Violent arrest of 43 dissidents in Holguin for debating about The Path of the People

Independent journalist Alexei Jimenez Almarales, from Holguin, has sent the following note in regards to 43 arrests of local dissidents on the afternoon of August 5th, the anniversary of El Maleconazo (when numerous Cubans took to the streets in Havana demanding freedom in 1994).  The activists had plans to divulge and debate The Path of the People, a pro-freedom project started by Oswaldo Paya.

The details:

“State Security detained 43 dissidents in the city of Holguin last Monday, on the 19th anniversary of ‘El Maleconazo’

Activists from various organizations decided to meet and debate about Oswaldo Paya’s project known as ‘The Path of the People’.  The political police came out and directed themselves towards the home of dissident Ramon Zamora Rodriguez, where meeting was to take place. 

The detentions and beatings started in the place where The Path of People was to be debated and they extended to various points of the city, culminating in a total of 43 detainees all in the same day, a historical record of violation of human rights on behalf of State Security in Holguin”.

Jimenez Almarales provided a list with the names of the 43 detainees (including himself):

Julio Cesar Ramos Curbelo
Alexander Marrero De La Rosa
Suleidy lisbet Pérez Velázquez
Carmen Oropesa Ramírez
Alexei Jiménez Almarales
Jorge Luis Recio Arias
Emir José Bermúdez Pérez
Julio Cesar Albares Marrero
Rosa María Naranjo Nieves
Danai Mendiola Duquesne
Luis Jaime Meriño
Mauricio Martínez Días
Yolanda Pérez Días
Marisol Pupo Rodríguez
José Luis Ricardo Soberats
Yuri Miguel Carralero Vázquez
Bernardo Cintero Gonzales
Gilberto Solí Gonzales
Ramón Zamora Rodríguez
Maylin Ricardo Góngora
Pedro Leiva Góngora
Juan Sacaría Verdecía
Maidolis Leiva Portelles
Damaris García Martínez
Rafael Leyva Leyva
José Isidoro Urbino Zaldívar
Mairin Poso De La Torre
Fuera de la casa de ramón Zamora
Yosbanis Pupo Pérez
Fidel García Roldan
Berta Guerrero Segura
Magdelivia Pelegrino Guerrero
Franklin Pelegrino Del Toro
Rubier Cruz Campo
Liliana Campos Bruzón
Yolangel Pupo Pérez
Ricardo Rodríguez Feria
Amauri Güero Mora
Roberto González Hernández
Eladio Pupo Nieves
Arlenis Rodríguez Ávila
José Luis Mir Cruz
Amilkar Pérez Riverón
Livia Hernández Pérez

The detainees included members of diverse organizations, among them the Christian Liberation Movement, the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front, the Patriotic Union of Cuba, the Republican Party of Cuba, the Eastern Democratic Alliance, Ladies in White and FLAMUR.

Audios recorded during the very moment of the violence, specifically of the act of repudiation by paramilitary agents towards the home of Ramon Zamora, were published on various media outlets in the internet.  In this audio by Radio Republica and this one published by UNPACU, more details are provided.  Agents broke doors and windows to detained activists, and also violently harassed women and underage children.

Meanwhile, Alexei Jimenez reported that this past Saturday, August 3rd, State Security agents attacked dissident Julio Alberto Arias, a member of the Republican Party, in the same city of Holguin.  “Julio Alberto was detained by 4 State Security agents who twisted his arm out on the street and took him to the PNR Unit known as La Primera“, detailed Jimenez.

The journalist provided this photo of the attacked dissident:

Human rights activists have been denouncing an increase in police violence on the island, and all of this because activism in favor of freedom has been increasing as well.

For more information from Cuba, contact:

Alexei Jimenez – Cell Phone: +52-552-925 / Twitter: @jugandomelavida

State carries out vandalism against homes of dissidents (Images)

Julio Alvarez & Catalina Hidalgo infront of their attacked house in Holguin. Via: Alexei Jimenez

Police forces of the Cuban regime have not only taken up the task of arresting, beating, deporting and spying on human rights activists on the island, but also have a long history of carrying out acts of vandalism against their homes.  In the last couple of days, new cases of these actions have been documented.

