“All of Cuba has to see this”: More images of repression on the island (Video)

Niurcy Acosta Pacheco and Raúl González, dissidents and members of the Cuban Reflection Movement (MCR) in Vueltas, Villa Clara, denounced this past 1st of May 2013 that they had been violently arrested by the political police for not accepting their home as dungeons after receiving strict orders from the repressive apparatus to not step out.

Acosta and Pacheco sent photos of the situation and denounced the physical blows they received, but now they have finally been able to send the video of that violent moment. It has been published on the YouTube channel “CubanDemocratic“.

In it, one can clearly see how uniformed officials of the regime arrest the dissident couple, aggressively twisting their necks and arms, throwing them on the floor and keeping them in headlocks until more police vehicles arrive to take them to a unit. The crime? Not accepting their home as a prison and stepping out of their door while the State carried out events for the 1st of May (“May Day” or “International Worker’s Day”), when the regime orders citizens to participate in marches which serve as official propaganda which promote Cuba as a place where worker’s rights are respected.

The violence occurred in front of the couple’s 11 year old son, Daniel, who was the one who filmed everything while on top of his home’s roof.

Recently, Raul Gonzalez responded to a discourse by dictator Raul Castro in regards to the morality of the Cuban people. “Of what principles, values and morals are you talking about if you do not possess any?“, wrote Gonzalez in a message which he later reproduced onto pamphlets which were handed out to locals, “The social indiscipline is only the fault of you all (the government), with your acts of repudiation against peaceful citizens who only demand respect for human rights. That’s called double moral. Do not blame the people anymore…Raul and Fidel Castro are the culprits of this disaster!

For writing things such as this and carrying out similar activities, Gonzalez, Acosta, and other members of the MCR (as well as the opposition in general) face police repression; repression such as the one caught on this video which serves as a living testimony of what goes on in today’s Cuba.

For more details from Cuba, please contact:
Niurcy Acosta Pacheco – Cell Phone: +53- 769-671

The aftermath of the beating of a dissident in Cuba (Video)

This is how Yosmel Martinez Corcho, a member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) in the province of Villa Clara, ended up after a beating at the hands of State Security collaborators on the night of Saturday, June 22nd.

The images shown in this post were sent by Maydelis Gonzalez Almeida (@maydeliscuba1), a member of the Cuban Reflection Movement in the municipality of Quemado de Guines, where the violence occurred.  Gonzalez explains on her Twitter account that the main aggressor was Ariel Acosta, known amongst locals for his violence against dissidents.

Gonzalez Almeida explained to this blog that political police agents told her that Ariel Acosta had been detained, but she later confirmed that this was false.  The aggressor was spotted in his home just hours after the beating.

This is proof that nothing has changed within this government“, said Maydelis in reference to the supposed reforms the regime has been trying to promote through it’s international propaganda.

This news is still a developing story and we have not been able to communicate with Yosmel Martinez yet but here’s the video of the scars left by the violent assault, sent from a cellphone in Cuba:

New images of police repression in Villa Clara

Police agents in the municipality of Vueltas, Villa Clara province, repressed various citizens during the activities of this past First of May.

Among those attacked were dissident couple Raul Gonzalez and Niurcy Acosta Pacheco, members of the Cuban Reflection Movement (MCR) who were surrounded in their own home by the agents and kept from stepping out.  When they finally made it out, they were violently arrested

Raul Gonzalez sent the following photos via his cell phone:

Gonzalez accompanied the images with the following text:

“That’s how the first of May was celebrated, with such a ‘democratic’ act, here in our municipality.  They prohibited us from leaving our homes.  And then they said they didn’t want arrests.  Long live FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY! Raul and Niurcy (MCR)”

When the State attacks, children are the ones who suffer the most (3 cases)

Three different cases of acts of repudiation, acts of vandalism, and arrests were recently reported in different parts of Cuba.  These actions not only affected the targeted dissidents, but also their relatives, leaving scars especially on those who are underage.  These crimes, executed by the political police, are nothing new in totalitarian Cuba, but in this post, we document 3 new cases.  Vueltas, San German, Palma Soriano.  Three different towns and three similar actions against activists of diverse pro-freedom groups.

Friday, March 8th,  2013. Vueltas, Villa Clara.  Raúl González and Niurcy Acosta Pacheco, a couple belonging to the dissident Cuban Reflection Movement, dropped off their 11 year old son, Daniel David, at a friend’s house to celebrate his birthday.  The last thing they expected that afternoon was that Daniel would be arrested for being present at a party.

