- @SteveColecchi But wouldnt it be more ethical for Church & @UN to tell the agressor (the regime) to stop as well? 1 day ago
- @SteveColecchi It would be nice to hear The Church or @UN tell the dictatorship to respect rights, as opposed to make them seem like victims 1 day ago
- @SteveColecchi Concentrating so much on the embargo is a distraction. Rest of the world practically does business w/ Cuba..still no rights. 1 day ago
- @SteveColecchi My concern is that there's too much for & against the embargo. The problem of #Cuba is the dictatorship 1 day ago
- @SteveColecchi the same gov in power today in Cuba is the same one that has murdered thousands and continues to arrest innocents 2 days ago
- @SteveColecchi I respect your POV but how is doing (more) business w/ the dictatorship going to improve human rights? 2 days ago
- @SteveColecchi The @UN & The Church should use that same energy 2 tell dictatorship of #Cuba 2 end its own embargo on rights of the people 2 days ago
- Cuban jailed rapper, El Critico, on hunger strike in #Cuba to protest his unjust imprisonment #Censorship #Rap #Music bit.ly/ZMIaEt 1 week ago
"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation
Category Archives: Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU)
November 19, 2013Posted by on
Dissident rapper Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga “El Critico” has been returned to Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo, where he was being held originally before starting his hunger strike which lasted 27 days and nearly cost his life. He has now been put in a cell where he is being denied medical assistance, confirmed his wife Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena.
“El Critico” suspended his hunger strike after State Security agents told him they would revise his case – a fabricated case of “attempt” created after agents beat him in his Bayamo home last 26th of March.
Now, the musician and UNPACU activist, has been returned to prison without medical assistance despite his very weak state of health (product of the lengthy strike) and other health ailments such as chronic gastritis.
Yudisbel Roseyo informs in this audio:
The campaign for Remon’s freedom, which originated on social networks and backed up by the hashtag #FreeElCritico, has kept going and will keep going until the young rapper is freed, affirm twitter users, bloggers and activists.
On her part, Roseyo Mojena has been victim of detentions and persecution at the hands of the political police due to her activism withing the Ladies in White in Bayamo.
October 13, 2013Posted by on
This week the Cuban regime denied two well-known dissidents their right to travel out of Cuba, providing little or no explanations as to why the decision was taken.
The first of the refusals occurred in Eastern Cuba – specifically in Santiago de Cuba – when former political prisoner and leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia was told by authorities on October 7th that he would not be able to acquire his passport. The functionaries said the activist could not travel for reasons of “public interest”, alleging he has engaged in criminal activities (in Cuba, political dissent is considered one of the highest offenses).
Ferrer Garcia was invited by the Unity Progress and Democracy Party to participate in an event in Europe. It was the second time the Cuban regime denied him his passport.
On Friday October 11th, Leticia Ramos Herreria – representative of the Ladies in White for the central province of Matanzas – received a negative response from Cuban authorities after she started travel procedures two weeks earlier.
“ ‘Your petition has been denied, we cannot give you your passport to travel”’, that’s what immigration official told me”, tweeted Leticia on Friday (@LeticiaRHCuba). No further explanations were provided.
Former political prisoner Ivan Hernandez (impeded from traveling as well on past occasions) also tweeted (@ivanlibre) about this situation, classifying it as “arbitrary” and pointing out that the Lady in White is in no way under an ‘extrapenal license’ that would impede here rights.
Leticia Ramos and Jose Daniel Ferrer are two of the many active opposition members on the island. Ramos is subject to frequent violent arrests every Sunday as she marches in Cardenas, Matanzas with other women for the freedom of all political prisoners and also engages in other activities in favor of the civil society. Ferrer heads UNPACU, one of the many active pro-freedom groups in the country which started in the East and has spread throughout the island with many members.
Meanwhile, Blanca Reyes – exiled Cuban activist in Spain and representative of the Ladies in White in Europe – was also denied the right of entry into Cuba this week to visit her elderly and sick father.
“My father fractured his hip, he is going to be operated and the government of Cuba refuses my entry into the country to see him. He is 93 years old”, wrote Blanca on the Ladies in White’s official Twitter account, @DamasdBlanco.