Alexei Jiménez Almarales, an independent journalist from Holguin province, sent a note to this blog where he explains that the home of dissident couple  Julio Cesar Álvarez Marrero (president of the Claridad Human Rights Movement) and Catalina Hidalgo Nonell (a member of the Ladies in White) was attacked by mobs organized by State Security on the morning of July 29th in the mentioned Eastern province.

When they awoke on Sunday morning, they found the walls of their home full of signs with messages against them as well as exploded condoms full of paint…they had been thrown against the walls of their home, which was left completely filthy“, detailed Jimenez.

Bottle of gasoline with matches outside house. Photo: Alexei Jimenez

The repressors also “left a glass bottle with gasoline and a fuse on the tip in front of their house, as well as a box of matches next to the bottle“.

Julio Cesar Alvarez told the journalist that this serves as a direct threat of lighting his house on fire and he assures that “if something happens to me or to my wife, the culprit is the Cuban government“.

Meanwhile, on the same day in the city of Colon, in Matanzas province, the Lady in White Caridad Burunate suffered a similar attack when political police agents hurled feces at her house, all of this as an attempt to impede her from marching to church as all members of this female group do each Sunday.

“See the terror which Raul Castro’s regime has wanted to implant in Colon, Matanzas, filling my house with feces”, wrote the dissident on her Twitter account (@CaridadBurunate), publishing various photos of the aftermath along with the text.  It is not the first time this is done to her.

Feces thrown at home of @CaridadBurunate
Feces thrown at home of @CaridadBurunate

Burunate’s home not only serves as a meeting point for a number of activists and Ladies in White in the area, but also as the headquarters of the community project known as “Lanza Flores-Capitán Tondique”, where members of the opposition in Matanzas prepare food for homeless and sick citizens.

Caridad Burunate responded to the attacks by hanging a sign outside her home explaining to everyday people what had happened, as well as by publishing another tweet which read, “Down with Fidel, Down with Raul, Down with the tyranny, Down with the dicatorship, Down with communism and Long Live a Free Cuba!

“You throw things at my house because I have more honor than you. Political police throws feces at my house. Down with the dictatorship”. @CaridadBurunate

For more information from Cuba, contact:
Alexei Jiménez Almarales – Cell Phone: +52-552-925 / Twitter: @jugandomelavida
Caridad Burunate – Cell Phone: +52-563-003 / Twitter: @CaridadBurunate

“Higher and Lower”: Women march and demand regime to higher salaries and lower prices (Video)

Bajen los precios y Suban los salarios

Members of FLAMUR, a pro-freedom group made up of female activists in Cuba, carried out a march in Holguin as part of the “Higher and Lower” campaign, launched by this same group to demand fair salaries and prices. 

Independent journalist Alexei Jimenez Almarales sent the following report and the video (attached below) regarding the activity:

Women of FLAMUR march and demand higher salaries and lower prices

“Higher salaries and lower prices”.  Those were the words which women from Holguin were chanting as they marched with a flag of FLAMUR in their hands.

These brave women were supported by Amilkar Perez Riveron, an activist of the Republican Party of Cuba, who participated in the demonstration by these members of the Federation of Rural Latin American Women (FLAMUR).

The march took place on the morning of July 16th nearby the Hilda Torre neighborhood in the city of Holguin.

“We will continue to demand the Cuban government to pay workers just salaries that yield enough to survive, and/or to lower prices so that everyday Cubans can have access to things they need”, expressed Libia Hernandez Perez, director of FLAMUR in Holguin.

The dissidents which participated were: Gladis Ramírez Fernández, Lisbet Peñas Hernández, Eleiny Viamonte Cardoso, Libia Hernández Pérez, Carmen Oropesa Ramírez and Amilkar Pérez Riverón.

