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:

@LazaroDiazSanch

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“.

Another bloody Sunday in Cuba, but the opposition continues defying the dictatorship

Ladies in White in Cardenas, Matanzas. The same ones who were violently beat this Sunday, 21st of July.

State Security and other police sectors of the Cuban regime repeated their violent actions against a number of Ladies in White and male dissidents in the province of Matanzas this Sunday, July 21st, mainly in the cities of Colon and Cardenas.  The news arrived just one week after similar violence on July 14th and after State Security agents had visited a number of work centers in the mentioned cities, convoking ‘corpulent’ people to participate in beatings against the dissidents.

However, the people who were convoked did not participate in the aggressions, according to independent unionist and former political prisoner Ivan Hernandez Carrillo on his Twitter account (@ivanlibre).  For this reason, the police was clearly bothered and once again unleashed a wave of arrests and beatings.  Ivan was one of the victims of repression that morning.

The dissident leader was arrested and beat by political police agents when he stepped out of his home in Colon to show solidarity with the Ladies in White of that area who were being harassed by paramilitary mobs.

Some of the other arrested activists between Colon and Cardenas were Juan Francisco Rangel, Reinier Penates Calzadilla, Francisco Brias Tamayo, Ibrahim Navarro, Emanuel Valles Rodríguez, Jorge Serrano Alfonso, Jesús González Lemus, Rudel Montes de Oca, Javier Erbello, Eduardo Hernández, Marisol Fernández, Batista Rodríguez Rivas, Niurka Rivero, José Hernández Carrillo, Irania Borrego, Nelson Ruiz Alonso, William Acevedo Roque, Yudaimis Hernández, José Hernández López, Elizabeth Pacheco, Juan Carlos Pazos, Eduardo Pacheco, former political prisoners Ángel Moya Acosta and Félix Navarro, as well as the daughter of the latter, Sayli Navarro.

In the majority, if not all, of these cases, after being threatened and beat, the dissidents were abandoned in desolate fields situated miles away from their homes or cities of residence.

Leticia Ramos Herreria, representative of the Ladies in White for Matanzas province and one of the most beat during this police operation, had much to tell about this.  She explains that in Cardenas the violence began after a group of women began their march after Mass at La Parroquia Church.

Since morning hours, there was a large cordon set up by the political police and the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) in front of the church.  There were also many women dressed in civilian clothes but they were really officials“, detailed Ramos. “We walked about a block or so when these people rushed up against us…they began to beat and started to shove us inside police vehicles“.

The detainees were taken individually to the Offices of the Ministry of the Interior (MININT), which Leticia describes as “a place being used lately as a torture center against dissidents, because it is located far away from the city and there no one can see how they beat us“.

In that center, police agents continued to beat the men and women while the guards simply joked around and laughed.  “The guards were laughing as the agents were beating us and together they began to verbally offend us, calling us ‘lesbians’ and threatening to ‘put a finger in our anus’, while the men were called ‘homosexuals’“, denounced Leticia.

One of the officials who beat the Lady in White the most was one known as “Chuly”, a member of the PNR.  She told Ramos that she was going to kill her, specifically by “putting a bullet right through my forehead if I kept assisting Mass and walking on Sundays“.  The same agent who injected Leticia with an unknown substance last Sunday also participated in the aggressions against her once again.

Leticia Ramos shows fracture on her lip after beating. July 21st 2013

There is also the case of Lady in White Odalys Hernandez who has a burn on her neck because they tried to strangle her.  She has bruises on her ribs, her abdomen and in her interior from the kicks she received.  Yamila Senda Ruiz was beat by the same officials who were beating me, while activists Francisco Villa, Manuel Barrio, Nelson Curbelo and others were detained and abandoned in desolate places“, recounts the dissident.

Leticia was abandoned in a place known as Sequeira, more than 20 kilometers from the road which leads to the town of Limonar.  The activist was able to return to her home in Cardenas thanks to the solidarity of an anonymous citizen who drove her back.  Something similar happened to Ivan Hernandez, who wrote on Twitter that a farmer gave him water and drove him back after the activist told him what had happened.  It is precisely this citizen solidarity which gravely worries the dictatorship.

“Today has been a victorious day for us, and a defeat for the tyrant”, wrote Hernandez, “they had to arrest us because they were not able to unify and convoke Cubans to repress us…as much as State Security tried to intimidate and recruit men in Colon for quite some days now, the people did not come to attack us”.

On her part, Leticia once against accused the government for what happened and assured that the official leading the operation was State Security Lieutenant Coronel Joaquin, the same person who masterminded the aggressions last weekend.

“All the blows are the fault of the regime and of Lieutenant Joaquin, who is in charge of this bloody hunt of Ladies in White and peaceful dissidents since last week in the province of Matanzas“, expressed Ramos Herreria, “but if they want to kill us, they are going to have to do it on the streets because the streets belong to the people of Cuba.  And I am Cuban and I am firm in my convictions.  We are all firm.  We will continue going to church and marching“.

Despite the violent atmosphere in Matanzas, it was reported that many Ladies in White in other provinces were able to surpass police cordons and march to and from their respective churches, from East to West of all Cuba.

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For more information from Cuba, contact:

Leticia Ramos Herrería – Cell Phone: +52-481-807
Iván Hernández Carrillo – Cell Phone: +52-599-366 / Twitter: @ivanlibre
Sayli Navarro – Cell Phone: +52-731-652 / Twitter: @SayliNavarro

Matanzas: Repressors can’t escape the lens of a camera (Photos)

Technology and social networks once again prove their importance when it comes to Cuba, despite the fact that the totalitarian system practices a severe form of censorship.

Caught on camera above is Kenny Aguero, a State Security agent in the province of Matanzas.  The photo was taken by former political prisoner Ivan Hernandez Carrillo and published on his Twitter account (@ivanlibre).  Aguero operates mainly in the city of Cardenas and is a repressor of dissidents, especially of Ladies in White, such as Leticia Ramos Herreria and Elizabeth Pacheco.  He dedicates himself to persecute this women, verbally offend them, arrest them and beat them without mercy (testimony in this audio). In one of his most recent actions against the opposition, he summoned Marisol Fernandez Socorro, also a Lady in White, to a police unit because of her activism out on the streets.

In the following photo, also published by Hernandez Carrillo, is Aurio Cueto, another collaborator of the regime:

According to Ivan, Cueto testified against him and also activist and former prisoner of conscience Felix Navarro during their trial in the Black Spring of 2003, when 75 journalists were sent to prison.  Both Matanzas natives were sentenced to 25 years behind bars.  Cueto currently continues to keeping a tight vigilance over activists in different cities of Matanzas, as well as helping the police to arrest them for their peaceful activities.

With each photo, each Tweet, and each post in an alternative and free blog, the impunity of the dictatorship continues to dissolve.

For more information from Cuba, contact:
Ivan Hernandez Carrillo- 52-599-366 / Twitter: @ivanlibre