On the morning of Wednesday, March 21st, the State Security agent Yordanys Martinez Leon told Lady in White Caridad Caballero Batista that she could not leave the municipality of Holguin as she was arriving to the local bus station of Holguin city with intentions of traveling to Havana to solve some personal chores. “The official told me that we could not travel until after the 28th [the last day of the Pope’s stay in Cuba], and I responded by telling him that I would take to the streets regardless“, explains Caballero. In the end, the activist was not able to travel to the Cuban capital.
Caballero adds that terminals are not the only locations under the control of the regime’s armed forces, but instead the entire city and province of Holguin remain under strict surveillance. “All the homes of dissidents in Holguin are surrounded. They are being impeded from leaving the municipality and even their own homes. There is a tremendous police operation throughout all the streets of Holguin, there are national police officers, members of the Ministry of the Interior, and State Security agents everywhere“, informed the Lady in White, who pointed out the cases of violence against dissidents including Juan Carlos Vazquez Osoria who was “violently arrested on Tuesday night in Moa“. In fact, when Osoria’s wife- Lady in White Anni Sarrion Romero- called Caballero to communicate her denouncement, State Security forces barged into her workplace (where she was at the time) looking for her and the call dropped there.
Another case is that of Lady in White Milagros Leyva Ramirez who had been detained for various days and then released this past Friday, March 16th. “Although she was released“, explains Caballero, “she is still under warnings that she cannot leave her house. And that’s how all dissidents in Holguin are right now“.
Caridad Caballero Batista was mentioned once again in a report compiled by the Christian pro-human rights organization known as Christian Solidarity Worldwide this past Tuesday, March 20th. The report denounces that so far in 2012, the peaceful dissident has not been allowed to assist mass because she is violently arrested every Sunday. The most recent aggression against her occurred on Friday March 16th when she was arrested along with her son Eric and husband Esteban until the morning of Monday the 19th. The Christian organization also asks for “prayers for Caridad Caballero Batista” and other activists who are being impeded from arriving to church.
Pope Benedict XVI will arrive to Cuba on Monday, March 26th and a few hours later he will hold his first mass in Santiago de Cuba, in the Cuban East. Up to the moment, the cases of violence against dissidents in the East and throughout the entire island have increased dramatically. Ex prisoner of conscience and prominent human rights activist in the Eastern town of Palma Soriano, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, for example, has been reporting countless cases of phone interceptions by the political police and arbitrary arrests and threats of dissidents throughout the region. Due to the vigilance and censorship against him, his Twitter account- @jdanielferrer- is being updated part by him and part by his exiled brother Luis Enrique Ferrer.
For more information from Cuba:
Caridad Caballero Batista – Cell Phone: +5352-629-749 / Twitter: @caricaballero