Pedazos de la Isla

"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation

Category Archives: Noemí Hidalgo Gómez

Group of Ladies in White Defy their Oppressors in Holguin, Carry out Successful March

This past Sunday August 12th 2012, 9 Ladies in White in the city of Holguin did not let their violent arrests at the hands of political police and State Security agents keep them from carrying out their habitual Sunday march towards the local Jesus Christ Redeemer of Men Catholic Church.

Zuleidis Perez Velazquez, member of the women’s group and resident of Holguin, was one of the 14 detainees taken into custody in a “very violent” manner.  She adds that they were all “distributed throughout the province of Holguin, to different National Revolutionary Police Units, as if we were some sort of baggage.  It was not until 12 PM that we were taken out of the units in cop cars, State Security vehicles, and buses.  We were left in different points of Holguin, from 4 to 10 kilometers away from our homes“.

The rest of the detainees were Berta Guerrero Segura, Yoandra Garrido Silva, Mayra Silva, Mayra Rosa Rodríguez Silva, Romelia Pina González, Barbara Bauza, Marlenis Abreu Almaguer, Nelda Molina Leyva, Lidia Hernández Pérez, Rosa María Naranjo Nieves, Danay Mendiola, Glisedis Pina González, Eleney Villamonte Cardozo and Noemi Hidalgo Gómez.

Their were reports of arrests of three other male dissidents, Alexei Jiménez, Rolando Sánchez Duran and Luis Miguel Carralero, who also try to assist Mass each Sunday “because they are Catholics and members of the Church, and also morally show their support for us, the Ladies in White.  Police agents have been arresting them each Sunday when they try to leave their homes, and they are usually taken to different and undisclosed locations“.

On the day before- Saturday August 11th- Perez Velazquez denounced that there were other arrests in Holguin:  Marcos Limas Dalmao (husband of Adisnidia Cruz Segreo), Luis Manuel Gonzalez and Antonio Pupo Caballero.

However, Zuleidis explained that two women-  Lisbeth Peña  Hernández and Liliana Campo- managed to make it inside the church in Holguin, where they participated in Mass and then marched with their white clothes and flowers.  As soon as the other 14 women were released, 9 of them were able to carry out their march successfully, defying the repressive forces.

Despite all these setbacks, 9 of us Ladies in White were able to meet up after they released us, at around 1 pm, and managed to carry out our peaceful march on the same street where the church is located“, said Perez Velazquez,  “this was something that our oppressors were not expecting, but we achieved it.  They must be infuriated, but so they and the rest of the world know: we are not going to stop.  Regardless of the detentions, the repression, and the beatings we are subjected to each and every Sunday, we are not going to stop.  We are not taking steps back in this peaceful struggle“.

For more information from Cuba:

Zuleidis Pérez Velázquez- Cell Phone: +5358- 244- 778

Lady in White: “We are Going to Continue Moving Forward and Nothing Can Hold us Back”

After having surpassed police operations for two consecutive Sundays, this past 27th of May Lady in White and independent journalist Caridad Caballero Batista was once again arrested along with her husband Esteban Sandez Suarez as they were trying to assist Sunday Mass in the city of Holguin.  According to the activist, the violence occurred under the orders of State Security official Yordanys Martinez Leon, a well known local oppressor.

Just a few steps from my house, when we were trying to get to church at around 8:25 AM, agent Martinez Leon ran at me and quickly snatched my purse from my arm”,  said the activist, explaining that “that is what this specific agent always does first”. 

After the snatching of the purse, the official gave orders to a number of women dressed in green and who are members of the  Ministry of the Interior to continue with the arrest.  These agents twisted the arms of Caridad Caballero and shoved her into a police vehicle while other oppressors did the same with Esteban Sandez.  Both were taken to the Instructional Unit of Pedernales where they were confined to small, sealed-off and inhumane cells until 12:15 PM.

Some other Ladies in White in the city of Holguin who suffered the same fate were  Berta Guerrero Segura, Noemí Hidalgo Gómez and Adisnidia Cruz, among others.

According to Caballero Batista, there was a police operation consisting of constant vigilance and threats on behalf of countless political police officials throughout the entire week, until she finally was arrested on Sunday.  “Wherever I would go during the week, I had State Security agents following me“, she said.   “On Sunday, I awoke to find my house surrounded by a number of police vehicles State Security officials on motorcycles, National Police officers, and snitches from the Rapid Response Brigades“.  The dissident said that the latter constantly keep a watch over her and other local activists 24 hours a day.

Despite the constant persecution, Caballero Batista points out that another 5 Ladies in White were able to surpass police cordons and assist Mass in the Jesus Christ Redeemer of Men Church this past Sunday.

“We are victims of all sorts of violations just for demanding our rights to religious freedom and the complete freedom of all Cubans, and for simply going to Church to pray to God for our loved ones and for the freedom of all political prisoners.  But despite this repression, we are going to continue moving forward and nothing will hold us back.  I am letting State Security know this, as well as Fidel Castro and Raul Castro…they will have to kill us, but as long as we have strength we are going to continue taking to the streets to demand our rights”,  said Caridad Caballero Batista.

For more information from Cuba:

Caridad Caballero Batista – Cell Phone: +5352-629-749 // Twitter: @caricaballero

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