Reforms in Cuba?
September 26, 2013Posted by on
The audio-visual series #PassItOn once again highlights the situation of Cuban dissident rapper and pro-freedom activist Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga ‘El Critico’, who is still behind bars in the Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo since March of 2013. He has been subjected to beatings and threats at the hands of his jailers. On occasions, he has been denied his right to telephone calls and family visits. During the month of July 2013 he contracted cholera and was in a very critical state of health. Although he has recuperated from the condition, he is still suffering from another ailment — chronic gastritis — and the authorities refuse to provide him with medical assistance. His wife, Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena, has also been under constant harassment by the regime’s State Security apparatus. On September 23rd 2013, Remon was mistreated in prison and denied his right to his family visits. His crime continues being his protest music and his activism. He is also coordinator of the opposition group UNPACU in Granma province and a member of the hip-hop duo The Unwanted Children (‘Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso’).
If you like this video, help spread the word and #PassItOn
September 24, 2013Posted by on
In the Eastern Cuban town of Bayamo, prison authorities continue denying medical assistance to dissident rapper ‘El Critico’ while State Security continues harassing his wife in whichever way possible.
Dissident rapper Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga ‘El Critico’, from the duo Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso (‘The Unwanted Children’) has been unjustly jailed in Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo since March 26th of 2013 after mobs organized by State Security raided his home. While behind bars, he has been subjected to beatings, verbal threats and other forms of repression carried out by the political police. During the month of July, he contracted cholera and was in a critical state of health. Although no longer suffering from the mentioned disease, Remon still suffers other serious health ailments, such as chronic gastritis which brings him constant pains. But the authorities have not provided him with adequate medical attention due to his pro-freedom ideas.
Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena, wife of the young musician, has been denouncing the absence of medical care for months. Recently, she reiterated to this blog that the situation continues the same, or worse.
“Ever since Angel Yunier is in prison they have not done any tests on him to see how his health is and there have been absolutely no follow-ups“, denounces Roseyo, “currently, my husband is having a serious crisis of pain which happens every day because of the gastritis. He receives no medications for this and the authorities also do not provide him an adequate diet either“. Yudisbel adds that Angel may have an ulcer but this has not been confirmed due to the refusal of the authorities to provide medical exams.
Meanwhile, State Security has upped the tactics of vigilance and harassment against both Yudisbel and Angel. In one of the most recent cases of manipulation, the regime’s intelligence apparatus has used Remon Arzuaga’s ex wife to harass Yudisbel.
“Yunier has an ex wife with which he had a child a couple of years ago and now she is working together with State Security and together they have tried to sue Yunier with the pretext that he has not provided the necessary amount of money for child support“, explains Roseyo Mojena, who assures that this has happened because the police cannot accuse her husband of having committed any crime. He is in prison because of his activism and because of that, the State turns to such practices.
“What his ex wife is alleging is completely false, considering that Angel has always provided the required amount of money for her. But now she says she wants a higher amount because, in her own words, ‘Angel is receiving money from the exterior’“, she adds.
The same accuser has been trying to create problems with Yudisbel, accusing her of random false crimes out in the middle of the street. Yudisbel confirms that she has often seen the woman alongside State Security agents.
“The vigilance against me by State Security and the National Revolutionary Police is also constant“, says Roseyo, highlighting a recent case on September 18th when a group of Ladies in White from Bayamo, Granma met at one of their homes to carry out their monthly meeting. When the activity came to an end, Yudisbel was followed by two police vehicles.
“Lieutenant Colonel Julio Cesar (the same one who is falsely accusing Yunier of attempt and who put him in prison) interrogated me and harassed me. Alongside other agents, he told me that he could stop me whenever he felt like it and that he did not have to offer explanations“.
The young Bayamo native is frequently followed, even when she goes to the hospital to tend to health problems of her 7 month old son.
Angel Yunier ‘El Critico’, who also serves as a coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) for the province of Granma, is currently in a judicial limbo, without having had a trial and without any proof of having engaged in an actions of ‘attempt’. His dissident posture, expressed through his music and activism, was what landed him in jail.