González, in conversation with“Radio Republica”, said that during the party the children started to play with fireworks, among them those known as “small bombs”.  It was then that the Chief of Sector of Vueltas, whose last name is Mesa, showed up to the house, snatching the ‘toys’ away from all the children and sending them home- all of them except Daniel, who he forcefully took to the local National Revolutionary Police unit.  Mesa told the young boy that his friends were waiting for him in the mentioned unit, but it was just blackmail.

The child told the official that he did not have to be in that place.  Mesa’s response, as well as that of other functionaries, was to threaten Daniel with being handcuffed.

Daniel was detained for a little more than two hours.  “At about 10:30 PM he was left outside and told to go back home on his own”, denounced his father in the same audio.  A friendly neighbor recognized the child and helped him get back home.  His parents, Raul and Niurcy, presented complaints in different institutions but have received no response.

“We know very well that this is just a method [of State Security] to try and destabilize the kid, and at the same time, us”, said Raul Gonzalez.

Monday, March 11th, 2013. San German, Holguín.  At about 1 AM, the home of the sister of activist Eliecer Palma Pupo, of the Eastern Democratic Alliance, was stoned by various unidentified people who ran away after committing the acts of vandalism.  The activist’s mother and sister were inside the house, and so was his 6 year old daughter.

This was not the first time the house, where Eliecer spends much of his time, is attacked with rocks.  According to another audio of ‘Radio Republica’, one of the cases the activist recalls was in 2011, and during the current year of 2013, he has received numerous threats from State Security, especially the agent who goes by the name of Julian, who told him he’d take take repressive measures against him because of his activism.  This is why Palma Pupo assures that the actions were carried out by the regime.

Afterward, the dissident explained to this blog that “one of the rocks penetrated a window, broke the blinds, and landed very close to my daughter.  This has left her very afraid“.

Eliecer and his sister went to the PNR unit of San German to formally present a complaint.  Up to the moment, the authorities have ignored their demand.

Saturday, March 9th, 2013.  Palma Soriano, Santiago de Cuba. Of the three cases, the most violent.  Jose Ramos Corrales, member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) made a call of desperation and condemnation after his home, located in the neighborhood of Nuevo Palma, was surrounded by mobs organized by the political police.  The members of the hate mob were armed with stones, bottles, sticks and machetes and challenged the dissident and his family to step outside so that they “could kill them”.  

In audios published on the YouTube channel of UNPACU and ‘Radio Republica’, Ramos recounted that his 10 year old daughter was inside the house, hearing all the vulgar insults being shouted and witnessing all the acts of violence.

Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, leader of UNPACU, said in his Twitter account (@jdanielferrer) that the mobs “tore down the fence and the wall [of Ramos’ home], they stole their furniture, clothes, a kitchen stove and even a small car to sell pizzas” that they had inside.

“The entire operation against the Ramos-Marrero family was directed by the Communist Party and the agents of its political police”, added another message by Ferrer.

Meanwhile, Ramos was violently arrested during the raid and he was kept in a cell until Monday, just to find his house surrounded once again for another act of repudiation.  The same mobs once again threatened him and his family with death.

Ramos expressed the most worry for his young daughter, denouncing that he has had to take her to a mental health doctor to try and calm her nerves.

The video of this repudiation, and the moment of desperation faced by the young girl, was captured on video and published by UNPACU.  See for yourselves:

Dissidents march for Human Rights in streets of Quemado de Guines, Cuba (VIDEO)


Maydelis González Almeida, member of the dissident Cuban Reflection Movement and resident of Quemado de Guines, in Cuba’s central Villa Clara province, sent this brief video straight from the island today, Thursday February 28th, where various dissidents take to the street of that town to demand “human rights for all Cubans“.  The march coincided with the fifth anniversary in which the Cuban dictatorship signed the social, political, economic and cultural human rights covenants, of which none have been ratified or upheld.  In the activity, other activists such as Nosbel Jomolca and former political prisoner Jorge Vazquez Chaviano (Central Opposition Coalition) participated.

For more information from Cuba, contact Maydelis Gonzalez- Cell Phone: +58-217-833 / Twitter: @maydeliscuba1

Dictatorship tries to impede celebrations of a date which belongs to all Cubans

Drawing of Marti on cover of famous Cuban magazine. 1955.

