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"Pieces of the Island"-An English Translation
Category Archives: Republican Party of Cuba
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 6, 2013Posted by on
Independent journalist Alexei Jimenez Almarales, from Holguin, has sent the following note in regards to 43 arrests of local dissidents on the afternoon of August 5th, the anniversary of El Maleconazo (when numerous Cubans took to the streets in Havana demanding freedom in 1994). The activists had plans to divulge and debate The Path of the People, a pro-freedom project started by Oswaldo Paya.
“State Security detained 43 dissidents in the city of Holguin last Monday, on the 19th anniversary of ‘El Maleconazo’
Activists from various organizations decided to meet and debate about Oswaldo Paya’s project known as ‘The Path of the People’. The political police came out and directed themselves towards the home of dissident Ramon Zamora Rodriguez, where meeting was to take place.
The detentions and beatings started in the place where The Path of People was to be debated and they extended to various points of the city, culminating in a total of 43 detainees all in the same day, a historical record of violation of human rights on behalf of State Security in Holguin”.
Jimenez Almarales provided a list with the names of the 43 detainees (including himself):
Julio Cesar Ramos Curbelo
Alexander Marrero De La Rosa
Suleidy lisbet Pérez Velázquez
Carmen Oropesa Ramírez
Alexei Jiménez Almarales
Jorge Luis Recio Arias
Emir José Bermúdez Pérez
Julio Cesar Albares Marrero
Rosa María Naranjo Nieves
Danai Mendiola Duquesne
Luis Jaime Meriño
Mauricio Martínez Días
Yolanda Pérez Días
Marisol Pupo Rodríguez
José Luis Ricardo Soberats
Yuri Miguel Carralero Vázquez
Bernardo Cintero Gonzales
Gilberto Solí Gonzales
Ramón Zamora Rodríguez
Maylin Ricardo Góngora
Pedro Leiva Góngora
Juan Sacaría Verdecía
Maidolis Leiva Portelles
Damaris García Martínez
Rafael Leyva Leyva
José Isidoro Urbino Zaldívar
Mairin Poso De La Torre
Fuera de la casa de ramón Zamora
Yosbanis Pupo Pérez
Fidel García Roldan
Berta Guerrero Segura
Magdelivia Pelegrino Guerrero
Franklin Pelegrino Del Toro
Rubier Cruz Campo
Liliana Campos Bruzón
Yolangel Pupo Pérez
Ricardo Rodríguez Feria
Amauri Güero Mora
Roberto González Hernández
Eladio Pupo Nieves
Arlenis Rodríguez Ávila
José Luis Mir Cruz
Amilkar Pérez Riverón
Livia Hernández Pérez
The detainees included members of diverse organizations, among them the Christian Liberation Movement, the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front, the Patriotic Union of Cuba, the Republican Party of Cuba, the Eastern Democratic Alliance, Ladies in White and FLAMUR.
Audios recorded during the very moment of the violence, specifically of the act of repudiation by paramilitary agents towards the home of Ramon Zamora, were published on various media outlets in the internet. In this audio by Radio Republica and this one published by UNPACU, more details are provided. Agents broke doors and windows to detained activists, and also violently harassed women and underage children.
Meanwhile, Alexei Jimenez reported that this past Saturday, August 3rd, State Security agents attacked dissident Julio Alberto Arias, a member of the Republican Party, in the same city of Holguin. “Julio Alberto was detained by 4 State Security agents who twisted his arm out on the street and took him to the PNR Unit known as La Primera“, detailed Jimenez.
The journalist provided this photo of the attacked dissident:
Human rights activists have been denouncing an increase in police violence on the island, and all of this because activism in favor of freedom has been increasing as well.
For more information from Cuba, contact:
Alexei Jimenez – Cell Phone: +52-552-925 / Twitter: @jugandomelavida
July 17, 2013Posted by on
Members of FLAMUR, a pro-freedom group made up of female activists in Cuba, carried out a march in Holguin as part of the “Higher and Lower” campaign, launched by this same group to demand fair salaries and prices.