Listen below to the audio of Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena denouncing the lack of medical assistance for her husband in Las Mangas Prison (in Spanish):
(NEWS UPDATE 9/24/13) – Dissident leader Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, national coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), was arrested alongside other activists on September 23rd in Bayamo when they were going to participate in a symbolic wedding ceremony between Angel Yunier and Yudisbel. The latter was also arrested. After various hours detained, Ferrer Garcia reported via Twitter (@jdanielferrer) that a common prisoner was able to phone him from prison and confirm that Angel Yunier ‘El Critico’ was savagely beat by authorities in prison and taken to a punishment cell. More details soon.
To contact Yudisbel Roseyo in Cuba:
September 6, 2013Posted by on
Dissident rapper and political prisoner Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga “El Critico” is still confined to a jail cell in Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo with health problems and very poor medical assistance, confirms his wife Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena.
The musician, who is a member of the hip-hop duo The Unwanted Children and of the opposition group Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), is suffering from “chronic gastritis” according to Yudisbel, who assures that the authorities “are not giving him any kind of medication, nor are they giving him medical exams. We do not know if he has an ulcer or not“.
The young Cuban mother explains that since Angel was arbitrarily imprisoned on March of 2013, his jailers told him that they would tend to his medical problems but it has been false. “The culprits are State Security“, said Yudisbel, “these agents robbed all the documents having to due with the health of Angel, myself, and our child…they were all disappeared and they have not carried out any exams. It’s a form of punishment against Angel because of his rebellious posture“.
During the month of July the dissident contracted cholera in prison and was brought down to a very delicate state of health. Although he is now recuperating, he has expressed that the conditions of extremely poor hygiene in the prison may lead his health to worsen again.
Meanwhile, both Angel and Yudisbel have been receiving threats and blackmail in and out of the prison at the hands of the political police.
“During my most recent visit with him, they took me into an isolate room where there were various State Security agents. They told me that they were going to be present during the visits from now on, listening to everything we were talking to“, denounced the young Cuban. But the dissident couple did not remain silent. They carried out a protest and various common prisoners joined in solidarity.
“We both told agent Javier, the main agent of Las Mangas Prison, that we were not going to accept a visit like that. We protested. Some prisoners joined the protest. They all said that it was not fair that Angel was being treated like that“.
As a result of the protest, the authorities allowed them a ‘normal’ visit, but the threats continued against Yudisbel when she left the penitentiary.
“Once I left the prison they subjected me to a body inspection but they did not find anything“, recounts Roseyo, “afterward, a vehicle with State Security agents followed me all the way home. I was on a motorcycle when the agent known as Allen tried to crash into me with his car. I started to argue with him, denouncing what he had done. He simply responded to me by saying that he was going ‘to take me’ and told me to leave my husband. He said that if I didn’t do so he would do it for me because ‘he had the power to do anything‘”.
“The agent then told me that he was protected by the law and, therefore, was the authority“.
Yudisbel Roseyo affirms that neither her or her husband will give in to the constant threats.
“Despite the conditions in which they are keeping Angel Yunier, and despite all the punishment he is subjected to, we are never going to give up on our ideas. The threats and the intimidation by State Security are never going to force either of us to give up, not now and not ever“, she said.
Yudisbel added that ‘El Critico’ will keep writing protest lyrics from behind the bars.
To contact Yudisbel Roseyo in Cuba:
Cell Phone – +53-552-353
August 29, 2013Posted by on
On Wednesday, August 28th, a number of members of the “Zapata Lives” cell of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) in the Vista Alegre neighborhood of Santiago de Cuba set out to the Confrontation Unit of the Political Police to demand the release of a fellow dissident, Armando Gil, who was being processed for a crime of “disrespect” and “attempt” which he never committed.
Daniel Barriel Sanjurjo, coordinator of the Zapata Lives cell, told this blog that the group of dissidents stood outside the political police unit as a sign of protest.
“There were about 40 of us activists, demanding the liberation of our brother, in a completely peaceful fashion. In just a couple of minutes, we were surrounded by agents of the political police, the National Revolutionary police and more than 5 police cars“.
