ snatched the copies from her hands“, said Linares, pointing out that the activist did not accept this attitude from the official.  “With tremendous civic courageness, Niurcy took back the papers from the agent’s hands and carried out a public protest and contnued to hand out the documents to the population“.

The police agent could not arrest the dissident, considering that she was receiving lots of solidarity from the everyday people.  “These Demands for Another Cuba were very well accepted amongst the population of Vueltas“, affirmed Librado Linares.

Meanwhile, that same day dozens of other copies of the Demand were given out in the municipality of Quemado de Guines (Villa Clara) by the dissident couple  Maydelis González Almeida and Nosbel Jomorca Beovides.  Both of them told Linares that the initiative also had “a very positive acceptance among the locals” and that no arrests took place.

Although the government is doing everything possible to oppress us and to confiscate all copies of the Demand for Another Cuba, it is getting very difficult for them.  The document is being handed out, we are advancing very much and of all of this, the most important news is that the Cuban people are accepting the Demand and they also agree with the information in the document“.

Other activities such as vigils and concerts in support of the Citizen’s Demand for Another Cuba have been carried out throughout the island.  Meanwhile, members of divese pro-freedom groups are also handing out copies of the Demand to their neighbors, everday citizens and even their oppressors.

Visit the website of the Citizen’s Demand for Another Cuba to read its content and add your signature by clicking here.

Notes on Beatings, Arrests, and Vigilance (Nov. 1 & 2, 2011)

Caridad Caballero Batista denounces that the day of November 2nd began with arrests, beatings, and a strong vigilance throughout Eastern Cuba.  Luis Felipe Rojas narrates his arrest alongside Librado Linares on November 1st.

As of the very early morning hours here in Holguin, various homes of dissidents have been completely taken and surrounded by the political police“, explains the dissident Caridad Caballero Batista.  She adds, “At around 7 am, Denis Pino Basulto was arrested right outside his home. It was a violent arrest, according to what his wife told me.  They applied a headlock on him and they took him away in a police vehicle“.  Just a few weeks ago, Denis Pino suffered a similar arrest, also when he was stepping outside of his house.  The young dissident was recently fired from his job for his anti-dictatorship stance.

In Gibara, the son of Leonides Trinidad Rodriguez- Josue- told me that his mother was also detained.  In her case it occurred in the bus terminal and it was also very violent.  She was kicked a lot and was shoved into the a Operational Guard vehicle in that same manner.  She was taken to the Frontier Unit“, adds Batista.

In the same vein, homes across the region also awoke to a heavy police presence.  The agents surrounded homes and impeded dozens of activists from mobilizing.  In towns like Buenaventura the political police has maintained strict vigilance over democracy activists, as well.  Also, there are various homes surrounded in Cacocum, Holguin, as confirmed by Berta Guerrero and in San German, according to Luis Felipe Rojas.  Rojas himself was victim of an arrest on November 1st after assisting a non-violent struggle lecture taught by former political prisoner of conscience Librado Linares.

Librado Linares

I was on my way from Baracoa to Holguin to the home of Caridad Caballero, but upon nearly arriving the political police quickly intercepted me and Librado Linares“, tells Rojas, explaining that the operation consisted of various officials and a police vehicle.  “Once detained, they took us to the Pedernales Detention Center.  They took all of Librado Linares’ belongings, which were materials he used for his class, including pamphlets he had given out to his students and which he had planned to continue giving“.  Those pamphlets explained the importance of the non-violent struggle, which according to Rojas is a very efficient method of struggle.  “Those in power know that non-violence can knock down totalitarian regimes, that is why they are so fearful“.

Librado Linares was deported to his home in Camaguey, while Luis Felipe was deported to his town of San German.  Although this time they did not confiscate any of his belongings, the accustomed threats were not left out.  “They told me I could not leave my house… the same old story“.

Every Wednesday Caridad Caballero offers her home in Holguin city and hosts a vigil, a prayer group, or a simple meeting to pray for the political prisoners, demand their release, and show moral support to them and their families, as well as to other people suffering political persecution or similar issues.  For this reason, Rojas and Linares were on their way to her home, though this time it was not possible.  Caballero adds that “Juan Sacaria Verdecia Torres and Gilberto Leyva were also on their way to my home this morning when they were arbitrarily detained.  Now, we do not know their whereabouts.  Also, we do not know what is happening with our other brothers and sisters who were supposed to come because we have not been able to establish communication…it seems they are also detained.  We do not know what will happen to them“.  Another possibility, besides being detained,  is that their telephone lines have been blocked and intercepted by the political police, a frequently employed tactic which attempts to cut communication among dissidents.

Nevertheless, a group of 8 dissidents (3 from Velazco in the city of Gibara and the rest from Holguin) were able to surpass the repressive chain of political police and State Security agents and arrive at the home of Caballero Batista, where they will go on and carry out the planned activities.

———-

For more information on the non-violence course taught by Librado Linares, Luis Felipe Rojas has published an entry on his blog in which he describes his experience in the class.  It can be read here: “The obsession for freedom”.

