Regime Fears Growing Number of Pro-Freedom Signs and Stickers

Top sticker reads: “I do not Cooperate with the Cuban Dictatorship” // Bottom sticker reads: “Change”

Rafael Meneses Pupo, a human rights activist from the Eastern Democratic Alliance, from Los Negritos neighborhood in Banes, Holguin province, affirmed that the regime forces of the political police and State Security have refused him his right to travel to the municipality of Antilla, in the same province of Holguin.  The authorities admitted that this prohibition was based on the growing number of stickers and signs with anti-government and pro-freedom messages that are appearing.

Captain Freddy from State Security in Banes told me himself that I could not travel to Antilla“, said Meneses Pupo, highlighting that the Captain said “that the reason that he could not travel was because Antilla was full of stickers with pro-freedom messages and that we were trouble and could not go there“.

This past 26th of July 2012, Cristian Toranzo Fundichely, also an activist from the Eastern Democratic Alliance and the director of the “Antillano Libre” independent newspaper, reported from Antilla that a number of stickers with “messages of no-cooperation with the Cuban dictatorship” had been pasted in public spaces amid celebrations of a state holiday.  Prior to this, on July 23rd, Fundichely explained that a large “Down with Fidel” sign had also appeared in the same municipality.  According to the young dissident, Antilla is an area in which signs, stickers, and other displays of popular discontent with the regime constantly appear.

According to the reports of both these Eastern dissidents, the Cuban authorities have found themselves in a position where they have had to admit that they are losing power and cannot control the desires of the population, which is why they must detain and prohibit human rights activists from traveling within their own country, so that they are not present in areas where local discontent is high, in order to prevent a massive popular protest.

For more information from Cuba:

Rafael Meneses Pupo – Cell Phone: +5353-268-071 // Cristian Toranzo Fundichely– Cell Phone: +5352-959-942

Cubans Paste Anti-Government Stickers During State ‘Celebration’

Anti-government sticker. Reads “I do not cooperate with the dictatorship”

This past 26th of July, amid the state celebrations on the anniversary of the ‘Assault on the Moncada Barracks’, in the Eastern municipality of Antilla a number of stickers with anti-government messages were pasted on various buildings during the daytime, according to the dissident Cristian Toranzo Fundichely.

Fundichely said that there were “dozens” of stickers pasted which read “I do not cooperate with the Cuban dictatorship“, and that the citizens who pasted them were not identified.

This occurred “right in the middle of the city, on Marti Street, a very centric location” and it led to a “police operation, where the political police kept a tight vigilance over all local dissidents, although no arrests were reported“.

Toranzo Fundichely expressed that pasting stickers with pro-freedom messages and messages against the dictatorship are methods which create “much bother for the regime” and that they convoke a sense of sympathy from the majority of the everyday people.  In fact, the activist explained that one neighbor- a woman- expressed to him that these same stickers “should be pasted on police units and barracks“.

This past 23rd of July there also appeared a large sign on a tobacco factory in Antilla which read “Down with Fidel“, which also led to a police operation in order to try and find the authors, but such an identification (or arrest) did not occur successfully.

Antilla is a municipality where many signs such as these prop up often“, said Toranzo, adding that “there are still people who are fearful, due to repression, so they express themselves by putting up signs“.

The activist is of the opinion that both stickers and signs with such messages put the Cuban regime in an uncomfortable position and that they are greatly hurt and bothered by such actions.

Youth Activist Recounts Recent Act of Violence Against Him, Other Activists, and 13-month-old Child

Cristian Toranzo Fundichely

On May 7th, 2012, various Cubans- among them a 13 month old child- were victims of a violent raid and arrest on behalf of the political police and State Security, according to the youth activist and independent journalist Cristian Toranzo Fundichely, a resident of Antilla, a municipality of Holguin.

The incidents began when the Lady in White Mildred Infante was arrested during morning hours when she was traveling from Antilla to Santiago de Cuba to visit some relatives.  Infante was forcefully returned to her home by uniformed political police officials.

Upon not being allowed to leave her own municipality, Mildred started to protest in her home by hanging up signs which read ‘Down with the Revolution’, ‘Down with Terrorism’, and ‘Freedom of Movement’“, explained Toranzo Fundichely.  “Just a few moments later, police agents- under the orders of Lieutenant Roilan Cruz- arrived to the home with asphalt and gasoline and used this to smear the outer walls of the house, also dirtying the floor and covering the messages on the signs“.  Agent Roilan Cruz was one of the main torturers and culprits in the death of Orlando Zapata Tamayo in 2010.

The activist recounted that he was able to make it inside the home during the moment of harassment, as did his wife who was carrying their 13 month old child.  The oppressors then broke into the home and started to beat and arrest all those who were present.

My wife was hit”,  said Funidchely, “they also shoved her and our 13 month old son was hit on the head.  The agents did not have a single search warrant and took me, Mildred, and other dissidents out by force.  They shoved us into State-owned vehicles and took us to the operational G2 unit known as Pedernales”.

The activists were kept in punishment cells until Friday, May 11th.

In regards to the moment of the aggressions, Cristian Toranzo explains that State Security brought various elderly people to scream “Long Live Communism” and “Long Live Fidel” at the activists.  However, Toranzo assured that “the people- neighbors and others- did not respond to this“, they did not repeat their slogans and did not participate in the act of repudiation.

Fundichely is a member of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy as well as the Eastern Democratic Alliance.  He is also one of the authors of the independent journal known as “El Antillano Libre“, which is published monthly and given out amongst the local Antilla population.  To read one of the first five volumes (in Spanish), click here.

For more information from  Cuba:

Cristian Toranzo Fundichely – Cell Phone:   +5352-959942  // Twitter: @CTholguinero