Independent journalist Alexei Jimenez Almarales sent the following report and the video (attached below) regarding the activity:
Women of FLAMUR march and demand higher salaries and lower prices
“Higher salaries and lower prices”. Those were the words which women from Holguin were chanting as they marched with a flag of FLAMUR in their hands.
These brave women were supported by Amilkar Perez Riveron, an activist of the Republican Party of Cuba, who participated in the demonstration by these members of the Federation of Rural Latin American Women (FLAMUR).
The march took place on the morning of July 16th nearby the Hilda Torre neighborhood in the city of Holguin.
“We will continue to demand the Cuban government to pay workers just salaries that yield enough to survive, and/or to lower prices so that everyday Cubans can have access to things they need”, expressed Libia Hernandez Perez, director of FLAMUR in Holguin.
The dissidents which participated were: Gladis Ramírez Fernández, Lisbet Peñas Hernández, Eleiny Viamonte Cardoso, Libia Hernández Pérez, Carmen Oropesa Ramírez and Amilkar Pérez Riverón.
July 15, 2013Posted by on
Numerous Cubans on the island reported that activities in commemoration of the victims of the ’13 de Marzo’ Tugboat Massacre took place throughout the country this past Saturday, 13th of July, the 19th anniversary of the crime, where forces of the dictatorship received orders to open fire on children, women and men who were trying to escape the country on an old tugboat.
Independent journalist Alexei Jimenez Almarales sent a note to this blog about how these innocent Cubans were remembered in the Eastern province of Holguin:
Victims of ’13 de Marzo’ Tugboat Massacre remembered with much pain by dissidents in Holguin
Activists from the Republican Party of Cuba paid tribute to the people assassinated under the orders of Fidel Castro Ruz on July 13th 1994.
The members of the PRC deposited flowers in the river as a sign of respect to the men, women and children who lost their lives when the Cuban authorities sunk the 13 de Marzo tugboat on the coasts of Cuba.
“The assassination of these people who were aboard the 13 de Marzo Tugboat will not remain with impunity, we will remember them each year so that the people who perpetrated this horrible massacre know that the Cuban people demand justice”, commented Jorge Luis Recio Arias, director of the PRC in the municipality of Holguin.
Those who participated were: Jorge Luis Recio Arias, Amilkar Pérez Riverón, Lisbet Peñas Hernández, Ania Isabel Martínez Perdomo, Carmen Oropesa Ramírez, Julio Cesar Ramos Cúrvelo.
Activists of the Claridad Human Rights Movement pay tribute to victims of the 13 de Marzo Tugboat on the 19th anniversary of its drowning
Activists from the Claridad Human Rights Movement pay tribute to the victims of the 13 de Marzo Tugboat on the 19th anniversary of its sinking
Six member of the Claridad Human Rights Movement were able to make it to a local river, where they honored the people who lost their lives on that fateful 13th of July 1994.
After sharing a few words in remembrance of the horrible murder, the present deposited flowers in honor of the more than 40 people who died after being drowned by Cuban authorities in the shores of Havana.
They also commemorated the 11th anniversary of the Claridad Movement which was founded on July 13th of 2002 with the objective of denouncing human rights violations committed by the communist government of Cuba.
The participants were: Julio Cesar Álvarez Marrero, Alexander Casavielle Hidalgo, Yolanda Pérez Días, Wilmer Escalona Molina, Wilver Gomes Gracias.
For more details:
Alexei Jimenez – Cell Phone: +52-552-925
June 19, 2013Posted by on
Members of different opposition groups were targets of acts of repudiation this past June 18th in the municipality of Gibara, in the province of Holguin.
Gabriel Arcángel Martínez Leyva, director of the Republican Party of Cuba in the mentioned municipality, said that the actions – organized by functionaries of the regime – began at 7:30 AM and ended near 12 in the afternoon.
