On the late night of July 30th- at around 11:10 PM- the dissident leader and coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, was arrested by agents of the National Revolutionary Police as he was traveling aboard an independently owned vehicle through the Eastern region known as “El Manguito”, en route to Holguin. Anyer Antonio Blanco, also a member of UNPACU who was with Ferrer Garcia during the moment of his arrest, explained that he does not know the whereabouts of the former political prisoner.
“A police vehicle intercepted the car we were on and an agent got off and demanded to see the license of the driver“, said Blanco, “afterward, another official from the National Revolutionary Police arrived, demanded to see the identification of all 3 of us in the vehicle and waited to receive orders. At that moment, they arrested Jose Daniel“.
According to the activist, Jose Daniel demanded to know the reasons why he was being arrested but the police officials did not give him a single explanation.
“Our ID documents were thrown in the trunk of the car and they took Jose Daniel in another police vehicle towards Holguin“, denounced Blanco. It was the last that he heard from him that night.
The young activist expressed his worry for Ferrer Garcia, as relatives and other human rights activists have also done, considering that he has various health complications and has had to turn to methods such as hunger strikes to protest the abuses he is subjected to while he is imprisoned, as was the most recent case this past April 2012 when he was detained for nearly a month.
Anyer said that it is possible that the dissident leader is being held in the Instructional Unit of Holguin, known as “Pedernales”- a place infamous for all the tortures carried out against dissidents detained there.
“This has been an arbitrary arrest. The Castro government has kept its word, they have told Jose Daniel that they will not allow him to leave his province [Santiago de Cuba]. They have told him that if he tries, he will be detained indefinitely, until they decide“, said Blanco.
Despite countless threats such as these, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia has continued to carry out civic activities in Palma Soriano as well as organizing protests, meetings, and debates for UNPACU. His house is constantly under the vigilance of State Security and surrounded by political police agents, while his relatives, friends and fellow dissidents are harassed for trying to get inside the house. Many dissident human rights activists on Twitter and other mediums have demanded Jose Daniel’s immediate release.
For more information from Cuba:
Anyer Antonio Blanco – Cell Phone: + 5358- 146-606