Numerous delegates of the local government of Artemisa province, State Security agents and various guards from the ‘Taco Taco’ Prison assaulted, beat and threatened a dissident family with death, including their underage children, this past 14 of October in the town of Manuel Lopez Pena in Artemisa (previously part of Pinar del Rio province).
The attacks were against Armando Peraza Hernandez, a member of the Independent and Democratic Cuba Party (CID) and of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy (CYMD) who, during the night hours of that Sunday, was carrying out a candlelight vigil in memory of Laura Pollan Toledo on the first anniversary of her death. The activity ended at around 8 PM and took place under light police vigilance.
But the violence began when Peraza Hernandez decided to take his wife and underage children- one 6 year old and one 10 year old- to a local store to buy them ice cream.
“We had walked a few blocks when we were suddenly intercepted by a mob made up of local delegates, the majority of the guards from the ‘Taco Taco’ prison and various State Security agents, all of which were carrying sticks, machetes, bottles, and rocks“, recounted Peraza.
The mobs beat Peraza and his wife, Mayelin Santiesteban. A delegate by the name of Selena Hernandez hit Santiesteban on her right arm with a stick, causing some injuries.
“That woman, Selena Hernandez, is a delegate from the municipality of San Cristobal. In other words, she works for the government and she has even come out on the State program ‘The Round Table’“, pointed out Peraza.
But the worst part for Armando and Mayelin was the fact that their children also suffered aggressions.
“My children were victims of this violence“, denounced Peraza, “they were thrown on the floor, they were hit, and the mobs stepped all over them“.
The reaction of the dissident couple was to grab their kids and run back to their home, which they managed to enter for protection. However, the aggressions continued.
“They chased us with their machetes, their sticks, bottles and rocks. When we made it inside the house they attacked the door with the machetes“, explained the activist, who was also kicked when he was on the floor, “my sons saw with their own eyes how I was thrown on the floor, how they kicked me, how they chased us with machetes and threatened us all“.
The mobs proceeded to scream insults at the family, and even threatened them with death.
In addition to the delegate of San Cristobal (Selena Hernandez), other government functionaries and agents of the repressive police forces were identified by Peraza Hernandez, such as “lieutenant Palacios from State Security in the town of Lopez Pena, lieutenant colonel Ernesto from Artemisa, and State Security agents Pedro Pablo Hernandez“.
The dissident couple expressed to be very concerned about the lives of their children, considering that they are in a state of shock and nervousness after having witnessed and suffered from the events.
“This dictatorship does not hesitate to take drastic and repressive measures, whether there be children or not“, denounced Peraza, “We have been threatened with death. If something happens to me, to my wife, or to my children, I am holding State Security in the province of Artemisa accountable for our lives“.