The Cuban Resistance Calls on a Moment of Prayer for December 24th, Christmas Eve

The Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front and other dissident organizations have called on all Cubans in and out of the island to participate in a moment of prayer at 8 PM tonight, December 24th, Christmas Eve or “Nochebuena” as Cubans and other Hispanics refer to the day.  According to the dissidents themselves, the prayers are for a free Cuba, and a better future where there are no political prisoners and excessive aggressions and divisions amongst the Cuban people.  Among the many activists who have participated in this calling are Antunez, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, Luis Felipe Rojas, Caridad Caballero Batista, Idania Yanez Contreras, Raul Risco Perez, Berta Soler, Angel Moya and Librado Linares.

Every 24th of the month is the Day of the Resistance, where dissidents of diverse provinces and pro-democracy organizations participate in peaceful actions against the Castro tyranny and in demand of human rights for ALL Cubans.  This date is usually marked by public protests, marches, or the handing out of pro-freedom pamphlets, but this time activists have opted for a moment of prayer, also because of the significance of the religious date.

Below is the audio of numerous opposition activists sharing their wishes for a future Cuba, as well as their reasons for calling on a moment of prayer.  The audio is Spanish, there is no translation yet, but among the wishes are the freedom of all political prisoners, freedom for the activists Ivonne Malleza, Ignacio Martinez and Isabel Haydee (detained for 3 weeks now for saying the Cuban people are hungry), the end of family divisions, the end of the dictatorship, and many other thoughts of goodwill.  There are hundreds of dissidents participating in this call, and only some appear here in this video:

Merry Christmas to all! Let us not forget our brothers and sisters in the island during this very special day.

The Cuban Resistance Calls on a Moment of Prayer for December 24th, Christmas Eve

Partial Summary of Resistance (Nov. 24 – Nov. 27)

The Assembly of the Resistance, coalition which groups more than 50 pro-democracy organizations in and out of Cuba, published a report this past Thursday November 24th through the website of the Cuban Democratic Directorate.  In it, numerous Resistance events which were carried out in honor of the Day of the Resistance were outlined.  There were also lots of reports about repression against dissidents and also many reports of activities which were successfully carried out without arrests or beatings, proving that the Cuban Resistance has been able to surpass certain oppressive operations set in motion by the dictatorship, thanks to their immense bravery, valor, and persistence.

The following reports were also carried out by the Assembly of the Resistance and are other situations which occurred during the Day of the Resistance and the days that followed, up to November 27th:

Thursday. November 24th, 2011

San German, Holguin. Independent journalist and blogger Luis Felipe Rojas informed that there were various dissident homes surrounded by State Security and political police officials since the night of the 23rd.  Among those under strict vigilance were Eliecer Palma Pupo, Jose Antonio Mullet, and Rojas himself.  According to Rojas,  the agents ceased their vigilance (at least the most noticeable) during the morning of the 24th because their main objective was to impede the group of activists from leaving the town of San German.  Despite this, the dissidents took to the local streets and walked to a park where they noticed many people.  Taking advantage of the moment, the dissidents engaged in conversation with the locals, explaining the importance of human rights, the slogan of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Front of “our homes are not prisons“, the work carried out by human rights activists and most importantly that they have inalienable rights to defend their very rights and freedoms.

Villa Clara.  Former political prisoner Librado Linares reported that he had congregated with 14 other dissidents in the home of an independent Baptist minister in Villa Clara.  The group of activists had plans to walk to the Central Freedom Park in the municipality of Camajuani in order to take the message of the resistance to many locals who meet there.  Upon setting out towards the park, however, State Security agents intercepted them and did not allow them to continue walking.  Linares was told that if he did not return home he would be jailed. “I told them that I would not accept my home as a prison“, declared the dissident.  After having said this, he was detained and taken to a detention center in Caibarien.  “I was kept there in a sealed off cell, one in which I have been in many times before“, narrated the former prisoner of conscience.

Placetas, Villa Clara. Jorge Luis Garcia Perez Antunez explained that activists from the Rosa Parks Movement- Yris Tamara Perez Aguilera and Donaida Perez Paseiro- were released during night hours of the 24th.  The female dissidents had been violently arrested on the 23rd while they were on their way to the General Placetas Hospital in search of medical attention for Yris.  Both women carried out a hunger and thirst strike during their entire arrest.  Perez Aguilera explained that during her arrest the chief of State Security for Placetas, Raul Azahari Rodriguez, reiterated to her that she had no right to leave her house, despite the fact that he had already known that she was simply only going to the hospital.  Aguilera added that this upcoming Monday, the 28th, she will once again attempt to travel to the hospital.

Antunez added that the Orlando Zapata Tamayo Resistance Front, along with the Frank Pais 30th of November, have convoked a nation-wide “pots and pans” protest for the following November 30th.

Friday. November 25th, 2011

Mella, Santiago de Cuba.  Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia denounced that in the city of Mella government sponsored mobs threw rotten eggs at the home of dissident Carina Quintana Hernandez.  In addition, the mobs tore down signs and photos of the fallen leader of the Ladies in White, Laura Pollan Toledo.

