Pedazos de la Isla

"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation

Category Archives: Luis Enrique Lozada

Ladies in White march in Cuba in honor of Mother’s Day

The Ladies in White marched through the streets of Cuba this Sunday, May 12th, in honor of Mother’s Day, sending out greetings to Cuban women around the world, as well as a special tribute to Laura Pollan Toledo, deceased founder of the group.  It was confirmed that some women suffered reprisals at the hands of the political police, although the majority were able to carry out their weekly march, flowers at hand, to assist Mass and pray for the freedom of all political prisoners.

In Havana, 48 Ladies in White marched down 5th Avenue accompanied by 29 male human rights activists.  They dedicated their walk to all the mothers of the world, according to a tweet published by former political prisoner and dissident leader Angel Moya Acosta (@jangelmoya).

Leticia Ramos Herrería, representative of the group in Matanzas, said that a total of 17 women marched and assisted Mass in the entire province.  She added that in Cardenas, city where she resides, “11 Ladies in White were able to march for 11 blocks after Mass all the way to the Monument of the Mothers, where we deposited 2 bouquets of flowers“.

After that tribute, Herreria explained that the activists began to shout “Long Live Laura Pollan” for various minutes.  In this occasion there were no arrests but there was a constant vigilance by the police.

Meanwhile“, recounted Leticia, “Citizens were congratulating us and wishing us a Happy Mother’s Day when we marched by them.  There was a display of solidarity“.

In the province of Holguin things looked a bit different.  Although 10 Ladies in White managed to arrive at their respective temples, some were arbitrarily arrested by the political police.

Berta Guerrero Segura, representative of the women’s group for the mentioned province, said that all the Ladies in White from Holguin “awoke that morning with their homes surrounded by State Security, under strict vigilance.  The operation had started at dawn“.

Two of the detainees were Eimirce Cespedes Estrada (from Velasco, Holguin) and Yarelys Castaneda Almarales (Holguin).  The latter “was detained together with her 1 year old son who she was carrying in her arms.  Just like that, the political police took them to a dungeon for a number of hours“.

Her husband was also physically assaulted by various agents who applied a headlock on him when he came in defense of his wife.

Guerrero adds that Yolanda Perez Diaz, who is not a Lady in White but a member of the dissident Claridad Movement of Holguin, “was intercepted by agent Adony Charles, of State Security, who told her that she was on his bad side that morning and that he wouldn’t let her come out of her house“.

I am denouncing the constant abuse, the harassment, and the psychological war carried out by State Security against us, the Ladies in White of Holguin.  These violations are constant.  In fact, they have told us that we will never be able to go to church“, said Guerrero Segura.

In Palma Soriano 33 Ladies in White marched and successfully made it to church while in the municipality of Santiago de Cuba another 21 Ladies made it, according to declarations made by Ana Celia Rodriguez to this blog.  Rodriguez was one of the Cubans recently on hunger strike demanding the release of activist Luis Enrique Lozada Igarza.  Her health, like that of the majority of all other former strikers, is still delicate.

The majority of the members of the Ladies in White are mothers and chose to dedicate the symbolic date in honor of so many women who have risked their lives fighting for the freedom of not only their families but also of the entire nation, as is the case of Sonia Garro Alfonso, a Lady in White and Cuban mother who is currently in prison and has been for 1 year and 2 months.

Not even on Mother’s Day does the regime respect these women, carrying out arrests and keeping them under strict vigilance, but they keep praying, they keep speaking out, they keep marching.

In honor of Mother’s Day, here’s a video made by the authors of this blog in 2012, in honor of the Cuban woman:

For more information from Cuba, contact:

Leticia Ramos Herrería- Cell Phone: +52-481-807
Berta Guerrero Segura- Cell Phone: +53-632-110
Ana Celia Rodríguez- Cell Phone: +52-996-531

17-year old Enrique Lozada calls upon the youth, assures that “Cuba will soon be free”

Enrique Lozada Aguedo

Seventeen-year old Enrique Lozada Aguedo has proven to be a representation of Cuba’s future, of so many youths that have been abandoned by the totalitarian system and who are full of hope, despite the repressive tactics of the regime.  Being the youngest of the more than 60 UNPACU strikers during the month of April and May, he made it very clear that he was willing to die to the freedom of his father, Luis Enrique Lozada Igarza, and to demand that human rights be respected and upheld.