With all and for the good of all” – one of the most famous phrases by Jose Marti is, perhaps, also one of the ideas which the totalitarian system in Cuba fears the most, proven- year after year- every 28th of January when countless uniformed agents are sent out throughout the island to try and impede civic demonstrations to commemorate the anniversary of his birth.  2013, the 160th anniversary, was no exception.

The police operations began on Sunday the 27th.  In Palma Soriano, Santiago de Cuba, the home of dissident Yuniesky Dominguez Gonzalez– member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU)– was attacked with feces, staining the door and windows.  Dominguez directly blamed the political police for this, since he and his wife, Lady in White Taimi Vega Biscet, had plans to carry out a tribute to Marti.

These are methods employed by the political police, I hold them responsible as well as the Communist Party and all other instruments of the regime“, said the activist.

Meanwhile, despite police vigilance and direct threats by State Security, in Havana 41 Ladies In White managed to carry out their traditional march to Santa Rita Church and later to Mahatma Gandhi Park (See video, courtesy of ‘Hablemos Press’). These women deposited flowers in a statue of Marti in that park and commenced to read various phrases by the poet.

In Cardenas, Matanzas, Leticia Ramos Herreria and other Ladies in White marched for 26 blocks until they arrived to a local park to also deposit flowers in another Jose Marti statue.  This achievement bothered the authorities to the point that State Security officials summoned Ramos to a police unit for the following day.  The activist recounts that she was threatened and offended during the interrogation but that she refused to sign any sort of document and let them know very clear that she would continue going out to the streets of Cuba.

On Monday, the 28th, the repression increased but so did the peaceful and public demonstrations.  In the same province of Matanzas, but in the city of Colon, Juan Francisco Rangel was also summoned to the police station and later surrounded in his own home by agents to try and impede a march.  However, he managed to take to the streets along with other activists from the Pedro Luis Boitel Party for Democracy, successfully carrying out the activity and depositing flowers for Marti, according to a Tweet published by Carlos Olivera (@COliveraCuba).

In Santa Clara, Villa Clara, a group of dissidents from the Central Opposition Coalition also took to the streets shouting slogans in favor of change and honoring Marti.  They were all violently arrested, according to a report by independent journalist and blogger Carlos Michael Morales Rodríguez.

Not too far from that city, in Placetas, members of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front carried out a protest against the regime, also screaming slogans such as “Jose Marti Lives“, as was captured in an audio published by ‘Radio Republica’ in the voice of dissident leader Jorge Luis García Pérez ‘Antúnez’.

A successful march with signs containing anti-regime messages and Jose Marti phrases took place on the streets of Quemado de Guines, Villa Clara, by various members of the Cuban Reflection Movement, among them Maydelis Gonzalez Almeida, who said the march “took place despite strong police vigilance“.

Activity in Quemado de Guines infront of Marti bust. January 28th, 2013

Despite acts of repudiation and some arrests, in Camaguey a public activity was carried out by activists of the Pro-Human Rights Party of Cuba, said Daniel Millet Jimenez.

In Grua Nueva, Ciego de Avila, dissidents of the Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights and from the Pedro Luis Boitel Resistance Movement congregated to honor Jose Marti.

Throughout the Eastern region of the country, members of the Eastern Democratic Alliance in Baracoa, according to Francisco Luis Manzanet Ortiz, and of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy (CYMD) in Velasco, according to  Yonart Rodríguez Avila, also carried out their own meetings, marches and demonstrations in honor of Marti.  Yoandri Montoya Aviles said that in Bayamo, members of the Youth Movement of Bayamo paid homage to the “Apostle of Cuba”.

CYMD also carried out other activities in the municipality of Arroyo Naranjo, in Havana, publishing some photos of the events in their blog.  In the same province, Lady in White  Sara Marta Fonseca held a vigil and an encounter in her home located in Rio Verde, Boyeros.

UNPACU also published some testimonies on their YouTube channel detailing repressive actions against activists for trying to carry out their own tributes in Guantanamo.

Former political prisoner of conscience Ivan Hernandez Carrillo published a series of Twitter messages (@ivanlibre) denouncing that dissidents Pastor Alexis Huerta and Carlos Alberto Gómez, members of the Independent and Democratic Cuba Party (CID), were violently arrested in the central city of Sancti Spiritus also for trying to carry out similar tributes as those occurring throughout the country.  Cases of repression, police cordons, and beatings were also confirmed in Pinar del Rio against other CID members and the Pinar del Rio Democratic Alliance.