Placetas, Villa Clara.  Rene Fernandez Quiroga, active member of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo Resistance Front who was arrested on the 24th, was released at around 9 pm on the 25th.  Quiroga’s arrest took place in Sagua la Grande and he was then transferred to the UPO Unit of Santa Clara, according to Antunez, whom also added that “on the 25th they took Rene on the police vehicle number 256 and left him at Kilometer 270 where he was thrown into a truck driving towards Camaguey.  Only later on was he returned to Placetas“.  Quiroga declared that during his ride to Placetas he was victim of a brutal beat-down at the hands of a State Security Lieutenant a political police sub-Lieutenant.

 Sunday. November 27th, 2011 

Santiago de Cuba.  The coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba and former political prisoner Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia also reported that on the night of the 26th 25 Ladies in White were able to surpass chords of police vigilance and made it to the Sanctuary of El Cobre in Santiago.  Ferrer was present at the temple and was able to speak to many of the Ladies.  According to him, on Sunday morning another group of Ladies in White arrived to the sanctuary, adding up to 38 women in total who were able to make it and assist Sunday mass.  “Despite all the operations which agents who are instruments of the political police have been carrying out within the opposition here in the East, as they try to divide and destroy this group of women“, Jose Daniel declared, “they continue growing and consolidating themselves in the Eastern region“.

The 38 Ladies in White who assisted mass were:

1. Belkis Cantillo Ramírez
2. Aimé Calcé Leiva
3. Yumila Rodríguez Palomo
4. Vivian Peña Hernández
5. Yanelis Elégica Despaine
6. Oria Josefa Casanova Moren
7. Tania Bandera González
8. Yunelis González Pavón
9. Milagros Leiva Ramirez
10. Mayelin la O Montero
11. Yarisel Figueredo Valdés
12. Darnis Aguedo Saldval
13. Yaquelin García Jay
14. Yudisladis Travieso Garlobo
15. Yusmari Chacón Lamot
16. Karina Quintana Hernández
17. Danniellys Betancourt Leiva
18. Grisis Reves Sauñó
19. María Alfonso Córdova
20. Elisa Milagro Reinier Acosta
21. Ana Celia Rodríguez Torres
22. Rosaida Ramírez Matos
23. Matilde Mejías Roque
24. Arelis Rodríguez Chacón
25. Aurora Martín Calderín
26. Marcia Odualdo Mustelier
27. Lumila Cedeño Martínez
28. Beatriz Árias Díaz
29. Yanisbel Ayala Callamo
30. Marina Parada Licéa
31. Eluvije Isac Rodríguez
32. Alicia Fonseca Guerrero
33. Yumislaysi Zamora Álvarez
34. Juana Irene Parada Parada
35. Yubisleysi Vázquez López
36. Yaima Vejerado Díaz
37. Yelena Galcé Nápoles
38. Arisnidia Cruz

Ferrer Garcia added that there was a 39th woman who “passed by the Sanctuary yesterday and we have not heard from her since, we believe she may have been detained“.  Her name is Osmeydis Jimenez Dominguez and she is from Moa (Holguin).  Meanwhile, the other 38 women left mass and as of the time of these declarations (late Sunday afternoon) there has been no communication with these women.  It is possible, according to Ferrer, that they may have suffered detentions, though nothing has been confirmed.  What is known, however, is that they were walking through areas which do not have a telephone signal, making it very complicated to communicate with them.

Havana.  Berta Soler informed that 46 women walked along Havana’s 5th Avenue, all of them wearing white and carrying photos of Laura Pollan, as well as their accustomed white gladiolus flowers.  All of them were able to make it to mass in the Santa Rita Church.  Soler explained that “for us it was a very important day because we had received word that in the Eastern region of the country 39 women made it to the Sanctuary of El Cobre.  Those are 39 women who are winning back their public space.  It also means that the community is respecting them“.  In addition, according to Soler, there was also a significant presences of the Ladies in White in Colon, Cardenas, and Perico, all cities of Matanzas province.

Angel Moya, husband of Soler and former political prisoner, reiterated that the National Boitel and Zapata Live March continues active promoting its fundamental points, which are: 1) To not accept our homes as prisons; 2) To not let oneself lose hope; 3) To be non-violent when the repressive forces arrest, and to divulge the objectives of the national march.  The main objectives are that the regime publish, respect, and divulge the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it ratify all the pacts belonging to it; that repression cease against the opposition and the people in general; that all political prisoners be liberated without any sort of conditions and that all the legal processes which take them to prison in the first place be abolished.

Partial Summary of Resistance (Nov. 24 – Nov. 27)

Crackdown Attempts to Impede the “Day of the Resistance” in Placetas

On Monday Novemebr 21st, 5 dissidents who were on their way to the home of Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez” in Placetas were victims of violent arrests.  Those arrested were Yoan David González Milanes, Maury Emilio Redonde, Guillermo Rodríguez Rodríguez, Juan Luis Pérez García and Berlay Bejerano Estrada, all of which were coming from the town of Santa Cruz and who are all members of the November 30th Democratic Frank Pais Movement and the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front.

