Sara Marta Fonseca: Arrested on Mother’s Day in Cuba

“Once again, our country has suffered under the tyranny which oppresses all those citizens who raise their voices to defend the rights of the entire nation“, said Lady in White Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo, referring to this past weekend when Mother’s Day was being celebrated around the world.  The activist- mother of two- was one of the women detained by state police for trying to assist a reunion being held at the headquarters of the group, in the former home of Laura Pollan, located on Neptuno Street in Havana.

The mentioned reunion began on Saturday, May 12th and despite an extensive and aggressive act of repudiation (orchestrated by regime agents), a number of Ladies in White were able to make it and spend that moment together, exchanging gits and praying for the release of political prisoners.  However, Fonseca Quevedo explained that on that same day, the activists Yanerys Cabrera and Silvia Barbara Diaz Vazquez were also arrested during morning hours when they tried to reach the reunion.  Meanwhile, the home of Fonseca was surrounded by regime agents starting during late night hours of Friday, May 11th.

“At around 11 PM on Friday, there was a police operation around my house here in Rio Verde”, said Fonseca, “On Saturday, the 12th, we awoke and saw that we were totally surrounded by repressive agents of State Security, along with their informants, which we Cubans refer to as ‘snitches’ at the service of the dictatorship”. 

Fonseca and her family spent all of Saturday in that same manner, surrounded.

On Sunday- Mother’s Day- Sara Marta decided to step out of her home and walk to the headquarters of the Ladies in White to meet up with the rest of the women.  She had intentions of marching along with them to assist Sunday mass.  However, the forces of the Cuban regime had other plans for her.  “I was arrested and taken to the Santiago de las Vegas police unit, where I was kept for various hours“, said the human rights activist, adding that “the political police did not even have the courage to confront any of us Ladies in White they had arrested in such an arbitrary manner.  They did not give us a single explanation in regards to the measures taken against us“.

When Fonseca arrived to the police unit, handcuffed and in custody of various police officers, she began to shout “Long Live Laura Pollan”, “Long Live the Ladies in White”, and “Freedom for Cuba“.

During her time in the jail cell, Fonseca explained that she was able to see the political detainee Calixto Ramon Martinez Areas, an independent journalist and member of the Pro-Human Rights Party of Cuba who was arrested on Thursday, May 10th, under accusations of “being illegal” in the Cuban Capital.  Various activists throughout the island, especially the independent journalists of ‘Hablemos Press’, have denounced the case of Areas and have demanded his unconditional and immediate release.  According to the Lady in White, Calixto Ramon had already “been on hunger strike for 4 days” when she saw him.

The independent journalist was arrested near the Jose Marti Airport, located in the municipality of Boyeros, in Havana.  The authorities want to deport him to his province of origin- Camaguey.  In regards to this, Fonseca Quevedo said “(the regime) continues violating the rights of all Cubans.  They deport us in our own country, as if we were foreigners“.

Despite the repression, Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo said that she felt “very content” with the news that 68 Ladies in White surpassed police cordons and were able to march down Havana’s 5th Avenue and attend mass in the Santa Rita Church on Mother’s Day. “For me, this news was the best gift“, said the activist, despite the fact that she was jailed.

For more information from  Cuba:

Sara Marta Fonseca – Cell Phone:  +5353-379-011     // Twitter: @SaraMartaCuba

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