Victims of the ’13 de Marzo’ Tugboat Massacre honored in Cuba

“The faces of a tragedy”. Victims of the 13 de Marzo Tugboat Massacre

Numerous Cubans on the island reported that activities in commemoration of the victims of the ’13 de Marzo’ Tugboat Massacre took place throughout the country this past Saturday, 13th of July, the 19th anniversary of the crime, where forces of the dictatorship received orders to open fire on children, women and men who were trying to escape the country on an old tugboat. 

Independent journalist Alexei Jimenez Almarales sent a note to this blog about how these innocent Cubans were remembered in the Eastern province of Holguin:

Victims of ’13 de Marzo’ Tugboat Massacre remembered with much pain by dissidents in Holguin

Activists from the Republican Party of Cuba paid tribute to the people assassinated under the orders of Fidel Castro Ruz on July 13th 1994.

The members of the PRC deposited flowers in the river as a sign of respect to the men, women and children who lost their lives when the Cuban authorities sunk the 13 de Marzo tugboat on the coasts of Cuba.

“The assassination of these people who were aboard the 13 de Marzo Tugboat will not remain with impunity, we will remember them each year so that the people who perpetrated this horrible massacre know that the Cuban people demand justice”, commented Jorge Luis Recio Arias, director of the PRC in the municipality of Holguin.

Those who participated were: Jorge Luis Recio Arias, Amilkar Pérez Riverón, Lisbet Peñas Hernández, Ania Isabel Martínez Perdomo, Carmen Oropesa Ramírez, Julio Cesar Ramos Cúrvelo.

 Activists of the Claridad Human Rights Movement pay tribute to victims of the 13 de Marzo Tugboat on the 19th anniversary of its drowning

Activists from the Claridad Human Rights Movement pay tribute to the victims of the 13 de Marzo Tugboat on the 19th anniversary of its sinking
Six member of the Claridad Human Rights Movement were able to make it to a local river, where they honored the people who lost their lives on that fateful 13th of July 1994.
After sharing a few words in remembrance of the horrible murder, the present deposited flowers in honor of the more than 40 people who died after being drowned by Cuban authorities in the shores of Havana.
They also commemorated the 11th anniversary of the Claridad Movement which was founded on July 13th of 2002 with the objective of denouncing human rights violations committed by the communist government of Cuba.
The participants were: Julio Cesar Álvarez Marrero, Alexander Casavielle Hidalgo, Yolanda Pérez Días, Wilmer Escalona Molina, Wilver Gomes Gracias.
For more details:
Alexei Jimenez – Cell Phone: +52-552-925

Video of Werlando Leyva in Holguin Hospital after machete attack by paramilitary agent

The following video of Werlando Leyva Batista, member of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) who was attacked with a machete by a paramilitary agent on June 8th in Holguin, was sent by independent journalist  Alexei Jimenez Almarales. In the video, we see Leyva Batista in the hospital, with a cast on his arm, explaining what happened to him at the hands of his oppressor, “Amauri”:

Dissidents show solidarity with Werlando Leyva, activist attacked with machete

As has been reported through various media outlets, this past Saturday June 8th dissident Werlando Leyva Batista, a member of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) in the Eastern province of Holguin, was attacked with a machete by a paramilitary agent known as Amaury, hailing from “El Martillo” neighborhood.

In an audio published by MCL on their YouTube account, Leyva Batista recounts that the aggressions against him are due to his work “promoting ‘The Path of the People’ and working towards freedom”.  The majority of the injuries he obtained after the attack are on his hand and his thigh, though he assures that the objective of the aggressor was to assassinate him. Leyva Batista provided further details in another audio published by ‘Radio Republica’Now, during the dawn hours of this June 12th, various activists from diverse pro-freedom groups displayed their solidarity with Werlando in the Lenin Hospital of Holguin where he has been checked in.  The dissidents received threats for their gestures of solidarity.  Independent journalist and Holguin native Alexei Jimenez Almarales sent the following report from the island:

“More than 10 dissidents were threatened on the morning of June 12th for standing in front of the Lenin Hospital in the city of Holguin.