Upon seeing the confrontational response of the authorities, the dissidents decided to carry out a protest march to the nearby Ferreiro Park, where the arrests began.
“When we arrived to the park, the majority of us were arrested“, recounts Barriel. He was shoved in a cop car and taken to the Police Unit of San Luis, where he was kept in “a dungeon in inhumane conditions” for 8 hours. “Afterward, I was taken to the Unit known as The Third where i spent another 3 hours“.
The activist explains that in The Third he was interrogated. One of the officials called Barriel’s home to speak with his wife, ordering her to put an end to a demonstration that was taking place there by about 20 dissidents who were demanding the release of the detainees.
“They wanted me to call the house so I could speak with my wife and tell her to stop the activity in demand of our freedom. The political police had to give in and they went all the way to my house and had to speak with my wife, begging her to stop the activities. They told all the activists present that they were going to release us“, said Daniel, “and they released me and the majority of the detainees, but minutes before there were forceful detentions of some activists of my cell, as was the case of Angel Pese and Ernesto Jimenez Rodriguez. Both received physical blows“.
During night hours of Thursday the 28th and on the morning of Friday the 29th, there were still some activists detained, but Barriel considers that it was a “victory” because the police had to ask the demonstrators to stop, seeing as their intimidation methods were not working. The dissidents did not stop but did feel content with the release of their fellow members.
“We know that this is not going to stop, we know that the dictatorship is still going to keep carrying out acts of repression against us because they have the power to do so, and because they don’t want us to have rights“, expressed Daniel.
But the opposition member alleges that “we will continue with our struggle, with our methods, until we can achieve the freedom and democracy that the people need“.
To contact Daniel Barriel in Cuba:
Cell Phone: +53-388-130
August 27, 2013Posted by on
During these days, authorities of the Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo have been threatening jailed dissident rapper Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga “El Critico” – who has been unjustly jailed since last March – with suspending his right to one weekly phone call. This shouldn’t come as a surprise after the young musician recently established communication with some brothers in struggle, taking out a message of resistance from behind the bars in an audio which has circulated throughout various media outlets.
The Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) published an audio message on their YouTube channel, in which Angel Yunier, who is also an activist of the mentioned pro-freedom group, described how it is to live in the dungeons of the dictatorship. He pointed out a number of cases of inhumane treatment inside the prison, which include cases of medical negligence and physical abuses which have cost the lives of various prisoners.
He emphasized the case of Rogelio Ovidio, a common prisoner who took his own life after he was beat by his jailers and refused medical assistance when they informed him he could possibly be infested with HIV.
Remon Arzuaga found the body of Ovidio on July 29th. “I saw his body…his head was broken, his right arm was injured and his back was full of bruises. I found him at 2 in the morning and he had already hung himself…I didn’t know he was dead right away because he was being held in a dark cell. I saw his silhouette and I thought he was just sitting down“, said Angel from prison.
He also denounced the horrible and nearly non-existent medical attention in the penitentiary center. Angel Yunier was in a grave state of health, infected with cholera, and it wasn’t until a very advanced stage of the disease that he was treated by doctors. He assures that at least three prisoners have died of this disease due to the lack of adequate attention in the center.
“Since July 1st, this prison has been affected by this sickness…they said it was a diarrhea pandemic but it was proven to be cholera“. In regards to the conditions of the prisons and hospitals where he has been, Angel described them as places with “horrible food regiments and very poor hygienic conditions. I can’t say that where they take us are hospitals…in reality they are concentration camps where sick prisoners are isolated in. They take them there just to say they are receiving medical care. All us prisoners are also mistreated and beat there“.
The rapper also echoed the case of his fellow partner in struggle and political prisoners Alexander Otero. Both were arrested together on March 26th in Bayamo during a violent act of repudiation against Yunier’s house. Otero suffered a facial paralysis in prison and has not been treated due to his ideas.
“Otero suffered an injury on his right arm and has also not received medical attention. For three months now, he’s been with his right arm tied up and hanging loose…he needs surgical intervention for that arm but they won’t give it to him. He also suffered a facial paralysis on July 29th on the right side of his face. As of right now, he cannot speak and has lots of difficulty closing his right eye“.