But what worries the Cuban dictatorship the most is not that the activist is willing to die, but that he is willing to live, for a new nation.

Now, Enrique sends out an important message.  He calls on the Cuban youth to defend their rights and assures that, very soon, there will be freedom in Cuba, because there are many who are willing to fight for it.  That’s what he had to say after more than 3 weeks on hunger strike, with a seriously affected health, but with a very strong spirit.  Listen to his message, in Spanish, below:

Transcription and English translation, here:

“I am seventeen years old.  I want to call on the youth of the world, not just the ones in my country.  I want to convoke them so that they manifest themselves against the injustices that daily attempt against family harmony.  I want to call on them to take a stand against all injustices that constantly go against our families, because we must fight against violence, against all things that violate our dignity and our morals.

I want to tell the Cuban authorities and the Cuban dictatorship that neither the beatings nor the imprisonments will stop us from demanding our rights.  We are going to keep demanding freedom, we are going to keep speaking up for a Cuba where there is democracy, and we are even willing to give our lives for our country, for the land where we were born, for our sky, we are willing to do it.

To the civilized world, where there is democracy and freedom, I say that Cuba will soon be free, and soon, in Cuba there will be social justice.  Cuba will soon be democratic.”

Massive hunger strike by UNPACU ends with the release of Luis Enrique Lozada

Luis Enrique Lozada (far right) and his family

A young Cuban can finally hug his father- unjustly imprisoned for nearly one month- and a massive hunger strike by more than 60 citizens has come to an end, yielding positive results.

The protest was initiated by members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) in demand for the release of activist Luis Enrique Lozada Igarza.  He was arrested by the political police on April 9th after they raided his home in Maffo, Contramaestre.  His crime?  Offering his house each Tuesday to impart courses on peaceful resistance and civil disobedience.  At the moment of his arrest, Lozada started a hunger strike.  Members of his family followed his protest, starting their own strikes.  Among them his 17-year old son Enrique Lozada, his wife Darmis Aguedo, his brother Arnoldo Lozada, and others.  In just a few days about a dozen other activists, under the lead of former political prisoner and leader of UNPACU Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, also started strikes.  Eventually, more than 60 dissidents in different regions such as Palma Soriano, Holguin, San Luis and Gibara were on hunger strike.

After what seemed like countless acts of repudiation, arrests, and threats by the political police, as well as serious health complications product of more than 4 weeks on strike, the activists achieved their objective on the night of May 7th: The authorities handed a document to Enrique Lozada, explaining that his father would be released, promising that he would be back home in Contramaestre on the following morning.

Upon confirming the news, the young activist finally stopped his strike, drinking juice.  Enrique moved the world after he published a video assuring that he was willing to die for his father.  His health was seriously affected.

“I am giving thanks in the name of the family and in the name of the hunger strikers, thanks to the hundreds of UNPACU activists that were carrying out different actions throughout the country, thanks to activists of other organizations who joined us in solidarity, thanks to our brothers in exile who have always backed us with solidarity”, expressed Jose Daniel Ferrer in one of  the first audios  published on the YouTube account of UNPACU.

The release of Lozada Igarza did not come easy.  The same day in which the news was made public- May 7th- the regime unleashed a brutal wave of repression against various strikers and other activists showing solidarity.  On that same afternoon, the political police assauled the Juan Bruno Zayas Hospital of Santiago de Cuba, where some of the strikers had been taken, forcefully removing them.  Some were beat and abandoned in different parts of the province.  In the case of Lady in White Ana Celia Rodriguez, police agents ripped off her IV, which caused her much bleeding, according to a report by her son, the young activist Anyer Antonio Blanco Rodriguez.  The same occurred with Ernique Lozada, who even passed out after strong aggressions.

