Another action which took place on August 4th, prior to the Day of Resistance, was the brave and important protest carried out by the 3 women from the Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights on the steps of the Capitol building in Havana. The women decided to take their just demands to the symbolic Capitol, waving signs and shouting pro-freedom slogans right in front of that building. These female dissidents were Mercedes García Álvarez, Tania Maldonado Sánchez y Odalys Zurma González Maya.
Antunez shared some declarations with this blog in regards to that event. “These 3 women carried out a symbolic taking of the place. They hung up signs with anti-government messages and they shouted messages in support of human rights, freedom, and democracy,” he explains. As a consequence, the women suffered beatings at the hands of the political police.
According to a report done by the Cuban Democratic Directorate, political police officials arrived quickly to the scene. They then commenced to beat the women and dragged them off into police vehicles. They were then taken to the police unit of Habana Vieja where they were stripped from their clothes and interrogated.
According to Antunez, “The most significant thing stemming from this protest was the response and solidarity of the everyday people“. Just a few days ago, Antunez also explained that while 5 women were being beaten in the Eastern city of Gibara, random everyday citizens interfered in defense of the victims, standing before them and the repressive agents. This time, on August 4th, “5 locals joined the protest of these women and were also beaten and arrested. And, it should be mentioned, that a tourist, whose identity has not yet been confirmed, joined the march as well“.
The march, as Antunez explains, “occurred during the time period of the series of activities, protests, and manifestations which the National Orlando Zapata Tamayo Resistance Front convoked“. There are similar protests expected to occur during the next couple of days, especially on August 5th, the Day of Resistance.
“Repression is increasing“, declares Antunez, “but we can also see an important awakening on behalf of large sectors of the population as they lose fear. The action carried out by these Marianas (term for brave Cuban patriotic women) assures us all of something very important, and that is that yes, fellow Cubans, we can achieve our goal“.
During the night hours of this same day on which the protest occurred, officials of the political police and the national police surrounded the home of Antunez in Placetas. “The ring of oppressors is aimed at my house where there are more than 20 human rights defenders on the eve of the Day of Resistance“.
Antunez also pointed out that while in Placetas they are celebrating their local carnival, the regime’s police officers have chosen to keep a vigilant eye on non-violent activists instead of on the carnival-goers. It is common for crimes and confrontations to occur during these carnivals. “Here we see how the tyranny fears twenty activists more than fist fights and other dangers which could break out during the carnival, especially from drunken attendees“, says Antunez. “Regardless, there are brothers here in my house from all the provinces. There is representation from Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, Sagua la Grande, and other regions. Anything that happens to us, any act of violence unleashed against us, we are holding the government responsible“.