These were only a few of the events which took place on the island between the 27th and 28th of January, when Cubans paid tribute to one of the figures most representative of their culture- a culture which does not belong just to one political group or dictator.

 “A just cause, from the bottom of a cave, is more powerful than any army”

-Jose Marti

Dissidents protest sentence of political prisoner (Video)

Orlando Triana Gonzalez

On Wednesday, January 23rd, dissident Orlando Triana Gonzalez, member of the Cuban Reflection Movement, was sentenced to 2 years and 8 months of prison due to his political activism. The prison sentence was dictated in the Tribunal of Camajuani and numerous dissidents were arrested throughout the central province of Villa Clara as they tried to make it to the trial to show solidarity with Triana, among them Librado Linares Garcia, leader of the MCR.

But a group of 4 dissidents in the municipality Quemado de Guines- 3 of MCR and 1 from FANTU- carried out a protest march with signs condemning the sentence and demanding freedom for Triana Gonzalez. The demonstrators were Maydelis González Almeida, Nosbel Jomolca, Juan Carlos Fernández Morales and Yosmel Martínez.

Upon hearing the news of the sentence in the afternoon, we carried out a march down Second Avenue South in Quemado de Guines with signs and shouting slogans demanding freedom for Orlando Triana and all political prisoners“, said Gonzalez Almeida, “this dictatorial regime has committed yet another one of its injustices“.

The pro-freedom activist adds that the trial was “based on lies and false testimonies against the human rights defender Orlando Triana“.

During the protest, neighbors did not repudiate the demonstrators when they shouted slogans of freedom, while political police agents did not have time to carry out arrests, affirmed Maydelis. The video of the protest below:

Meanwhile, Librado Linares, who spent various hours detained in a police vehicle for trying to make it to the trial, said that the Movement which he leads will continue demanding freedom for Orlando Triana Gonzalez.

For more details from Cuba:

Librado Linares – Phone: +5352-378-063 / Twitter: @LibradoLinares
Maydelis Gonzalez- Phone: +5358-217-833 / Twitter: @maydeliscuba1

Violence increases against dissidents in Cuba (Part 1)

Violent arrest of Jorge Vazquez Chaviano in the month of January, 2013.

Between the days of January 19th and 22nd, state sponsored violence against the Cuban opposition aggressively increased in different parts of the country. Some of the aggressions started on Saturday 19th, the year anniversary of the death of Wilman Villar Mendoza, a dissident who spent more than 50 days on hunger strike demanding his release from an unjust prison sentence, and continued through the morning hours of Tuesday the 22nd, when Rapid Response Brigades used unknown toxic substances to try and interrupt an encounter among dissidents in the central region of the country:

After brutality in Mafo, Contramaestre, vigilance and repudiation continues

As numerous activists and blogs reported on Saturday, January 19th, the home of Luis Enrique Lozada in Mafo, Contramaestre was raided by mobs made up by Rapid Response Brigades, State Security and political police agents of the regime. The home was destroyed and all those present were beat with cables, sticks, knives, and a sort of whip, as well as other sharp weapons. Images of the results- broken heads, wounded bodies, etc. – went around the world (see here) and, on the following day, the harassment continued.

José Daniel Ferrer García, general coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) denounced that during the dawn hours of Sunday, “another attack took place, this time against the home of Ovidio Martin Castellanos, a coordinator of UNPACU in the province of Santiago de   Cuba“. (Video)

Meanwhile, the home of political prisoner Jorge Cervantes, also located in Contramaestre, was attacked in a similar fashion, reducing it to ruble, leaving the wife of Cervantes, Lady in White Kenia Leguen, and her two underage children without a roof.

In an act of solidarity, Luis Enrique Lozada offered his home to the Lady in White and her two children.

So many stones were thrown at Kenia’s home that the roof was considerably damaged“, explained Ferrer Garcia, “This is not the first time this happens to this family- the young Kenia told me, with much pain in her voice, that she was condemned to live without a roof“.

In other news, on Saturday afternoon, dissident Jesus Diaz Morales was arrested in Velasco, Holguin, for having convoked a peaceful march in honor of Wilman Villar. On Monday, the 21st, mobs once again surrounded the home of Luis Enrique Lozada, watching and intimidating all those who were inside. In this case, the mobs left a few hours later, according to a tweet published by Anyer Anotnio Blanco (@anyerantoniobla).