Another activist who was forcefully removed from the hospital was 60-year old Dionisio Blanco Rodriguez, while activists displaying solidarity in front of the hospital were also beat and detained, as was the case of Ovidio Martin Castellanos, among others.

In Holguin, the hunger strikers Franklin Peregrino del Toro and Pedro Leiva Gongora were denied medical assistance on various occasions, but the protests by a number of dissidents forced the local hospital to assist him. The State-sponsored violence could not impede activists from joining the strikers in support.  In Pinar del Rio, more than 50 dissidents held fasts, backing the call for Lozada Igarza’s freedom.  Members of other pro-freedom movements like the Ladies in White, the Republican Party of Cuba and the OZT National Resistance Front carried out marches, protests, encounters and other activities in solidarity.

A campaign started by everyday citizens was created outside of Cuba, where activists used social networks to denounce the situation plaguing the strikers and in search of support.  Various petitions were created with the purpose of taking the details to international human rights organizations, while in Twitter the hashtag #HuelgadeHambreUNPACU (“HungerStrikeCuba”) was created.  This pressure led various politicians and other public figures to make public statements in favor of Luis Enrique Lozada’s release.

Luis Enrique Ferrer Garcia, representative of UNPACU in exile, started a fast alongside other activists in a display of support for those risking their lives on the island.  They maintained the fast until the very moment in which Lozada’s liberation was announced.

This has been another series of actions that prove that Cubans can achieve positive things in their country and it is more proof that citizens do have power.  The internal opposition, through the civic protests of UNPACU and others, left the dictatorship with no other option but to release human rights activist Luis Enrique Lozada.

It is clear that the regime has sent a message of violence to the opposition with their wave of aggressions during the strike, specially on the last day, just minutes before releasing the activist.  But dissidents have also responded, sending their own message to the dictatorship:

“We will keep up the struggle…we have been able to get one man out of the dungeons of the tyranny, but other political prisoners are still behind bars in inhumane conditions”, said Jose Daniel Ferrer, mentioning more than 40 UNPACU activists who are imprisoned for having different ideas, “but we will continue fighting for their freedom, and for the freedom of Cuba, with much more strength, with much more dedication, and much more desire than ever”.

*Congratulations to all those who risked their lives for the release of an innocent man. – (Pedazos de la Isla)

Police unleashes violence against hunger strikers, protesting activists

Barcelona-based blogger Joan Antoni Guerrero from “Punt de Vista” has reported about the repressive situation against the hunger strikers in Cuba, where it seems that this Tuesday, 7th of May, State police has attacked some strikers and activists.  My translation of Guerrero’s report:

puntdevista

Various reports of activists in the last couple of minutes on various social Networks denounce that the political police has raided the Hospital of Santiago de Cuba, where there are a number of dissidents from the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) on hunger strike.  According to some sources there has been violence and beatings.  It also seems that the phone lines of various dissidents have been blocked.  Meanwhile, detained activist Luis Enrique Lozada was taken to intensive care, according to “Diario de Cuba”.  The UNPACU hunger strikers started the hunger strike to demand his liberation.

The cited article from ‘Diario de Cuba’ contains an interview with Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, leader of UNPACU, mentioning that Lozada’s wife, Darmis Aguedo, “was able to see him and said he was very deteriorated physically, but said he would keep his posture until he is freed or until he dies, because he is not going to serve a sentence for a crime he did not commit”.

Blogger and activist Frank Abel Garcia (in Cuba) also tweeted about the situation:

frankabel

TRANSLATION: “They have informed me that the political police beat the activists which were outside the hospital”.

Former political prisoner of conscience Pedro Arguelles Moran wrote on his Twitter (@PedroArguellesM):

pedroarguellesTRANSLATION: “Luis Enrique Lozada transfered on Saturday to Provincial Hospital of Santiago.  39 activists protested and beat by State Security.  Health of strikers worsening”.

