More beatings, arrests, repudiation and injections against Ladies in White in Matanzas

After four weekends of unmeasurable violence against the Ladies in White and other dissidents in the cities of Cardenas and Colon in the province of Matanzas, Berta Soler – leader of the Ladies in White – traveled to Cardenas this Sunday, August 11th, to march together with the women being repressed, demanding freedom for all political prisoners.  The result was the fifth weekend of violence.

11 women managed to march and assist Mass at The Parish of Cardenas.  When the religious service came to an end, the Ladies left the temple in a march back home.

Leticia Ramos Herrería, representative of the women’s group for the province of Matanzas, said that a State Security official intercepted them and told them that they could not continue walking, all while the same mobs as always – organized by the regime – surrounded the women.

We remained in silence while the mobs shouted insults at us“, said Ramos Herreria, “then, the official told me that we were going to be arrested but without being beat.  It was all the contrary“.

Ramos recounts that all the women were beat and thrown inside police vehicles, among them Berta Soler and Maria Cristina Labrada, from Havana.  Some were taken to the National Revolutionary Police unit while others were left out in the Port of Cardenas.

Leticia explains that although she was also beat, in this case she was not the worst off.  “I want to shed light on the situation of Mercedes de la Caridad la Guardia who the agents, in addition to being beat, threw paint on her, later detained her in the PNR unit and then abandoned her 40 kilometers away from the city.  She was grabbed by the arm by PNR agent Yordan (badge #33500) and agent Yudy (the same woman who has beat us during past weekends and who threatened to shoot me in the forehead recently).  They punched her on her neck, face, abdomen, etc“.

Another worrying case was that of Elizabeth Pacheco Lama, a 23 year old Lady in White.  At the time of her arrest she was “injected on the head with different needles.  They dragged her, beat her, and even destroyed her shoes“, said Leticia.

Despite the State-sponsored violence, Leticia Ramos considers that one of the most significant factors that day was the fact that a number of everyday people showed solidarity with the persecuted women and, because of this, they also suffered violence at the hands of the police.

I want to thank many of the people of Cardenas who protected us.  The police pushed many of them against a wall, they beat them and many of them were shoved into police cars“, said the Matanzas dissident.

Meanwhile, in the city of Colon the violence was similar.  Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, former political prisoner and independent unionist, used his Twitter account (@ivanlibre) to detail that he was arrested upon stepping out of his home in the morning.

“After the violent arrest, dragging me threw the street and pushing me into a police vehicle, they abandoned me out on kilometer 170 on the national highway”, wrote the renown dissident.

Ivan Hernandez @ivanlibre tweeted this picture of the police agents stationed outside his home who later arrested him with violence.
Mobs harassing Ladies in White in Colon. Picture tweeted by @ivanlibre and @COliveraCuba

Ivan’s mother, Asuncion Carillo Hernandez (an elderly lady) was also arrested and they “left her out 1 kilometer after the exit of Colon, en route to San Jose”.

Ivan also tweeted about the case of Lady in White Maritza Perdomo, another woman who was harassed and arrested, kept in an unknown location for a while.

Hernandez Carrillo added that the police officials handcuffed him and twisted his arms back to the point that they cut his circulation in order to impede him from making the “L” shape with his hands (‘L’ for “Libertad”, Spanish for “Freedom”, a sign commonly used by Cuba’s opposition).

Renown dissident and former political prisoner of conscience Angel Moya Acosta was also arrested that Sunday, among other human rights activists.

9 Ladies in White were able to make it to Mass in Colon, despite that many of them were later arrested and repressed.

Dissident Lazaro Diaz Sanchez published a photo on his Twitter account (@LazaroDiazSanch) of an injury he sustained after physical attacks by the political police approximately 3 weeks ago:


We blame the political police, the Castro brothers and their dictatorship for anything that may happen to Elizabeth Pacheco Lama, who was injected on the head.  She also has chunks of hair missing because they pulled it, her legs are scratched and she took many physical blows“, expressed Leticia Ramos, “We hold the dictatorship accountable for her physical integrity as well as that of all Ladies in White in Matanzas, and all of Cuba“.

More beatings, arrests, repudiation and injections against Ladies in White in Matanzas

Ex political prisoner refuses to comply with police citation

When political police agents showed up at the home of former political prisoner of conscience Ivan Hernandez Carrillo in the city of Colon, Matanzas, this 20th of March, his mother Asuncion Carrillo was the one who opened the door.  Ivan was not home, so Asuncion refused to receive the police citation they were bringing for her son which ordered that he had to show up to the local police unit on the following day.  However, Hernandez Carrillo quickly took to his Twitter account (@ivanlibre) to make it very clear to the agents that he would not go to any police unit.  

I respect what each person choses to do, but I am not going to any police unit with or without a citation“, said Ivan, “They are going to have to arrest me and drag me through the street to take me to a police unit, but I am not going to comply with any citations to see any police chief so that he treat me like a delinquent and criminal, because I am neither of those things“.

Due to the information he constantly reports through Twitter and photos, videos, and audios, the political police constantly watches this former prisoner of conscience. When he is not being persecuted by some State Security agent, many times his cell phone is blocked or his calls are interrupted.

When Thursday arrived, Ivan stayed true to his word; he did not cooperate with the orders of the police.

Dissidents Juan Francisco Rangel and Lázaro Díaz Sánchez, from Colon, were also summoned for the same day- Rangel at 11 AM and Diaz Sanchez at 2 PM.  Both were interrogated by agent Raudel, with the same accusations and threats as always because of their pro-freedom activism.

Like I said, I respect the decisions of everyone, but my own is that I will not go to any unit“, emphasized Hernandez Carrillo.

As of now, the renown dissident has not suffered repercussions because of his decision, although it is assumed that the State will continue to harass him.  Regardless, his decision proves that power lies in the citizen, not in the repressive bodies of the regime.

* Special thanks to activist María Cama (@mspianoteacher) for this information 

For more information from Cuba, contact: 
Iván Hernández Carrillo – Cell Phone: +52-599-366 / Twitter: @ivanlibre 

Ex political prisoner refuses to comply with police citation

Tweet of the Day

Ivan Hernandez Carrillo and his mother, Asuncion Carrillo

Today’s “Tweet of the Day” comes from independent journalist and former political prisoner Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, after being interrogated by the political police for various hours along with his elderly mother, the Lady in White Asuncion Carrillo.  Ivan and Asuncion were traveling from their province of residence, Matanzas, to Havana with the purpose of participating in an event to which they were invited to by the US Interests Section to celebrate the 4th of July, American independence day.  From the moment they set out from their town of Colon to the capital, various police agents were persecuting them, walking behind them and watching their every move. When they tried to board a vehicle, the agents told the driver he could not take them, so he drove away. After a while, Ivan and his mother were able to board a national bus but the police agents followed them in.    Throughout the ride, the police agents were photographing the activist and his mother, as well as mocking them.  Eventually, things culminated in an interrogation/detention after the bus ride, where the agents even openly admitted that they tap Ivan’s phone conversations.

One of Ivan’s responses after being released was the following Tweet:

[Translation]When we Cubans achieve freedom, we will never celebrate January 1st .  That day will be remembered with gloom in our nation.

(Note: January 1st 1959 was when Fidel Castro seized power and installed the dictatorship which still stands today.  Castro declared the date a national “holiday”)

Follow Ivan on Twitter! @ivanlibre

Tweet of the Day