When it became known that the young peaceful dissident Michel Oliva Lopez would be sentenced under false accusations of “threat”, various pro-democracy activists decided that they could not let this event pass by without denouncing it. Among these dissidents was Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera, president of the Rosa Parks Feminist Movement for Civil Rights and wife of well known and respected dissident Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez”, along with Giseira Paseiro Espinosa and Daimara Reyes Mesa. The day of Thursday July 21st began with the attempt of these 3 activists of trying to get to the city of Santa Clara in order to demonstrate their solidarity with their accused brother-in-struggle. However, upon arriving to the bus station Perez Aguilera noticed that, as usual, they were being watched. “When I arrived, I noticed that State Security agents- Major Rivel Gonzalez and also Perez Perez alias ‘The Weightlifter’- were following us“, explains Aguilera. The agent with the ‘Weightlifter’ nickname is the same one who carried out a nearly fatal beating on Yris a few weeks ago. Since then, Yris has suffered from various serious health complications.
“I decided to give a phone call to Damaris Moya Portieles in Santa Clara so that she knew we were on our way to her but that we were being closely watched by State Security“, explains the activist from Placetas, “While I was still on the phone, the agents intercepted me. I quickly asked them what was the reason for this arrest“. The response of the corrupt officials was the same one they tend to use, one which consists of severe intolerance and a tendency of blindly following the orders of a commander who does not tolerate any form of dissent: “They told me that they do not owe me an explanation, that I simply had to go with them“, recounts Yris. It was then that she began shouting slogans against the tyranny- “Down with Fidel“, “Down with the Dictatorship“, and “Long Live Human Rights“- and, according to her declarations, with her protest she was able to stop traffic on the main street right across from the bus terminal of Placetas, capturing the attention of the passer-bys.
From there on began the brutality which makes up the status quo of the Cuban regime. “They beat me in order to shove me into the police car and they then took me to the police unit“, shares Perez Aguilera, adding that ‘The Weightlifter‘, who she classified as a “terrorist” prepared a “brigade of women so that they could do the beating this time. These women were hitting me all the way from the bus terminal to the police unit”. While at the unit, Yris Tamara was put in a cell where she remained for over 3 hours. “When they decided to release me, the key for the cell I was in did not appear“, explains the activist. Apparently, the ‘lost key’ act was a tactic used to keep her behind the bars longer, a form of slow torture. During this time, Yris was worried about her health considering that she is a diabetic and has other cervical complications; complications which were caused by the violent beatings which she has suffered at the hands of political police agents. Perez Aguilera was released at around 3:15 pm, but not before she was accused of various ‘crimes’. “They accused me of attempt and disrespect, but I didn’t attempt against anyone. They were the ones that beat me in front of everyone“.
As mentioned previously, Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera suffers from various serious health ailments, among them diabetes and nausea. Recently, she and her husband, Antunez, had to travel to Havana in search of a neurologist that would treat her. The road to Havana was bumpy, however, as the couple suffered various beatings, threats, and deportations. Now, back in Placetas, they continue to be victims of mob attacks and violence. “I fear what could happen to me within the next hours,” affirms Yris Tamara, “seeing as I am being threatened“.