More than 60 hunger strikers have put their lives on the line to demand the release of Luis Enrique Lozada, including his 17-year old son Enrique Lozada, one of the strikers in worst conditions.  Lozada (father) has been detained unjustly since April 9th.

More information as the news develops…

Update: Tense situation for Cuban hunger strikers who demand release of jailed activist (Videos)

Dissident leader Jose Daniel Ferrer weakened during 19th day of hunger strike

Youngest hunger striker, Enrique Lozada (17) during hunger strike

More activists keep joining the massive hunger strike encompassing more than 60 people throughout Eastern Cuba, demanding the release of detained dissident Luis Enrique Lozada Igarza, while the other strikers who have already been refusing to eat for more than 3 weeks maintain their protest, which has led to the deterioration of their health.  The Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) has been publishing a series of videos and audios in their  YouTube channel with updates on the situation.In this video (above), the youngest of the strikers, 17-year old Enrique Lozada, who is the son of Luis Enrique Lozada, defends his protest before various doctors sent by the government to try and make him give up on his demands in the Juan Bruno Zayas hospital of Santiago de Cuba.

“With the level of stress I have  right now, knowing that my mother is also on hunger strike, as well as my uncle, seeing as how my family is being torn apart, do you really think I feel like living?”, the young Cuban tells the team of doctors, “Why am I going to live knowing that my father is dying in a prison cell because of a crime he never committed?  Knowing that my family is falling to pieces”.

The video concludes with the protest of various hunger strikers that are present in that room.  They point out that the regime has ignored their demands and has not even acknowledged the situation of Luis Enrique Lozada and the other strikers.

In this audio (above), Darmis Aguedo, wife of Luis Enrique Lozada, mother of Enrique, and also on hunger strike, explains that she was able to see her husband recently in the Provincial Hospital of Santiago.  She said he was being held in an “isolated” room and under the “permanent” custody of two armed police guards.  They were able to speak for a few minutes.  She said he was still strong in spirit but his health proved otherwise, as he has lots of weight due to the hunger strike.

Meanwhile, independent journalist Alexei Jimenez informed on his Twitter account (@jugandomelavida) that the hunger strikers in Holguin- Franklin Peregrino del Toro and Pedro Leiva Gongora- were taken to a hospital for a few hours on the night of May 5th.  Berta Guerrero, a member of the Ladies in White and wife of Franklin Peregrino, offered more details.  She said both strikers had been denied medical assistance various times.

On the afternoon of Sunday May 5th, various activists directed themselves to the nearest medical center, asking for an ambulance for Pergrino and Leiva but the medical employees ignored them.  A few hours later, a doctor finally showed up at the house, taking both dissidents to the Lenin Hospital to be hydrated.  Guerrero explains that the health of the Holguin hunger strikers- whom have already been in their protest for 15 days- has drastically weakened but that they will maintain their protest “until Lozada Igarza is freed”.  In Gibara (Holguin), another 4 activists have joined the strike.  The response of the political police has been to organize acts of repudiation against them.

Solidarity with the hunger strikers on behalf of the internal opposition has been national, however.  In Palma Soriano, various UNPACU members recently carried out a public march, demanding Luis Enrique’s liberation, as can be observed in the following video:

Former political prisoners of conscience Ángel Moya Acosta and Félix Navarro Rodríguez were able to travel to Santiago de Cuba to show solidarity with Enrique Lozada, Ana Celia Rodriguez, Jose Daniel Ferrer and other strikers this Sunday, May 5th, while the Ladies in White dedicated their Sunday march to Luis Enrique Lozada.

On the morning of May 6th, former political prisoner Jorge Luis Garcia Perez ‘Antunez’, leader of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front, published a declaration in the name of the mentioned pro-freedom coalition in solidarity with the hunger striking activists.

As for the international scene, several activists have created a petition directed to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other organizations so that there be an increase in solidarity with the case of Luis Enrique Lozada, his family, and all the strikers who have put their lives at risk for freedom.  The petition can be signed by clicking here.