These aggressive actions will continue, and they will correspond with the level of non-violent activism carried out by UNPACU, in favor of freedom and democracy in Cuba, as we keep growing in number of activism and actions“, declared Ferrer, “Without a doubt, our activism in a phenomenon that is very worrying for the tyranny but very hopeful for the people“.

Mobs try to impede encounter of the Ladies in White

Agents arrest Ladies in White trying to make it to meeting on January 21st, 2013.

On Monday, January 21st, when the world celebrated Martin Luther King day, the Ladies in White held an encounter at their headquarters on Neptune Street in Havana to pay tribute to the civil rights leader and, at the same time, to Wilman Villar Mendoza, as well as to demand the freedom of all political prisoners. The presence of State Security was not absent.

According to Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo, one of the Ladies in White who managed to make it to the encounter, “during the 116th meeting of the group, various women who tried to make it were arrested, while the headquarter was surrounded by paramilitary mobs, the political police, and State Security. They also blocked off traffic on Neptune   Street, a main street in Havana. No car could pass by…all of this to keep women from arriving“. However, the dissident points out that 42 members managed to surpass cordons of vigilance and make it to the house.

But the mobs increased their violent actions, shouting slogans such as “Use a machete, theirs only a few of them“, and other offensive phrases. (Video here)

10 women were reported detained upon trying to arrive.

Despite the offensive slogans, the Ladies in White responded by maintaining their civility, shouting “Freedom“, “Long live human rights“, “Long live Laura Pollan“, and “Freedom for all political prisoners“.

Once again, it has been demonstrated that the regime highly fears unity within the opposition, as well as the Ladies in White, out on the streets of Cuba“, expressed Fonseca Quevedo, “This implants terror in them, to think that peaceful women march through the streets of Havana to demand freedom. I want everyone to know that we, the Ladies in White, will keep walking for freedom in Cuba“.

On the previous day, Sunday January 20th, ‘Hablemos Press’ reported that 116 Ladies in White managed to march and arrive to Mass throughout the country, but a total of 36 were arbitrarily arrested, deported, and threatened.

Toxic gases and substances against dissidents in Sagua la Grande

Mobs surrounde home of Jorge Vazquez in Sagua la Grande. January 21st, 2013

In Sagua la Grande, Villa Clara, paramilitary mobs and police agents lasted the entire day of January 21st carrying out an act of repudiation and keeping vigilance over a group of activists from the Central Opposition Coalition and the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front who were meeting in the home of former political prisoner Jorge Vázquez Chaviano, to pay tribute to Martin Luther King Jr, Wilman Villar Mendoza and to discuss important subjects of the opposition.

Jorge Luis García Pérez ‘Antúnez’, leader of the Front and one of the dissidents present, explained that during the acts of repudiation, the agents “shouted offensive phrases” at the group of more than 20 dissidents in the house. He added that there were “underage children and an elderly woman inside as well“.

In the afternoon, two activists of the Cuban Reflection MovementNosbel Jomolca and Juan Carlos Fernandez– were arrested as they tried entering the house.

Regardless, Antunez feels that the encounter was “a success“, considering that none of the neighbors of Vazquez Chaviano participated in the repudiation.

The mobs of the dictatorship have not been able to receive support of the neighbors. Far from helping them, they maintained their solidarity with us“, said Antunez, “The soldiers became very aggressive, inciting us to come out of the house to beat us with stick, but we congratulate and appreciate the support of the people of Sagua la Grande. Right in front of the repressive mobs, they refused to participate“.

Clearly bothered, during the dawn hours of Tuesday, January 22nd, political police officials launched toxic gases and liquids at the home full of dissidents. The attack caused cough, skin eruptions, tachycardia, and breathing problems on its victims, including the underage ones.

Antunez sent out an alert to the world of what could happen to all those who suffered the attacks, seeing as they have already begun to show some symptoms.

Despite all of this, the dissident leader said that they will continue resisting and that “regardless of all the tactics of the tyranny, the Cuban Resistance, beyond any organization, is united…united in action“.

The repression against Cuban dissidents, organized by the dictatorship and carried out by agents of State Security, the political police, the Ministry of the Interior and members of the Rapid Response Brigade, has not stopped, but it has clearly increased during the first weeks of 2013. This past weekend it escalated to a level of immeasurable violence, where the lives of all those who have decided to fight for freedom are in danger.