Antunez explains that the dissidents had planned on meeting in his home to kick off the activities which would lead to the 24th of the month, the “Day of the Resistance“.

Yoan David Gonzalez

The dissident from Placetas emphasized the case of one the arrested Resistance members- Yoan David Gonzalez Milanes- who is “a physically handicapped person, who is missing one of his legs and despite this was still dragged and brutally beaten” by the regime’s forces during the arrest.  The stepson of Gonzalez Milanes, Dayan Mayor Betancourt of 20 years of age had to “pretend to be a secondary school student” and that was the only way he was able to make it past the police operation and into the house.  Both Dayan and Antunez denounced all the aggressions committed against Yoan and the rest of the activists.

I also want to denounce  the case of the young dissident Berlay Bejerano Estrado.  She suffers from high blood pressure and she was brutally beaten before they took her away“, declared Antunez, adding that the 5 continued to be detained as of the afternoon of November 22nd.

What is occurring here is nothing new, my house continues to be surrounded“, adds Antunez.  “Regardless, what is happening here is that the Castro tyranny is demonstrating its fear, its rage, and its inability to stop the Day of the Resistance and all the activism which has surged from its convocation“.

I am sending out a warning to the world about the repression which will occur on the 24th of November“.

Crackdown Attempts to Impede the “Day of the Resistance” in Placetas

Prayer Vigil for the Day of Resistance- Nov. 22 (PHOTOS and VIDEO)

The prayer vigil held last night in Miami for the internal Cuban Resistance was a success. Both young and old attended, Cubans and non-Cubans. Prayers were sent up for those who struggle from the inside of the island while the night up with candles. Here is a video with a summary of the event (parts in English, parts in Spanish):

And some photos:

Prayer Vigil for the Day of Resistance- Nov. 22 (PHOTOS and VIDEO)

Assembly of the Resistance Lauches Solidarity Campaign for the “Day of the Resistance”

(Miami, FL)- On the morning of Thursday November 17th, members of the Assembly of the Resistance- coalition which groups more than 50 dissident organizations in and out of Cuba- carried out a press conference in which they called for solidarity with dissidents on the island who risk their lives as they publicly protest against the dictatorship and who have designated every 24th of the month as “the Day of the Resistance“.

Sylvia Iriondo, president of Anti-Repression Mothers and Wives (MAR por Cuba)- also part of the Assembly of Resistance- explained before the cameras of the media that the 24th was chosen by dissidents inside Cuba due to that date’s historic symbolism.  “In Cuba, the war of independence from Spain began on February 24th 1895“, signaled Iriondo, adding that “101 years later, the airplanes of the Brothers to the Rescue were shot down by the Castro dictatorship“, and in addition, on the 24th of February 2010 the political prisoner of conscience Orlando Zapata Tamayo died after a lengthy hunger strike and after suffering various savage beatings while behind the bars.

In order to better support the freedom fighters inside the island, the Assembly of the Resistance has decided to effectuate activities throughout diverse cities of the world such as Miami, New Jersey, and Madrid, in coordination with the activists in Cuba.  However, due to the fact that on the 24th of  November and December there will be holiday celebrations throughout the US (and the world), it will be difficult to plan something on those days.  Therefore, for those months the activities will take place a few days before the 24th.  According to declarations made by Aramis Perez,  young Cuban-American activist and member of the Assembly’s secretariat board, for the month of November “we will be holding a prayer vigil” on Tuesday the 22nd in the Ponce Circle Park of Coral Gables (Miami).  “This kind of vigil shows that every Cuban, despite wherever they may be, can be spiritually united with Cubans inside Cuba“, added Perez.

The former president of Uruguay, Luis Alberto Lacalle, a loyal friend of the Cuban freedom cause who was also present in the press conference, affirmed that he too was completely committed to carry out activities for the Cuban resistance in cities throughout Uruguay.  Lacalle explained that friends of his in other countries of the region- such as Mexico and Costa Rica- have confirmed to him that they will also hold demonstrations in their respective cities on the 22nd of the upcoming months.

Bertha Antunez, the exiled sister of dissident Jorge Luis Garcia “Antunez” also spoke and highlighted the perseverance and bravery of the members of Cuban’s internal resistance, those freedom fighters who “carry out public dissident activities throughout the island everyday“, not just on the 24th of each month.  It was precisely on the 24th of September, however, when various activists protested in a street of Havana, outside the home of renowned opposition leader Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo.  On that day, political police officials of the regime violently arrested all those who participated, savagely beating and detaining Fonseca and her husband Julio Leon, who both ended up spending 2 weeks in detainment cells.  As tends to occur during any protest on any date, on October 24th another repressive wave swept through the island as activists in a wide range of cities took to the streets.

In addition, also present were numerous former political prisoners such as Angel de Fana (Plantados Hasta la Libertad), Huber Matos, and Luis Infante (Casa del Preso), along with various unwavering pro-freedom activists.  For all the diverse groups which make up the Assembly of the Resistance, they seek one thing from the exile community, and anyone who is willing to listen: solidarity.

Assembly of the Resistance Lauches Solidarity Campaign for the “Day of the Resistance”