“An act of repudiation was carried out around the home of Trinidad Rodriguez. Agents of the Rapid Response Brigade, the political police and of the National Revolutionary Police surrounded the house“, explained the activist, “it was a total of about 30 or 40 people who were shouting at us and threatening to beat us if we stepped out of the house. This happened because we had plans to go to the Gibara Terminal to travel to the town of Velasco“.
‘Acts of repudiation’ is the name given to the situation where the Cuban government organizes groups of people who shout offenses and threats at dissidents outside their homes. Many times, the actions end in house raids and the vast majority of its participants are members of the regime. Very few times do activists confirm the participants as neighbors, and when they do, they are usually drunkards or criminals.
Martinez Leyva considers that the persecution and harassment are due to various social projects that are being carried out in the area.
“This happens because of some projects carried out by the Republican Party of Cuba and by FLAMUR for the benefit of all Cubans“, said Martinez, “among these projects is ‘One Currency’ and ‘Increase and Lower’“.
The latter of the initiatives demands the totalitarian system to increase salaries of Cuban workers and lower prices of products and services of basic needs, like food, clothing and transportation.
Acts of repudiation also took place at the same time against other activists, among them Ylienly Aguilera Santos and Arselio Osvaldo Cruz Velazquez, members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) in Gibara.
Repression against other members of the opposition in the province of Holguin have increased within the last months. The Ladies in White in the area have also been denouncing these situations.
For example, Berta Guerrero Segura, representative of the Ladies in White in that province, has said that State Security agents arrest a number of women each Sunday so that they do not make it to Mass, while other members like Gertrudis Ojeda Suárez (in the municipality of Banes) and Mildred Noemí Sánchez Infante (in the municipality of Antilla) have backed up these claims, seeing as they are some of the women who are quickly arrested by the political police when they step outside of their homes each Sunday.
May 8, 2013Posted by on
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)
April 5, 2013Posted by on
Death threats, nocturnal attacks, persecution and confrontations against human rights activists of different pro-freedom groups. Those are the scenes being reported from Velasco, Holguin. In all of these cases, government officials- retired and active- have been signaled as the culprits.
This April 1st, Yonart Rodriguez Avila, the representative of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy in the Eastern region of the country, denounced that while he was with his mother, Lady in White Mariblanca Avila Exposito, in their home, the retired Rapid Response Brigade official Miguel Leyva Leyva showed up to offend and threaten them.
“Leyva Leyva said that he is the owner of this area and that he would destroy our home and anything we build“, said Yonart, explaining that the repressor had threatened to destroy a small fence they had been building around the house a few days before.
“I want to mention that this individual is very dangerous“, said the dissident, “He dedicates himself to provoke activists out on the street. If he walks near us on the street he bumps into us on purpose, he spits towards us, and he asks us what we are looking at“.
Leyva has participated in acts of repudiation and beatings against dissidents in Velacsco, as well as other regions of Holguin.
George Luis Leyva Ferras, of the Cuban Youth Movement and the Eastern Democratic Alliance, reported that on March 31st the dissident Julio Perez Zaldivar, of the Republican Party of Cuba, received a death threat by an active functionary of the Rapid Response Brigades named Mario Naranjo Sanchez.
“Naranjo Sanchez told this activist that he was carrying a gun, which the political police gave him and authorized him to use as he wished, and that on his list to kill was Perez Zaldivar, my wife Daylin Guerrero and me [Leyva Ferras]“.
The agent also told Leyva Ferras that “all the karate experts in Velasco are at his disposition so that, when he decided, they attack us“.
Meanwhile, on April 1st Miguel Leyva, Mario Naranjo, Fernando Molina and Ruben Velazquez (whom all operate together) were seen walking through the streets of Velasco carrying knives, according to neighbors.
“A neighbor who is my friend confirmed this to me“, explained Ferras, “and the same neighbor heard them say that they were going to stab me to death. The repressors are saying this everyday“.
The homes of Mariblanca Avila and Eirnice Cespedes, respectively, have also been stoned during the night recently.
