Eriberto Liranza Romero, president of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy (MCJD), was beaten by a supposed dissident when he was on his way to the US Interests Office in Havana this past Tuesday, March 6h, to use a few minutes of internet which this office provides him on certain days, considering that the Cuban regime does not freely allow the use of cyberspace for its own people. The aggressor was Frank Ernesto Carranza Lopez, who claims to be an independent journalist and secretary general of the dissident organization 30th of November Party. However, Liranza denounces Lopez as an “infiltrator from State Security“, for, in the last few days, he has started to publish a pamphlet where he discredits numerous opposition activists with the intent of dividing the Resistance.
“This has been the latest operation against my character and against the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy”,
explains Liranza Romero, “Carranza Lopez has been putting together a pamphlet which, in addition to having very poor spelling and having many incoherent points, it is also based on lies and slander“. In the mentioned pamphlet, Carranza accuses Liranza of stealing money from the opposition and of wanting to manipulate and destroy three activists whose names are Raúl Parada Ramírez, Nuri Rodríguez Jiménez and Ángel Luque Álvarez. However, these 3 dissidents have publicly denied any truth to Carranza’s statements and, in the case of Raul Parada Ramirez, he has even affirmed that he does not even know the supposed independent journalist who has been handing out pamphlets among members of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front with the intention of creating tensions and dividing this national coalition of opposition groups.
When Liranza noticed the manipulation, he head out to the home of Frank Carranza along with Niurka Luque Alvarez, an activist from the Cuban Youth Movement. “When I arrived at his home, I asked him if he really was the one writing all these things and he affirmed that he indeed was the one responsible and would not deny anything he had said, to which I responded by telling him that the accusations were completely false and also injustices“, recounts Liranza. The conversation ended there. After this exchange, the president of the 30th of November Party expelled Carranza from his position.
“On the following day (this past Tuesday), when I was approaching the US Interests Office in Havana, without a single exchange of words, Carranza came out of nowhere and hit me on the face“, denounced Eriberto Liranza, who only looked at his oppressor and told him that he would not use violence against him. “I asked him who had sent him to try to make me fight back so that the cameras stationed there would record us and so those images can later be shown on the state-run TV show ‘Mesa Redonda’ where they would accuse us dissidents of being violent. I told him I was not going to fall into that trap, and that he’d have to kill me“, affirmed the dissident. Among the witnesses were the human rights activist Hermogenes Gomez and the Lady in White leader Berta Soler. Both known figures condemned the violence.
“I am denouncing this man as an infiltrator from the political police“, said Liranza, explaining that “first of all, there has never been any personal tension between both of us. In fact, I had never seen him in my life. The first time I saw him was when I went to his house the day before. I have never had an argument with him, and there is no reason for him to write so many degrading things about me. Undoubtedly, the architects of this situation and of the pamphlet are the political police and State Security“.
“In fact“, continued Liranza, “when this man assaulted me, the uniformed police agents which were there did not intervene. One police officer who was witnessing everything just turned around and paid no attention. It is evident that the political police is behind all of this“. Hermogenes Gomez was the one who managed to separate Carranza who simply left after delivering his physical blow.
In response to this smear campaign against Eriberto Liranza Romero, a number of activists throughout the island have used their Twitter accounts to publish messages of solidarity with the young dissident, among them Jorge Luis Garcia Perez ‘Antunez’. Also, the activists from the Youth Movement, Carlos Alexander Borrego (coordinator of the MCJD in the western region) and Antonio Romero (delegate of MCJD in the Cotorro municipality) refuted the letter penned by Carranza, classifying it as a “lie of the political police“. Meanwhile, Rene Rouco Machin, president of the Juan Wilfredo Soto Garcia Movement, a dissident organization affiliated to the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front, added that “Eriberto Liranza has been under threat by the political police recently and they just want someone to hit him to try and catch him fighting back with violence so that they can film it and accuse him later“.
Liranza stated that if “something happens to me, the only ones at fault are State Security and the political police, who just want to destroy MCJD. All of this is happening because they know I am never going to abandon the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front. The political police agents by the names of Luis and Allen, as well as other officials, are simply staying true to the threats directed at me whenever they have arrested me. They are attacking my family, the activists from the MCJD, and even my wife’s family, telling them that they can lose their jobs if they continue talking to me and seeing me”
For more information from Cuba:
Eriberto Liranza Romero – Cell Phone: 011-5353-341-682; Twitter: @eriliranza