The cell phones of more than 40 dissidents in Cuba, the majority members of UNPACU, have been blocked in the past couple of days in order to prevent them from publishing information about the strike.  Regardless, activists have been reporting the details any possible way they can.  The lives of all those who are taking part in this strike are in danger, but they have all said they will continue onward, pressuring the dictatorship to free a Cuban who has not committed a crime and is being held behind bars.

“Urgent Solidarity” with Lady in White Ana Celia Rodriguez, one of the hunger strikers. Artwork by Rolando Pulido

The story of a dissident family in Banes, Holguin

Gertrudis Ojeda with her three children outside her home in Banes, Holguin

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.

Yoandri Naoki with his daughter, Bianca, 6 years old

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

Dissident rapper still being held in prison and in a judicial limbo

Young dissident rapper and human rights activist Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, member of the hip-hop duo ‘Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso’ (‘The Unwanted Children’), is still being held in the Provincial Prison of Granma, also known as “Las Mangas”, without any formal accusations or without having passed through trial, according to his aunt Jaqueline Garcia Jaenz, member of Cuba’s Ladies in White.

Garcia also highlights that in addition to being an arbitrary action, considering that the musician did not commit a crime and is being falsely accused of ‘attempt and resistance’ after police agents raided his home on the 26th of March, the fact that he is jailed in a provincial prison is another violation of the law.

Angel Yunier’s detention in Las Mangas violates a new law which was passed on March 18th which dictates that citizens who have pending trials cannot be kept in provincial prisons, but instead must be held in municipal penitentiaries”, said Garcia, “but Angel is being held in the Provincial prison and is there for a reason.  They want to invent a crime for him; he has a pending trial but is innocent and has been in that center for nearly a month”.

Remon Arzuaga was arrested on March 26th, just days after having been beat and detained for various days after handing out pro-freedom documents.  He was on hunger strike for various weeks and stopped the protest after the authorities told him they would revise his case, but to date, they have not kept their word. Activists who know him say that the repression against him is because he attracts many everyday people and chats with them, taking the pro-freedom message of the internal opposition to them.  Also because of the lyrics of his rap songs.

Welcome to Bayamo…criticizing has become suicide, I get burned and I don’t ask for help, I will criticize without mercy, I fight and I know the consequences”, go the lyrics from the single titled ‘Bayamo’ by the rap duo, “Bayamo this is my trench, I don’t look outside, my family is here inside, a seed which continues active and keeps producing, I will keep writing for you, a real Bayamo native, lyrics without salary is how I live, this is protest and let it be known”.

Meanwhile, Jaqueline Garcia also denounces the situation of her husband Ariel Arzuaga Pena, also a political prisoner, who is not receiving adequate medical attention in his penitentiary.

On the 18th of April, Ariel awoke with his two legs swollen below the knees.  There were no doctors present at that moment and a nurse told him to not worry about it”, explained the Lady in White, “a few days later a doctor finally visited him and prescribed an increase in the dose of medication for hypertension, but the swelling continued.  A few days later they checked him again, this time with another doctor, and he said to lower the dosage.  In other words, it’s a contradiction on behalf of the doctors and I really don’t know what they want to do to him”.

They have still not diagnosed the cause of the swelling since the 18th of April”, she said.

Garcia highlights that the hunger strike by more than 60 human rights activists of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) taking place right now throughout the island, especially in the Eastern region, in addition to demanding the freedom of dissident Luis Enrique Lozada Igarza, are also protesting against the increased level of repression against UNPACU activists, like Angel Yunier, and other members of the internal opposition.

The strikers are already suffering serious health problems, and recently, the youngest of them- Enrique Lozada (17)- was urgently rushed to the hospital, alongside Lady in White Ana Celia Rodriguez and the elderly activist Dionisio Blanco Rodriguez.

For more information from Cuba , please contact:
Jaqueline García Jaénz- Cell Phone: +58-401-025

Hunger strikers in Cuba: Minor, Lady in White and elderly man rushed to hospital

Enrique Lozada, 17 years old

After more than 2 weeks on hunger strike, three activists of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) have been urgently rushed to the JuanBrunoZayasHospital in Santiago   de Cuba due to serious health complications.