Also, on the night of April 2nd, activist Raul Rodriguez Leyva, of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) was assaulted by an unidentified person who tried to stab him. Rodriguez managed to escape the attack, dodging the stabs, but the knife sliced the dissident’s shirt, according to Yonart Rodriguez. This happened on 18th Street in the Varona neighborhood of Velasco.
José Daniel Ferrer García, leader of UNPACU, denounced the same situation on his Twitter account (@jdanielferrer), explaining that those nocturnal attacks “are ordered by the regime’s political police”.
Rodriguez Avila described it as “an attempt on the activist’s life“.
Among the recently threatened and affected dissidents are Mariblanca Avila Expositio, Yonart Rodriguez Avila, Julio Perez Zaldivar Raul Rodriguez Leyva, Eirnice Cespedes Estrada, George Luis Leyva Ferras and Daylin Guerreron, as well as the two small children of the latter- Jason (3 years old) and Jessica (1). Within this group there were members of the Ladies in White, the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy, the Republican Party of Cuba, the Patriotic Union of Cuba and the Eastern Democratic Alliance.
Some of these activists have turned to state organisms to denounce their cases but the functionaries have ignored their claims.
“We want to send an alert to the world about these situations, and not only what is happening to us, but what is happening with all activists in Cuba“, said Yonart Rodriguez Avila, “we say no to violence, no to death, no to abuses and we say no to beatings“.
“Anything that happens to us is the fault of the regime and its repressors… they are capable of doing anything against us“.
For more information from Cuba, contact:
Yonart Rodríguez Ávila- Cell Phone: +53-602-782 / Twitter: @yonartcuba José Daniel Ferrer García- Cell Phone: +53-146-740 / Twitter: @jdanielferrer
November 29, 2011Posted by on
Seven activists from diverse opposition organizations were detained during the morning of Monday, November 28th, while protesting in front of the Melia Hotel of Santiago de Cuba. Those arrested were Aimé Garcés Leyva, Vivian Peña Hernández, Yelena Garcés Nápoles, Yurileysi Vázquez López, Mirelis Frías and Héctor Félix Labrada Muñoz and Miguel Rafael Cabrera Montoya. The last two are recently released political prisoners who spent weeks behind the bars for carrying out other non-violent dissident activities during the months of August and September. The seven activists represent three different organizations- FLAMUR, the Republican Party of Cuba, and the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPAC) and all make up the “One Currency” Campaign, reason why they were arrested.
Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, who has been reporting about the latest developments of this story through his Twitter account, explained to this blog that the activists who are carrying out this campaign have been demonstrating publicly in different locations during the past few weeks in order to effectuate peaceful actions “against the dual currency system and in favor of just one currency“. Ferrer is referencing the fact that the Cuban regime uses both a system of national currency and that of convertible currency (best known as “CUC”). The former prisoner of conscience narrates that withing the past months many of these activists have been going to local places “which sell products in the convertible currency, and so they purchase some things and when it comes time to pay they pay with national currency“.
This has been done in a wide range of public spaces from restaurants to markets, and on this 28th of November they tried doing the same in the Melia Hotel of Santiago de Cuba. Generally speaking, according to Ferrer, “local workers have received orders from their superiors that if they receive the equivalent needed in national currency, then there is no need to call the police. But today the police were called and the dissidents ended up getting arrested right in front of the hotel”.
The dissidents were taken to the Third Police Unit of Santiago de Cuba and as of Monday afternoon they remain there.
“This is one more of the many actions which have been taking place throughout the Eastern region of the country“, affirms Ferrer, outlining that a few days ago in the town of Contramaestre a very large protest was carried out by members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba. “That protest has given people lots to talk about because hundreds of everyday people congregated around the scene in order to observe the activities and the majority demonstrated their solidarity with dissidents“. Though 9 of the 10 opposition members of this protest were arrested, they were released during the afternoon hours of the following day. They have witnessed gestures of solidarity and support on behalf of the everyday community.
Ferrer adds that “two Ladies in White who were present in that protest have told me that out on the street people have not grown tired in telling them that they are brave. The people approach them to hug them, kiss them, or simply just to demonstrate sympathy“.