This Saturday, July 16th, the National Orlando Zapata Tamayo Civic Resistance and Civil Disobedience Front convoked a meeting in the city of Placetas, in Santa Clara. Because of this totally peaceful convocation, political police officials rapidly responded with aggression and arrests against dissidents which were traveling to Placetas from diverse regions of the country. Among those arrested are Juan Luis Perez Garcia, Guillermo Rodriguez, Mauri Emilio Ortiz Arredondo, Rolando Rodriguez Lobaina, and Joan David Gonzalez. Meanwhile, a ring of more than 200 armed officials surrounded the home of Antunez, where the reunion was to take place.
As a result of all the violence and the arrests carried out against the dissidents, the activist leader Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez”, together with his wife Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera and other activists from the OZT National Front, organized a “pots and pans” protest at 9 pm on the night of Sunday, July 17th.
We were able to record the audio of this civic protest and it may be heard below the text. During the protest, the participants explained that the ring of armed officials remained outside the house, even pulling out a megaphone and blasting music at full volume in an attempt to drown out the voices of the protestors. The human rights activists also pointed out that some children were incorporated into the mob of armed police officers, apparently ready for any orders to oppress or harass. Regardless, the dissidents continued their protest with the purpose of “denouncing the brutality which opposition members and members of the National OZT Front are subjected to“, and of “demanding freedom for those recently arrested for political reasons“. Antunez then reaffirmed that the demonstration was “dedicated to Boitel, to Zapata, to Wilfredo Soto (all three dissidents were killed by the regime), to Maceo, Jose Marti…to the resistance…to our brothers of the Assembly of the Resistance…”
In total, there were 17 members of the National OZT Front who took part, ringing their pots and pans and screaming slogans against the dictatorship and in favor of freedom. The activities commenced a few minutes after 9. “We do not want dialogue with the Castro tyranny“, added Antunez. This declaration was followed by chants of “dialogue no, resistance yes” and a strong declaration of “rights must be demanded in the street, with actions“. Antunez also named all dissidents who had been arrested during the weekend, along with the region of the country they represent.
“We do not have weapons,” declared Antunez, “the only things we can use as weapons is the truth, justice, and courage“.
Below is the audio, in Spanish. Please excuse the quality, there were audio problems on both sides.