After having surpassed police operations for two consecutive Sundays, this past 27th of May Lady in White and independent journalist Caridad Caballero Batista was once again arrested along with her husband Esteban Sandez Suarez as they were trying to assist Sunday Mass in the city of Holguin. According to the activist, the violence occurred under the orders of State Security official Yordanys Martinez Leon, a well known local oppressor.
“Just a few steps from my house, when we were trying to get to church at around 8:25 AM, agent Martinez Leon ran at me and quickly snatched my purse from my arm”, said the activist, explaining that “that is what this specific agent always does first”.
After the snatching of the purse, the official gave orders to a number of women dressed in green and who are members of the Ministry of the Interior to continue with the arrest. These agents twisted the arms of Caridad Caballero and shoved her into a police vehicle while other oppressors did the same with Esteban Sandez. Both were taken to the Instructional Unit of Pedernales where they were confined to small, sealed-off and inhumane cells until 12:15 PM.
Some other Ladies in White in the city of Holguin who suffered the same fate were Berta Guerrero Segura, Noemí Hidalgo Gómez and Adisnidia Cruz, among others.
According to Caballero Batista, there was a police operation consisting of constant vigilance and threats on behalf of countless political police officials throughout the entire week, until she finally was arrested on Sunday. “Wherever I would go during the week, I had State Security agents following me“, she said. “On Sunday, I awoke to find my house surrounded by a number of police vehicles State Security officials on motorcycles, National Police officers, and snitches from the Rapid Response Brigades“. The dissident said that the latter constantly keep a watch over her and other local activists 24 hours a day.
Despite the constant persecution, Caballero Batista points out that another 5 Ladies in White were able to surpass police cordons and assist Mass in the Jesus Christ Redeemer of Men Church this past Sunday.
“We are victims of all sorts of violations just for demanding our rights to religious freedom and the complete freedom of all Cubans, and for simply going to Church to pray to God for our loved ones and for the freedom of all political prisoners. But despite this repression, we are going to continue moving forward and nothing will hold us back. I am letting State Security know this, as well as Fidel Castro and Raul Castro…they will have to kill us, but as long as we have strength we are going to continue taking to the streets to demand our rights”, said Caridad Caballero Batista.
For more information from Cuba:
Caridad Caballero Batista – Cell Phone: +5352-629-749 // Twitter: @caricaballero