When 6 Ladies in White were violently arrested this past Sunday February 5th in the city of Holguin, they were also warned that they could not continue trying to assist mass in church, according to Marta Díaz Rondón, one of the activists who was attacked.
After a brutal detention which consisted of “twisted arms and aggressive shoves against the police vehicles“, Diaz Rondon denounces that once inside the dungeons of the Pedernales Unit, an official (whom she does not know the name of) violently threatened her, telling her that they would not be allowed to carry out their activities. “He told me that he would not allow us, the Ladies in White and other dissidents, to continue doing what we were doing“. Rondon’s response was a question: “Not allow what? That we go to Church?“, to which the regime official aggressively responded, “that was what he had said and he did not have to talk about anything else with us“.
After this confrontation and 6 hours in sealed off dark and damp cells, the women were released. In the case of Rondon and Gertrudis Ojeda Suarez– both from Banes- they were taken to their municipality but abandoned miles from their homes.
Marta Díaz explains that her home has been under “total vigilance“, as have the homes of “all the Ladies in White in the Cuban East“. The dissident adds that “they do not let us move from one place to another, but we are going to continue marching and taking to the streets, despite the threats“.
This is just one of the constant cases of repression against Cubans who are simply trying to get to church to pray for the freedom of all political prisoners and for all of the Cuban people, and it is occurring with much more frequency, even as the trip to the island of Pope Benedict in March nears. Although some religious figures inside Cuba- such as Father Palma from the Cobre Sanctuary- have demonstrated solidarity with oppressed dissidents, various reports have hinted that the Pope will not meet with figures of the Cuban Resistance, despite the fact that the situation is getting more violent every passing day.
“All of this that the regime is carrying out against us is being done in order to plant fear in the everyday Cuban people, so they will be afraid and not join the struggle“, affirmed Marta Diaz Rondon, “and although sometimes the everyday people do not join us physically, they are well aware of who were are- peaceful people. And they are commenting out on the streets about how we are mistreated Sunday after Sunday, day after day“.
“I am denouncing to the world that whatever happens to us is the direct fault of the Cuban government, for they have already assassinated various brothers and sisters in struggle such as Orlando Zapata Tamayo, Juan Wilfredo Soto, Wilman Villar Mendoza and Laura Pollan“, declared the Lady in White.