Former Political Prisoner and His Daughter Denounce Arrest and Confiscation of their Equipment. They Demand a Response.

Former political prisoner of conscience Felix Navarro (left) and his daughter, independent journalist Sayli Navarro

Father and daughter, Felix Navarro Rodriguez and Sayli Navarro– the first a former political prisoner and the latter an independent journalist- were arrested together along with the activist Nelson Ruiz, all of which belong to the Pedro Luis Boitel Movement for Democracy, this  Saturday August 25th when they were traveling from their city of residence- Perico- towards Calimente, in the province of Matanzas.

Police agents pulled over the vehicle the three were traveling aboard and arrested them.  Sayli Navarro managed to send out a Twitter message during the arrest.  “They are taking me and my dad on Police Vehicle # 208“, she said.  The young Cuban was also able to snap a photo in the backseat of the police vehicle.

Inside police vehicle during arrest, photo taken by Sayli Navarro

Meanwhile, Nelson Ruiz was shoved into another police car.  All were taken to the Police Unit of Calimete, where they were kept for various hours.

After the arrest, both Felix and Sayli denounced that their laptop computer was confiscated by the agents.  In fact, Navarro Rodriguez penned a letter to Matanza’s fiscal department, denouncing the crime and citing major Yaidel Diaz Gonzalez as the main culprit of the confiscation of Sayli’s personal laptop.

The mentioned agent [Yaidel Diaz Gonzalez] demands that we show him the paperwork stating that we own the computer in order to have it back“, explained the former political prisoner in his letter, “But how is it possible to ask this when there is no complaint filed saying that the computer has been stolen in the first place?

Navarro Rodriguez has written a series of letters to various members of the fiscal department in Cuba as of January, condemning and demanding justice for arbitrary arrests, forced evictions and theft of technological items carried out by the state police.  Each and every one of his inquiries and demands have been completely ignored by the authorities.

Jose Guerrero shows some of the wounds he was left with. Photo via Sayli Navarro

Meanwhile, on the morning of August 27th, two unidentified men assaulted and beat activist Jose Alberto Guerrero Roque, also a member of the Pedro Luis Boitel Movement, in the city of Perico. After the beating, which consisted of various punches on the victim’s head, the aggressors took off on bicycles.  Although the men were not identified, activists from Matanzas province are blaming State Security for the violence, considering that it is very common for this extension of the regime to utilize common criminals to attack dissidents on the island.  For example, in May of 2012, State Security agent Eric Francis Aquino Yera told a common prisoner to tell activist Damaris Moya Portieles in Santa Clara that he was going to rape her 5 year old daughter.  Also, in acts of repudiation throughout the country,  common prisoners and common criminals on the street  have been identified participating in the violence,  yelling offensive slogans and throwing objects at dissident homes. And not to mention, even beating the human rights defenders.

Despite the beating and the fact that the laptop was stolen, the Cuban regime “has not been able to keep the Pedro Luis Boitel Movement from growing“, said another Tweet from Felix Navarro (@felixncuba).

Sayli’s cellphone remained blocked for various days after the incident, but as soon as she was able to re-establish the service, she continued Tweeting (@Saylinavarro): “We will continue in the struggle in our island; there is no such thing as an eternal dictatorship“.

Felix Navarro Rodriguez assured in another Tweet about how the Cuban dictatorship is increasing its violence due to the fear it feels upon seeing so much peaceful activism in favor of Cuba’s freedom in all provinces from East to West, explaining that both dissidents and the oppressors “are preparing themselves for the final battle“.

Former Political Prisoner and His Daughter Denounce Arrest and Confiscation of their Equipment. They Demand a Response.

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