The strikers are Lady in White Ana Celia Rodriguez (suffering from diabetes), the elderly activist Dionisio Blanco Rodriguez, and 17-year-old Enrique Lozada. The latter is the son of Luis Enrique Lozada Igarza who was arbitrarily arrested on April 9th. His arrest was what led to the massive strike by UNPACU activists. Now, the health of all the strikers is getting worse.

Anyer Antonio Blanco Rodriguez, a youth activist from UNPACU, published various messages on Twitter (@anyerantoniobla) detailing the situation.

“The general health of the hunger strikers is critical”, read one message written by Blanco Rodriguez.

In an audio published by “Radio Republica” Anyer points out that the three hunger strikers have been taken to the same hospital where Wilman Villar Mendoza was, while Luis Enrique Lozada has been confined to the same exact cell in the Aguadores Prison of Santiago where Villar was tortured and taken to his death. Wilman Villar was a political prisoner who died after a lengthy hunger strike in early 2012.

Recently, other strikers have also been taken to hospitals, as was the case of Lady in White Adriana Nunez Pascual and the activists from Holguin, Franklin Peregrino del Toro and Pedro Leiva Gongora.

There is much worry about the health of the strikers, especially the young Enrique Lozada. In a recent video published by UNPACU he said that he is willing to take his protest, for the liberation of his father, “to the final consequences”.

“We need the solidarity of all Cuban, inside and outside of the island”, expressed Blanco Rodriguez.

“I am not afraid to die for my father’s freedom”: Youngest hunger striker speaks (VIDEO)

“We demand the release of Luis Enrique Lozada”. Artwork by Rolando Pulido

In a video recorded by the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), Enrique Lozada speaks during his third week on hunger strike, a protest started to demand the release of his father, activist Luis Enrique Lozada Igarza, violently arrested by the political police last April 9th in Maffo, Contramaestre.  Luis Enrique is also on hunger strike and is being confined in inhumane conditions in the Aguadores Prison of Santiago de Cuba.

More than 60 other dissidents have declared themselves on strike with the same motive, including dissident leader Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia.  At age 17, Enrique is the youngest striker of the group.  In this video, one can see that he is clearly weakened and already affected, health-wise, by the protest.

His spirit, however, remains intact.

“I am not afraid to die knowing that I am defending and fighting for my father’s freedom”, the young Lozada says in this video, “I prefer to die than to know my father is in prison without having committed a crime”.

All of the hunger strikers have had a drastic decline in their health, while the Cuban government has so far ignored their demands and has been torturing Luis Enrique Lozada, mentally and physically.

At this point, solidarity is crucial.

Here is the video (by UNPACU) with English subtitles (my translation):

Health of hunger strikers in Holguin worsens

Independent journalist Alexei Jiménez Almarales, from Holguin, has sent the following note with an update on the worsening health of some of the hunger strikers in the mentioned province which have joined the protest of more than 50 activists of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), demanding the release of activist Luis Enrique Lozada, detained and on hunger strike after a brutal arrest last April 9th.

The hunger strikers in Holguin are Franklin Peregrino del Toro and Pedro Leiva Gongora. Here is their situation:

Health of Holguin activists on hunger strike is worsening

Pedro Leiva

Franklin Peregrino

Strong headaches and weakness are plaguing hunger strikers Pedro Leiva Gongora and Franklin Peregrino del Toro.

These two dissidents form part of a group of various dozens of hunger strikers demanding the release of Luis Enrique Lozada.

Although more peaceful dissidents have been joining the strike, the Cuban government has not pronounced itself in the national media, and the everyday people remain uninformed about what is happening in the nation.

“We cannot allow them to die… we will take to the streets it necessary. The dictatorship has gone way too far”, expressed Rosa Maria Naranjo Nieves, a member of the Ladies in White.

For more information from Cuba, contact:

ALEXEI JIMENEZ ALMARALES
Phone Number: 52552925

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