These human rights activists were showing solidarity with MCL activist Werlando Leyva Batista who received two machete blows three days ago.  They are at the Hospital under threats of being detained, as authorities have said they will call the police. 

Those present are:

Yoel Ordeñe Garrotiza, Yonis Leon Abarta, Osnai Pérez Matinés, Luis Quintana, Julio Cesar Ramos Cúrvelo, Juan Carlos Iznaga Santisteban, Denis Pino Basulto, Liliana Campos Buzón, Robier Cruz Campo, Madelaine Escobar Barseló, Juan Carlos Reyes Ocaña, Jorge Taylor y Daniel Rodrigué Osorio”.

The pro-freedom MCL, as well as the Cuban opposition in general, has denounced the increase of repression against activists.  The past few months have seen the increase of death threats, persecution, arbitrary arrests, acts of repudiation and spontaneous beatings at the hands of the political police apparatus.  However, everything indicates that as these repressive measures increase, so too does solidarity amongst activists, regardless of the groups they belong to, something which greatly worries the dictatorship.

For more information from Cuba, contactar:

Alexei Jiménez Almarales – Cell Phone: +52-552-925 / Twitter: @jugandomelavida

Update: Tense situation for Cuban hunger strikers who demand release of jailed activist (Videos)

Dissident leader Jose Daniel Ferrer weakened during 19th day of hunger strike
Youngest hunger striker, Enrique Lozada (17) during hunger strike

More activists keep joining the massive hunger strike encompassing more than 60 people throughout Eastern Cuba, demanding the release of detained dissident Luis Enrique Lozada Igarza, while the other strikers who have already been refusing to eat for more than 3 weeks maintain their protest, which has led to the deterioration of their health.  The Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) has been publishing a series of videos and audios in their  YouTube channel with updates on the situation.In this video (above), the youngest of the strikers, 17-year old Enrique Lozada, who is the son of Luis Enrique Lozada, defends his protest before various doctors sent by the government to try and make him give up on his demands in the Juan Bruno Zayas hospital of Santiago de Cuba.

“With the level of stress I have  right now, knowing that my mother is also on hunger strike, as well as my uncle, seeing as how my family is being torn apart, do you really think I feel like living?”, the young Cuban tells the team of doctors, “Why am I going to live knowing that my father is dying in a prison cell because of a crime he never committed?  Knowing that my family is falling to pieces”.

The video concludes with the protest of various hunger strikers that are present in that room.  They point out that the regime has ignored their demands and has not even acknowledged the situation of Luis Enrique Lozada and the other strikers.

In this audio (above), Darmis Aguedo, wife of Luis Enrique Lozada, mother of Enrique, and also on hunger strike, explains that she was able to see her husband recently in the Provincial Hospital of Santiago.  She said he was being held in an “isolated” room and under the “permanent” custody of two armed police guards.  They were able to speak for a few minutes.  She said he was still strong in spirit but his health proved otherwise, as he has lots of weight due to the hunger strike.

Meanwhile, independent journalist Alexei Jimenez informed on his Twitter account (@jugandomelavida) that the hunger strikers in Holguin- Franklin Peregrino del Toro and Pedro Leiva Gongora– were taken to a hospital for a few hours on the night of May 5th.  Berta Guerrero, a member of the Ladies in White and wife of Franklin Peregrino, offered more details.  She said both strikers had been denied medical assistance various times.

On the afternoon of Sunday May 5th, various activists directed themselves to the nearest medical center, asking for an ambulance for Pergrino and Leiva but the medical employees ignored them.  A few hours later, a doctor finally showed up at the house, taking both dissidents to the Lenin Hospital to be hydrated.  Guerrero explains that the health of the Holguin hunger strikers- whom have already been in their protest for 15 days- has drastically weakened but that they will maintain their protest “until Lozada Igarza is freed”.  In Gibara (Holguin), another 4 activists have joined the strike.  The response of the political police has been to organize acts of repudiation against them.