Interview: In light of new State Security tactics, the support of everyday people “is still stronger”

Maydelis Gonzalez and Nosbel Jomolca, both dissidents

This past 16th of January, State Security used some very vulgar methods to bother, harass and offend dissident Maydelis Gonzalez Almeida and her family in Quemado de Guines, Villa Clara.  In this brief interview, Gonzalez tells us about these mechanisms being used by repressors on the island, the reaction of everyday people towards the Cuban opposition, and the handing out copies of the Citizen’s Demand for Another Cuba: 

PDLI: Throughout the island, copies of the Citizens Demand for Another Cuba are being handed out.  In your area- Quemado de Guines, Villa Clara- activists of the Cuban Reflection Movement and other organizations have been giving out these documents as well.  You have mentioned that the times this has occurred the people have reacted positively.  What happened this past 16th of January when these Demands were given out for the fourth time in that region?

Maydelis González: In Quemado de Guinez, during the afternoon of January 16th, dissidents Nosbel Jomorca and Juan Carlos Fernandez from the Cuban Reflection Movement, and Oscar Martinez of FANTU, walked throughout Second Avenue South, one of the most centric streets in Quemado, and handed out more than 60 copies of the Demand for Another Cuba.

PDLI: And what was the reaction of the people?

Maydelis González: Some people would give the papers back to us, but most of them accepted it with much valor, despite the presence of State Security and various collaborators.  In fact, there was one elderly man- he must have been about 80- who received a copy from Nosbel and he asked him to please read it to him because he was illiterate.  Nosbel went ahead and read the demands to him. The man said that it was a very good project and that he would take it home with him.

This all occurred while I took photos.  The objective was to inform the people about their rights as citizens of this country.

Dissidents in Quemado de Guines hand out copies of Demand for Another Cuba. January 16th. Photo by: Maydelis Gonzalez
Dissidents in Quemado de Guines hand out copies of Demand for Another Cuba. January 16th. Photo by: Maydelis Gonzalez

PDLI: You have denounced that State Security used a very low and degrading technique against your family after the handing out of these documents…

Maydelis González: Yes.  I live in Quemado de Guines, on 2nd Avenue South, house #55. After handing out copies of the Demand on Wednesday, during the night, State Security was apparently very upset.  So they used very corrupt people to carry out their dirty work.

They put 4 heads of cows outside my door.  These heads also had signs hanging from them with messages offending my husband, my daughters, and myself, with very obscene words.  They were attacking the morality of my daughters, as well.  There were 4 heads that night, but neighbors have told my husband that throughout the entire block there are many other heads lying around with more signs with messages against us.  In fact, there are many starving street dogs lurking throughout the different blocks, following the scent of these heads. .

PDLI: What exactly did the signs say?

**[The following phrases were the exact content written on the signs.  They are vulgar and grotesque, but they represent the characteristics of the repressors at the service of the Cuban dictatorship]:

Maydelis González: There were four heads with signs.  The signs had messages written in the front and in the back.  One of the heads read “Nosbel is a tarru” [a derogatory term in Cuba for when a man knows his wife is having an affair with someone else and does nothing about it] as well as the “Citizens Demands for another Cuba are tarru initiatives”.  The other said “Maydelis, whore” and the other “Maydelis is a deadbeat”.  The other said “Nosbel is an idiot and he knows it” and the most grotesque of all, which used the name of Juan Carlos Fernandez, a young dissident who joins us in giving out flyers, said “Nosbel, Juan Carlos has sex with your daughters”.

My two daughters are minors- one is 15 and the other 13.

Maydelis, Nosbel and one of their daughters show the heads of cows left by State Security as acts of vandalism

PDLI: Is this the first time they do something like this to you?

Maydelis González: No. But I’ve noticed that they are planning something against us, perhaps a beating, because various people have told us that the word out on the street is that they [the regime] are waiting for us to go out again to beat us with sticks.

They feel threatened because the repartition of Demands for Another Cuba has been a success; the people have really accepted this project.  This was the fourth time that we give them out successfully.  The people are starting to understand what their rights are and are becoming more motivated to support us in achieving a new Cuba.

PDLI: Those people which you mention- the ‘everyday people’- how do they treat you all, the human rights defenders?

