The Lady in White Caridad Caballero Batista, her husband Esteban Sandez Suarez and son Eric Sandez were on their way back from the province of Guantanamo this past Saturday, June 16th after visiting some relatives when they were intercepted by the political police upon arriving to the province of Holguin. According to Caballero, the police agent who intercepted the vehicle her family was traveling on along with other passengers told the driver to hand him his documentation.
However, the activist explains that “more than for the purpose of asking to see the driver’s documents, this action was intentionally aimed at searching my husband Esteban and the bag he was carrying, which was full of clothes“. The agent ordered Esteban to get off the vehicle in order to search him, to which the dissident replied that he was not going to allow, considering that he “is not a delinquent“. Caballero says that “the agents were infuriated and told Esteban that he was committing a crime“.
The response of the agents was to shove Esteban Sandez into a vehicle of the Operational Guard to take him to the Police Unit, where he’d be searched and detained. Upon seeing this, Caridad Caballero and her son Eric Sandez got off the car and began to protest against the arbitrariness, assuring the agents that if they were going to take Esteban, then they’d have to them too.
In a matter of minutes, the three activists were taken to a police unit located on the outskirts of Holguin. “In the case of Esteban, he was kept in a room” where he was searched, explained the Lady in White. “Esteban told the agents that what they were doing was the real crime. We then began to protest in the police unit, we said that they had very little time left, that the Castro brothers have lost, and that they were asphyxiated, in addition to telling them that their is a wave of discontent among the population“.
After a number of hours, the family was released, but upon arriving to their home in the city of Holguin they noticed that the political police had already set up the accustomed weekend operation in order to impede them from arriving to Sunday Mass.
“The entire block was completely surrounded by National Police Guards and by female prison guards. There were also two police vehicles on the corner of 22nd Street, where their used to be a camera”, said Caballero, referring to a camera which was installed their nearly 2 years ago, which monitored who came and left her home. According to the dissident, the operation occurred under the direction of the State Security agent Yordanys Martinez Leon, as it usually occurs.
Due to the police operation, the Caballero-Sandez family was not able to make it to church this Sunday, June 17th, which was also Father’s Day.
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Caridad Caballero Batista – Cell Phone: +5352-629-749 // Twitter: @caricaballero