After making these denouncements public, prison authorities threatened Angel Yunier with suspending his right to one weekly call, according to declarations made to this blog by his wife, Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena.
“I found out about this when I went to the corresponding visit on Saturday, August 24th. When I arrived, they passed me to a room to meet with a Major named Javier. They also brought in Angel Yunier at that moment“, recounts Yudisbel, “when Yunier came in, they started to threaten him, saying that he does not have the right to call any other person that is not his direct family, and that if he did not obey these orders they would permanently suspend his right to a phone call for having committed an ‘indiscipline’“.
The call by Angel Yunier which they are referring to was with Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, leader of the UNPACU, who made the conversation public.
Yudisbel was also threatened and denounces that her husband was treated very poorly, “as if he were an animal and as if he had no rights to anything. He considers some of his friends to be like family, but the authorities don’t care about that. One official told him that he had to ask his Re-Educator for permission, and only if it was approved, then he would take the message to Major Javier for further approval. He said that in the event that his request were approved, he had to write down all the personal data of the person being called“.
The young Cuban added that the prison authorities have placed a person – a collaborator of State Security – to watch everything that Remon Arzuaga does. Later, this person is in charge of passing on the information to his superiors.
“In addition, the agents said that when they suspend his phone access, they were going to make it clear that it was all Angel’s fault because he had committed an indiscipline, and also as my fault because I make his denouncements public. They told Yunier right in front of me that he was going to ‘pay a very high price’ if he broke the rules. They also threatened to suspend all his prison visits. The agents also told Angel that it all depended on him, whether he behaved and followed the rules“, added Yudisbel.
“In other words“, she adds, “they are trying to change his ideas, but they will not succeed because he is firm, now more than ever, and I also support him unconditionally“.
On his part, in the audio ‘El Critico’ called on all his compatriots and brothers and sisters of the opposition to maintain themselves “firm and strong” and “keep fighting“.
“Today, many of us young Cubans have chosen to stand up in defense of our rights“, expressed the dissident rapper, jailed for making protest music and for being a pro-freedom activist. He reminded all those Cubans who struggle that “nothing will detain us as long as there is will and desire to see a free and democratic Cuba“.
The declarations by Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga were taken from an audio published by the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) on their YouTube channel, while all declarations by Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena were obtained during a conversation with this blog.
To communicate with Yudisbel in Cuba:
Cell Phone– +53-552-353
August 14, 2013Posted by on
Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena, wife of Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga “El Critico”, dissident rapper who has been unjustly imprisoned since March in Las Mangas Prison of Bayamo, has not stopped publishing denouncements made by the young musician. Apparently, for this reason Cuban State Security is constantly watching her.
Recently, on August 13th 2013, when the State celebrated the birthday of dictator Fidel Castro, police forces set up a cordon around Roseyo’s home.
“Since the night of the 12th, I was under extreme vigilance all around my home. This was carried out by State Security and the National Revolutionary Police“, recounts the young Bayamo native, “wherever I would go they would follow me, despite the fact that I was carrying my 6 month old child“.
The agents did not only follow her, but they also confronted her and threatened her. “One State Security agents told me that if i kept up my position against the regime they were going to take my son away from me and put him in a Juvenile Center and he also said that they would easily arrest me with or without my child“.
Evidently the agents are referring to the fact that Yudisbel has been reporting human rights violations faced behind bars by her husband Angel Yunier. She recently informed that the activist contracted cholera and was in a critical state. Many times she has told the world about arbitrary beatings faced by Yunier.
Regarding his health, Angel Yunier “is improving and is now stable“, explains Yudisbel. However, she is still concerned because “his life is still in danger. He has told me that the hygienic conditions in Las Mangas Prison are horrid, and that in that penitentiary there have been numerous cases of cholera and 4 people have already died of the disease. The authorities are not carrying out the appropriate follow-up method to combat this sickness. In the specific case of Angel, they are not taking the necessary measures so that he does not retract and re-contract the disease. The doctors have said that if he is not properly taken care of, he would regress“.
