After an arbitrary arrest during the late night of Monday, July 30th, on the highway of Cueto, located in the province of Holguin in a rural area known as “El Manguito”, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia was taken to the Instructional Unit of Holguin, known as Pedernales, notorious for the tortures and mistreatment against citizens detained there, especially dissidents and Ladies in White.
According to the former political prisoner, this time he was interrogated by police agents who wanted to know why he was traveling to Havana. However, at no point in time did the agents offer explanations as to why he was being detained. He was released midday on Wednesday, August 1st.
Ferrer García explained that his arrest occurred for two reasons. Firstly, because “there is a strong and dynamic campaign underway that is in favor of the Citizen Demand for Another Cuba. This initiative has had various stages- it started with written declarations demanding that the regime ratify the international covenants on human rights, documents defending political, social, cultural, and economic liberties“. The dissident leader adds that many members of the internal opposition are supporting this initiative, which is something that “greatly scares the tyranny, seeing as their plan is to avoid that this campaign become stronger and yield results. That’s why they try to keep me from doing anything. Previously, I was already banned from traveling to the Cuban capital, but now they have doubled their efforts to make sure I do not come close to Havana“.
Ferrer detailed that the regime “now has a strong operation underway throughout my town of Palma Soriano, with the intention of prohibiting me from moving from my house. That vigilance is always there, it is permanent. In fact, I had managed to surpass such cordons on the night of the 30th but the regime has a mechanism which consists of taking more drastic measures when they notice that they have not localized us for a while. When this happens, they send out their agents and do not rest until they know where we are. They pull aside every vehicle which drives by, they ask for ID cards, and since transportation is so poor and their are barely any good roads, it makes it difficult for us. In fact, we had spent a lot of our own resources to surpass the cordons. We had been driving around for a while and nearly made it out undetected but they had all the roads taken by their agents, stopping all vehicles to see if I was aboard one“.
The other reason which Ferrer considered he was arrested was because of the increased level of violence against dissidents like Jorge Cervantes Garcia, which the former political prisoner was documenting and had plans to demonstrate to journalists in Havana.
The home of Cervantes has been under constant attacks for various weeks now (see here) by what Ferrer Garcia refers to as “squadrons of terror who wear masks and work at night- the lights are turned off by the electric company under orders of the Communist Party. Their mission is to stone and vandalize the homes of dissidents with asphalt and toxic products“.
Jorge Cervantes,his wife and small children were also arrested on Tuesday, July 31st, as they were aboard a vehicle in the central city of Sancti Spiritus, on their way to Havana as well. The police agents who carried out the arrest snatched the photos and other visual proofs of the vandalism and violence carried out against his home. None of these materials have been given back.
“In sum, the tyranny has lots of fear“, expressed Ferrer Garcia, “they know that each passing day their are more Cubans who are tired of the lack of freedom, the lack of rights, of opportunities. Everyday there are more Cubans who want change in Cuba, they desire freedom, democracy and a state of laws, and they know that the opposition has been consolidating itself and more and more Cubans are looking to the opposition as a reference for hope, of need to do something for a better future for this country and for all Cubans. That is why the Castro regime terrorizes, harasses, beats, and arrests as much as they deem necessary, in order to hinder union, to hinder unity in action of the pro-democracy forces“.
The dissident leader denounced that “as levels of crime are sky-rocketing, everyday people suffer, amid robberies, assassinations, and violations in which most of the time the culprits are not arrested. The police, which should be protecting the people, take orders from the Communist Party and dedicate themselves to hunt, watch, harass, impede, and detain peaceful dissidents who defend human rights, as well as Ladies in White“.
“That is the sad reality which we try to, and will, change“, he assured.
For more information from Cuba:
José Daniel Ferrer García – Cell: +5353-256-106 // Twitter: @jdanielferrer
Jorge Cervantes García – Cell: +5353- 791-610