Solidarity with the hunger strikers on behalf of the internal opposition has been national, however.  In Palma Soriano, various UNPACU members recently carried out a public march, demanding Luis Enrique’s liberation, as can be observed in the following video:

Former political prisoners of conscience Ángel Moya Acosta and Félix Navarro Rodríguez were able to travel to Santiago de Cuba to show solidarity with Enrique Lozada, Ana Celia Rodriguez, Jose Daniel Ferrer and other strikers this Sunday, May 5th, while the Ladies in White dedicated their Sunday march to Luis Enrique Lozada.

On the morning of May 6th, former political prisoner Jorge Luis Garcia Perez ‘Antunez’, leader of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front, published a declaration in the name of the mentioned pro-freedom coalition in solidarity with the hunger striking activists.

As for the international scene, several activists have created a petition directed to Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and other organizations so that there be an increase in solidarity with the case of Luis Enrique Lozada, his family, and all the strikers who have put their lives at risk for freedom.  The petition can be signed by clicking here.

The cell phones of more than 40 dissidents in Cuba, the majority members of UNPACU, have been blocked in the past couple of days in order to prevent them from publishing information about the strike.  Regardless, activists have been reporting the details any possible way they can.  The lives of all those who are taking part in this strike are in danger, but they have all said they will continue onward, pressuring the dictatorship to free a Cuban who has not committed a crime and is being held behind bars.

“Urgent Solidarity” with Lady in White Ana Celia Rodriguez, one of the hunger strikers. Artwork by Rolando Pulido

Health of hunger strikers in Holguin worsens

Independent journalist Alexei Jiménez Almarales, from Holguin, has sent the following note with an update on the worsening health of some of the hunger strikers in the mentioned province which have joined the protest of more than 50 activists of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), demanding the release of activist Luis Enrique Lozada, detained and on hunger strike after a brutal arrest last April 9th.

The hunger strikers in Holguin are Franklin Peregrino del Toro and Pedro Leiva Gongora. Here is their situation:

Health of Holguin activists on hunger strike is worsening

Pedro Leiva
Franklin Peregrino

Strong headaches and weakness are plaguing hunger strikers Pedro Leiva Gongora and Franklin Peregrino del Toro.

These two dissidents form part of a group of various dozens of hunger strikers demanding the release of Luis Enrique Lozada.

Although more peaceful dissidents have been joining the strike, the Cuban government has not pronounced itself in the national media, and the everyday people remain uninformed about what is happening in the nation.

“We cannot allow them to die… we will take to the streets it necessary. The dictatorship has gone way too far”, expressed Rosa Maria Naranjo Nieves, a member of the Ladies in White.

For more information from Cuba, contact:

Phone Number: 52552925

Dissidents in Holguin: Police vigilance is increasing

The following article was written and made public by Alexei Jimenez Almarales, an independent journalist from Holguin, and is about the increase in level of repression and vigilance of dissidents and their families in that same province:

In Holguin, dissident families are under constant vigilance

Every Sunday morning is an entire odyssey for two families of dissidents- whom are devout methodists- in the city of Holguin.

This is the reality of the two families composed by: Ania Isabel Martinez Perdomo, her husband Alexis Aguilera Ramos, and their two children Yazmin and Alcibiades Aguilera Martinez, and Yuri Miguel Carralero Vazquez, his wife Yuliet Pernas Oropesa, their daughter Melissa Carralero Pernas, his mother-in-law Carmen Oropesa Ramirez, and his brother-in-law Eugenio Molina Oropesa.  They see their weekends become a ‘witch-hunt’ of sorts, despite that for them Sundays are days of worship which belong to the Lord.

On December 9th, 2012, the same thing happened in the Methodist Holguin Central Church when these families were amid a moment of worship, and another State Security agent arrived on his motorcycle, parked and entered the temple, trying to blend in with the congregation.  These dissidents face these situations time and time again.  Despite being persecuted, they continue carrying out their work within the peaceful opposition, but they also express fear for the repression against their relatives.