Steps for a New Nation: The Declaration of Unity

Various distinguished members of the Cuban resistance have put together a new document in which they call on the unification of Cuba’s opposition.  Among the representatives of these “principles for a new nation” are Oscar Elias Biscet, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, Guillermo Farinas, Librado Linares, Guido Sigler Amaya, and others.  More than just a document, it is a clear sign that the Cuban opposition could unite to demand the same thing for all: absolute freedom.

Here is the text, translated into English by Babalu Blog’s Alberto de la Cruz:

THE FIRST STEPS TOWARDS A NEW NATION

Cuba was once a prosperous nation that counted on democratic institutions and a flourishing economy when it was compared to the rest of the world. The communist dictatorship destroyed not only its economic foundations, but also its moral structures. Now, as a new generation of Cubans, we are proposing the dismantling of this despicable system and the construction of a new nation founded on the recognized universal principles of peace, liberty, and the wellbeing of its people.

FROM DICTATORSHIP TO DEMOCRACY

The Cuban communist regime is a military dictatorship that has maintained power for more than fifty years through the use of terror, intimidation, lies, disinformation, demagoguery, political opportunism, and violence against its adversaries and even its own people.

The Castro hierarchy—first under the sole direction of Fidel Castro and later his brother Raul—has not only assumed political power, it has also extended its control to all spheres of national life, from the social to the economic. Everything is done to ensure the Cuban nation is a highly militarized society where no one is allowed to breathe even the most minimal vestige of liberty.

The Castro tyranny’s policy can be described without fear of exaggeration as one of genocide, which seeks the total extermination of its adversaries. Its actions speak for themselves:

—It has carried out hundreds of extrajudicial executions of its opponents and thousands more after trials without due process.

—It has imprisoned and arbitrarily repressed hundreds of thousands.

—It has violated individual rights enumerated in its own constitution.

—It has illegally confiscated without compensation hundreds of thousands of private properties.

—It has persecuted, imprisoned, and forcibly exiled hundreds of religious individuals of different beliefs.

—It has illegally abolished the Democratic Constitution of 1940 and has imposed the monstrous Communist Constitution of 1976.

—It has dismantled all the democratic institutions created by the nation during more than fifty years, and has violated the population’s most elemental civil and human rights.

—It has committed barbaric acts such as the sinking of the 13 de Marzo tugboat where dozens of men, women, and children were murdered.

—It executed three young men only for attempting to leave the country, and it criminally shot down two airplanes over international waters carrying four human rights activists on a mission to save lives in the Florida Straits.

—It has imprisoned dozens of peaceful opposition members, among them several intellectuals, journalists, and independent librarians during the Black Spring of 2003.

—It has used inhumane and degrading torture and cruelty against defenseless political prisoners in the country’s prisons.

—It has carried out massive arrests, beatings, and even assassinated those who opposed them, including women and children.

This has been the mind blowing panorama and the injustices suffered by the people of Cuba who have struggled, almost always alone, since 1959. To finally put an end to this lamentable state, at this moment a strong, non-violent civil movement is surging, proposing the reestablishment of civil society and winning back the rights and liberties of our people.

Democracy is not a dream, but a tangible reality that the Cuban people can obtain through non-violent civil struggle supported by ideas and procedures meticulously formulated by outstanding contemporary academics. The same give peaceful weapons to the population for the resistance against tyrannies, both current and future, and for the defense of their liberties.

This method utilizes psychological, social, economic, and political weapons to liberate the citizens from submission and obedience, allowing them to suppress the dictatorial government’s sources of power.

In other words, the non-violent civic struggle is a massive defiance of the regime, and it assumes the unity of democratic forces and those forces with the people.

The Fundamental Principles of this Declaration are:

Work towards a change to a democratic system based on a true State of Rights, and with a modern economy that is developed and highly efficient.

Achieve a transition based on constitutional norms that leads to the reestablishment of our traditional democratic institutions and all universally recognized liberties.

Strengthen the struggle for the respect of human rights, and achieve a society free of political prisoners.

Respect the fundamental rights established by the International Pact for Civil and Political Rights, as well as the right to life and the freedom of thought.

Encourage and strengthen unity among Cubans, regardless of where they live, based on fraternity and ethics as well as their individual relationships and the struggle we have before us.

Advocate and strengthen among the citizenry the method of non-violent civic struggle.

Create a free Cuba without ties to our recent past by the disintegration of the regime, and the eradication from the minds of our people the complacent attitude that has been predominate these past 52 years of tyranny.

Increase international solidarity with the Cuban people and support for its just struggle for the reestablishment of democracy.

Reaffirm that the Cuban people deserve a dignified life, where they can enjoy the liberties and the good things that complete happiness offers. This will only become reality when we all incorporate ourselves into the struggle for democratic change.

The signers of this declaration consider it a first step towards a definitive consolidation of the unity that will make possible an integral project for a new nation.

Look to the Cuban people with the objective of carrying out a nation project that represents the most longed for aspirations of its heroes and martyrs throughout its history.

In this quest we are inspired by our faith in a Higher Being, our love for our beloved Cuba, and deep and unequivocal patriotism; in addition, absolute respect for our flag, for our national anthem, for other patriotic symbols, and for the heroes and martyrs of our struggle for the liberty and independence of our country throughout the history.

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