Roseyo has said that Angel Yunier also suffers from a chronic gastritis. She emphasized that the rapper is in a legal limbo right now, considering that there has never been a trial against him and that there is absolutely no proof of the “resistance” they accuse him of.
Yudisbel did not dismiss that she felt fear for what could happen to her 6-month old son as well as to her husband. She once again asked for solidarity with the young musician who just turned 30 this 14th of August while in prison without having committed a crime.
Ángel Yunier “El Critico”, a member of hip-hip duo ‘The Unwanted Children’ (Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso) and also a member of the pro-freedom Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), was arrested on Mach 26th in Bayamo when he gave a discourse in favor of freedom and had just handed out numerous pro-freedom pamphlets. Previous to this, he had been victim of a wave of arrests because of his protest lyrics as well as for painting pro-freedom and pro-change messages on the walls of his home.
Remon Arzuaga has been beat and blackmailed inside prison and his relatives are also suffering reprisals. Nevertheless, he has said that he will maintain his dissident posture and that he will not betray his ideas.
For more information from Cuba, contact:
Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena – Cell Phone: +53-552-353
August 12, 2013Posted by on
This past August 5th, 2013 a violent act of repudiation took place in the city of Holguin, in the province by the same name, in Eastern Cuba. The repudiation took place in the home of dissident Ramon Zamora, a member of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front, where they had plans to carry out a conference and debate about The Path of the People, a pro-freedom project created by the late Oswaldo Paya. In addition to the repudiation against the home, a total of 43 dissidents in different areas of the city were arrested as they tried to arrive to their destination. Among the detainees were members of diverse pro-freedom groups, such as the Patriotic Union of Cuba, the Ladies in White, CID, the Republican Party of Cuba and the Christian Liberation Movement.
Now, images of the beginning of the act of repudiation at the home of Ramon Zamora (where there were women, children and elderly people) have arrived. In the following video, sent by independent journalist Alexei Jimenez Almarales, we can see mobs organized by State Security insulting and provoking the dissidents inside the house. We can also observe the presence of vehicles used by the political police (white Ladas):
Caridad Caballero Batista, renown dissident from Holguin who had to take exile in the United States recently, spoke with this blog and identified two State Security agents at the beginning of the video (second 0:48). There are two individuals near the Lada car. Caballero identified the one with the red shirt as “El Polaco” and the one with the baseball cap as Michael. These agents are responsible for carrying out and ordering arrests, vigilance and repudiation against human rights activists in Holguin.
A second video also sent by Alexei Jimenez shows the testimonies of two underage children and one elderly man, recounting the moment of the act of repudiation. The children express that they felt lots of fear while the mobs arrested and beat their family members and tried to raid the house. Meanwhile, the 63 year old man details how he was beat and later left abandoned in a desolate field far from his home. There are also pictures of the injuries he sustained after the assault. Check it out here:
August 8, 2013Posted by on
A young dissident recounts how he defended various self-employed sellers who were being harassed by the police in Holguin and how, because of this, he suffered beatings and threats at the hands of the agents. The same people he defended then showed solidarity with him which impeded the violence for a moment. Afterward, however, he was arrested and victim to more repression. Here he details the forms of torture he was subjected to.
Denis Pino Basulto was walking near Cespedes Park in the city of Holguin on the morning of August 1st when he witnessed a strong presence of police agents who were harassing a number of self-employed sellers who were stationed in that area. Upon seeing that the agents were snatching bags from the hands of various people, twisting their arms and shoving them into cop cars in the process, Pino became very bothered.
The Holguin activist, a member of pro-freedom groups like the Pedro Luis Boitel Movement and the Patriotic Union of Cuba, could not remain silent when he saw National Revolutionary Police agents twisting the arms of an elderly man who was carrying a box of chocolates.
“At that moment, I questioned the police officials…I asked them how was it possible to carry out such violence against such an old person, and they simply told me ‘this does not concern you’“, recounts Denis, who attributed this brutality to the communist revolution. That is when the aggressions began.