 Maydelis González: Well, sometimes it really hurts me when I see people who do not do anything, don’t care, or lend themselves to snitch on us and/or repress us.  Sometimes you almost lose the desire to keep fighting because we are fighting for them as well.  But we do not give up, because there are more of those who help us than those who collaborate with the dictatorship.

In fact, about a month ago State Security carried out a beating against Nosbel and me at a bus terminal in front of my daughters, and a group of people that were there went up to us and started pushing the police and other agents away calling them “abusers”.

This fourth time which we went out to distribute copies of the Demand I saw many more people accepting them than other times- older people, young people, students… all ages.

I know that people who lend themselves to repress exist, but I see that there are many more of those who support us.  And that’s why I am happy.  We have managed to achieve a public space.  The regime responds with repression as a way to counter their fear, because the people want change, they support us, and they are losing their fear, and besides, this communist system is about to collapse.

PDLI: What message would you like to send out to your oppressors?

Maydelis González: Amid these dirty methods, all these low maneuvers- of the many- it has neither been the first nor will it be the last time, because we will continue firm in our stance.  They feel very threatened and this is their reaction.

PDLI: And a message for your fellow Cubans in and out of the island…

Maydelis González: I exhort all Cubans who suffer like we do, to come together and lose your fear.  You can count on us dissidents as examples.  I ask you follow our steps.

I have 3 daughters and have continued fighting, and here I am, and will continue.  I am a mother, a woman.  We all want change, that democratic change, we all want to see a free Cuba, a Cuba which is not repressed and which is not suffering as it currently is.

Raise your voices, have valor, and keep moving forward.  I ask you support the opposition movement.  I know that Cubans in and out of the island all want the same thing:  freedom for Cuba.

For more information, Maydelis Gonzalez can be followed through Twitter on @maydeliscuba1 or can be reached via phone at +011-5358-217-833.  

2013 begins with a protest on the streets of Villa Clara

Activists of MCR during peaceful protest on 12/31/12

Minutes before 2012 came to an end, members of the Cuban Reflection Movement (MCR) met in the ‘La Libertad’ Park in the town of Vuelta, in Camajuani, Villa Clara, to carry out a protest demanding freedom for Cuba.  The following day- the first of 2013- these activists took it upon themselves to carry out a peaceful march while they carried signs with pro-freedom messages.  Both civic actions occurred without arrests and were well-received by everyday citizens.

Maydelis Gonzalez Almeida, member of the MCR, said that the first protest was carried out by 5 dissidents, who were (besides her) Niurcy Acosta Pacheco, Raúl González, Nosbel Jomorca and Juan Carlos Fernández.

We held up a sign in ‘La Libertad’ Park, with a message demanding freedom and democracy for Cuba in 2013“, recounted the dissident, “We were there for various minutes in that centric area and a number of citizens stopped by and read our sign.  It was a very positive thing”.  

MCR protest on 01/01/13 in Camajuani, Villa Clara
MCR protest in Camajuani, Villa Clara. 01/01/13

For the first of January, the same group of activists, along with 3 minors who wished to participate in the demonstration (Sumely Santana González, Juliani Santana González and Daniel David Santana González) took to the streets of the same town of Vuelta and carried out a peaceful march.

Gonzalez Almeida says that they “walked for various blocks with a sign which read: ‘There is no such thing as the triumph of the revolution if there is no freedom and no democracy’.  We walked through a very busy area of Vuelta.  In fact, we even walked past the police unit of the town while carrying the sign“.

After some minutes, the march culminated without arrests or other repressive actions at the home of Niurcy Acosta.

Protest of MCR in Camajuani, Villa Clara. 01/01/13

I feel that we have won a significant space because the people were staring at us, they were observing us, but at no point in time did they react negatively to us.  We achieved our march“, expressed Maydelis, “We always have to say the good things that are happening, as well… we feel very happy because we feel we are gaining even more space here in Cuba“.

With this positive momentum, the dissident is of the opinion that very soon “the old dream of so many Cubans in and out of Cuba can be achieved: freedom“.

But to get there, we have to all be united, despite the way we think.  We must come together through love, truth, and democracy.  And, like that, we will continue in the struggle“.

For more information from Cuba:

Maydelis González Almeida – Cell Phone: +5358-217-833

*Photos courtesy of Maydelis González Almeida. Please excuse the low image quality.  Due to internet and other technology restrictions in Cuba, the photos were sent out through a cell phone.