Ania Isabel declared: “we know that we cannot ask our persecutors to stop spying on our children, but we are publicly denouncing the fear which these agents are intending to instil in us as parents”.

Images of vigilance such as these- in front of the Methodist Church of Holguin- occurr with far too much frequency


For more information from Cuba:
Alexei Jiménez Almarales – Cell Phone: +5352-552-925

More Testimonies from House Raid Victims: “I was threatened that If I don’t Leave the Ladies in White, They’d Kill Us All”

After the brutal house raid which occurred in the home of Lady in White Glisedis Pina Gonzalez in Holguin this past Saturday August 18th, all the detainees have been released.  Three of these activists have shared their testimonies with this blog, offering details of the harassment and threats they endured while being held in police units under the hands of State Security and the political police:

Rosa María Naranjo Nieves
Lady in White

The mobs of State Security agents broke into the home (…) one officer, in charge of matters with minors, grabbed a 14 year old and arrested her, nearly stripping her of her clothes.  Our response was to protest because of this, and he beat all of us.  Those women who were not hit inside, they were later beat outside by the mobs.  In my case, they punched me on my back and pulled my hair.  They then twisted my arm and shoved me into a police vehicle, which took me to the Instructional Unit of Pedernales.  That was on Saturday, August 18th, in the afternoon and I was held till the morning of Monday, August 20th.

On Saturday night, while I was in the cell, I started to get dizzy and desires to vomit.  I told the guards I felt bad so they took my blood pressure, which was on 210 with 120- very high.  They told me they did not have the medicines to take care of my blood pressure but later ended up giving me something and it went down slightly.  When I had it on 170, they shoved me into the dungeon again”.

Danay Mendiola
Lady in White

A MININT (Ministry of the Interior) agent whose name I did not get, beat us and applied immobilization locks on us.  They took us in police vehicles.  In the Unit, they beat us more.  They mistreated us, insulted us.  We were taken to the Pedernales Unit and kept there from Saturday to Monday.  We screamed slogans like “Down with hunger”, “Long live Human Rights”, and “Freedom for all political prisoners”.  They mistreated us, we were hungry, and I feel very weak.  In fact, my throat is in pain.  But we are going to keep fighting.  The more repression they carry out against us, the more strength we obtain to continue in the struggle.

A State Security agent known as ‘Chacman’- from Holguin- went to see me in my cell on Monday night and he told me that if we (referring to the Ladies in White) continued to be active, then he, and others, were going to kill us, because we are ‘counter-revolutionaries’.  He asked me what I gained with doing what I do.  I told him the only purpose was for the freedom of Cuba, and that if they keep repressing us, we were going to get more strength.  We are under total threats, every single Lady in White from Holguin province.

Chacman threatened me again, saying that if I did not leave the Ladies in White, he was going to kill us all, little by little, and slowly.  This happened on Monday.  He went to my cell to tell me this”.

Alexei Jiménez Almarades
Independent journalist

I am the husband of Lady in White Eleiny Villamonte Cardozo.  I had left my wife in the Glisedis’ house that afternoon, and when I returned to pick her up, I noticed that the entire entrance of the house was surrounded by mobs, organized by State Security.  A minor was accompanying me- my wife’s 16 year old female cousin.  The mobs violently rushed at us.  What was interesting, though, was that State Security alleged that the mobs were everyday neighbors, but it is obvious that this mobs were manipulated and sent by the counter-intelligence Department of Holguin.

I was aggressively attacked, they hit me on my arms, on my ribs, and I thank God that I was wearing a helmet for my bicycle.  They grabbed sticks and hit me with them, but the helmet protected me.

Afterward, once the women were detained, I directed myself to the State Security Unit at around 12 AM to demand them that they release all the detainees.  The agent known as ‘The Polish’ came out.  He quickly called a police car and they detained me.  Once detained, I remained in protest and on hunger strike, demanding freedom for the detained activists”.