“Another agent arrived and asked me, ‘Why do you talk like that about this revolution?’ and then he twisted my arms and threw me to the floor. He dragged me for approximately 2 meters and, with much difficulty, I was able to stand up and began to shout messages in favor of freedom of expression“.
The dissident alleges that the slogans, among them ‘Long Live Human Rights’, ‘Down with repression’, ‘Food for the people’, and ‘Fair salaries for our workers’ captured the attention of everyday people who were observing the situation. They joined him in solidarity.
“When they noticed that so many people were applauding me, the agents covered my mouth and applied a head-lock on me. They threw me to the floor but the people kept screaming in my favor“, explained Pino Bauslto, adding that “because of this solidarity the agents had to let me go and I was able to continue on my way…I kept walking and I could hear people still clapping“.
After walking a couple of blocks away from the scene, 5 police agents pulled up in a vehicle very near Denis. They got down and ordered the activist to show them his Identification Card. Afterward, they twisted his arms once again and threw him inside the car.
“There was a police agent inside the car, dressed in civilian clothing. He slapped me, punched me on my forehead and put his hands around my throat to strangle me“, an action which has caused him much pain and has temporally affected his voice. He was taken to the police unit known as Narciso Lopez, where the vehicle was parked and he was kept inside. Shortly after, an official with badge #21897 tightly handcuffed Pino and later interrogated him.
“This agent violently pushed me out of the car and dragged me out of the shade and left thrown out under the sun for about 25 minutes. I was sweating there and listening to their threats. He was telling me that he was going to kill me and that I was a mercenary and counter-revolutionary“, he said.
Pino was subjected to another beating. This time they broke part of his lip and nose. His knees were also scraped while being dragged through rough terrain.
Eventually, he was taken inside the unit and sat on a chair, where the threats and verbal offenses by the unknown officials continued. “‘Keep on shouting your slogans and we are going to kill you, faggot’ they told me…one agent also said ‘we are gonna kill all the garbage like you, and not a single counter-revolutionary is going to be left alive‘”. The beatings and strangulations continued.
The dissident was kept for 2 hours sitting in that chair with his handcuffs on until State Security agent Chapman arrived. The mentioned official is notorious in Holguin for his constant persecution of human rights activists. “Chapman interrogated me and told me that If I kept doing what I was doing they were going to kill me because they could not allow demonstrations, because they had to uphold the revolution“.
At some point, Pino affirms that the repressor admitted to him in the form of a taunt that, “you all may have the reason but we have the power, let’s see who could last longer“.
“At that moment, the agent with badge #21897 told me that he didn’t care if I saw his identification number. He kept telling me, ‘look at it, you worm. And what? I’m going to kill you with my own two hands’“. Such behavior has proven the impunity which these officials have under the communist regime.
Pino was released during afternoon hours, but not before receiving yet another threat by Chapman. “He told me, ‘take care of yourself when you’re out on the street because their are a lot of criminals here from Santiago de Cuba and one of them could easily jump you and stab you“. The activist considers this to be a direct death threat against him, using people at the service of State Security to make it seem as a common crime.
Pino Basulto, 29 years of age, has been victim of severe police violence on various occasions. He explains that in most cases the repressors put their hands over his mouth and choke him. He says it’s because the constant social and pro-freedom messages he begins to shout in front of any onlookers.
Although he assures that he will not stop his public opposition to the totalitarian system, he does indeed feel fear from time to time, fear that he could lose his life, or worse, that his family members may suffer the consequences, considering that his wife and young daughter are far too familiar with State vigilance.
“I want the world to know about this situation…How is it possible that these repressors want to kill peaceful people like us? We have rights, although in Cuba they are violated, and I ask the world to take measures against Castro’s system so that repression stops“, expressed Denis. He also said to feel very grateful for exiled Cubans who echo the situation of those inside and demand their freedom. “Thank God for these brothers in exile, those who help us spread the news and make it go all over the world. We have to let the world know that there is a dictatorship in Cuba“.
“As a human rights activist, I ask the world to put pressure against Raul Castro, because he is the one who has given the orders to beat and kill us“.
For more information from Cuba, contact:
Denis Pino Basulto – Cell Phone: +52-552-837