Violent arrest of 43 dissidents in Holguin for debating about The Path of the People

Independent journalist Alexei Jimenez Almarales, from Holguin, has sent the following note in regards to 43 arrests of local dissidents on the afternoon of August 5th, the anniversary of El Maleconazo (when numerous Cubans took to the streets in Havana demanding freedom in 1994).  The activists had plans to divulge and debate The Path of the People, a pro-freedom project started by Oswaldo Paya.

The details:

“State Security detained 43 dissidents in the city of Holguin last Monday, on the 19th anniversary of ‘El Maleconazo’

Activists from various organizations decided to meet and debate about Oswaldo Paya’s project known as ‘The Path of the People’.  The political police came out and directed themselves towards the home of dissident Ramon Zamora Rodriguez, where meeting was to take place. 

The detentions and beatings started in the place where The Path of People was to be debated and they extended to various points of the city, culminating in a total of 43 detainees all in the same day, a historical record of violation of human rights on behalf of State Security in Holguin”.

Jimenez Almarales provided a list with the names of the 43 detainees (including himself):

Julio Cesar Ramos Curbelo
Alexander Marrero De La Rosa
Suleidy lisbet Pérez Velázquez
Carmen Oropesa Ramírez
Alexei Jiménez Almarales
Jorge Luis Recio Arias
Emir José Bermúdez Pérez
Julio Cesar Albares Marrero
Rosa María Naranjo Nieves
Danai Mendiola Duquesne
Luis Jaime Meriño
Mauricio Martínez Días
Yolanda Pérez Días
Marisol Pupo Rodríguez
José Luis Ricardo Soberats
Yuri Miguel Carralero Vázquez
Bernardo Cintero Gonzales
Gilberto Solí Gonzales
Ramón Zamora Rodríguez
Maylin Ricardo Góngora
Pedro Leiva Góngora
Juan Sacaría Verdecía
Maidolis Leiva Portelles
Damaris García Martínez
Rafael Leyva Leyva
José Isidoro Urbino Zaldívar
Mairin Poso De La Torre
Fuera de la casa de ramón Zamora
Yosbanis Pupo Pérez
Fidel García Roldan
Berta Guerrero Segura
Magdelivia Pelegrino Guerrero
Franklin Pelegrino Del Toro
Rubier Cruz Campo
Liliana Campos Bruzón
Yolangel Pupo Pérez
Ricardo Rodríguez Feria
Amauri Güero Mora
Roberto González Hernández
Eladio Pupo Nieves
Arlenis Rodríguez Ávila
José Luis Mir Cruz
Amilkar Pérez Riverón
Livia Hernández Pérez

The detainees included members of diverse organizations, among them the Christian Liberation Movement, the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front, the Patriotic Union of Cuba, the Republican Party of Cuba, the Eastern Democratic Alliance, Ladies in White and FLAMUR.

Audios recorded during the very moment of the violence, specifically of the act of repudiation by paramilitary agents towards the home of Ramon Zamora, were published on various media outlets in the internet.  In this audio by Radio Republica and this one published by UNPACU, more details are provided.  Agents broke doors and windows to detained activists, and also violently harassed women and underage children.

Meanwhile, Alexei Jimenez reported that this past Saturday, August 3rd, State Security agents attacked dissident Julio Alberto Arias, a member of the Republican Party, in the same city of Holguin.  “Julio Alberto was detained by 4 State Security agents who twisted his arm out on the street and took him to the PNR Unit known as La Primera“, detailed Jimenez.

The journalist provided this photo of the attacked dissident:

Human rights activists have been denouncing an increase in police violence on the island, and all of this because activism in favor of freedom has been increasing as well.

For more information from Cuba, contact:

Alexei Jimenez – Cell Phone: +52-552-925 / Twitter: @jugandomelavida

Jose Daniel Ferrer on ‘growing opposition and the power of information’

José Daniel Ferrer García, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), informed this blog about various cases of police repression against dissidents  on the island but also highlighted that “not all news is negative“.  He affirms that his organization, as well as the opposition in general, continue gaining space amongst the population and keep putting the dictatorship in very difficult positions.

Among the positive news, we see that there are more places where new chapters of UNPACU are opening up, such as in Santiago de Cuba, Holguin and other areas in Eastern Cuba“, affirms Ferrer, “and each time there are more people who join or collaborate with our struggle.  We are also imparting workshops where we train citizens to be more effective when it comes to communication with population, as well as in confronting the repression of the tyranny“.

Due to the growing level of activism, Ferrer Garcia says that the number of political prisoners has increased.  These prisoners are mainly young activists who decide to go out to the street and it is these same citizens, according to the former political prisoner, that worry the regime the most, considering that they attract more people and speak in terms understood by everyday people.  One of these dissidents is independent rapper Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, ‘El Critico’, who also serves as secretary for UNPACU in the province of Granma.

We are still very worried with the situation of Angel Yunier, who has been imprisoned since March 26th [after he gave a public discourse in favor of freedom].  In addition to the constant tortures and harassment he is subjected to, Yunier contracted cholera in Las Mangas Prison…it’s very worrying.  He is a young man who is arbitrarily imprisoned“, denounced Jose Daniel.  He also pointed out the situation of Alexander Otero Rodriguez, another young dissident, arrested alongside Angel Yunier in march.  His discourses in favor of freedom and his constant public activism has been another thorn on the side of the system.

Recently, independent news agency ‘Hablemos Press’ reported that Alexander suffered a paralysis in the prison he is being held in while the authorities refused to transfer him to a hospital.

I also want to shed light on the case of Francisco Diaz Echemendia, from Santiago de Cuba.  He was one of the ones who went to Bayamo to the place where Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero died.  He went there to deposit flowers on the first anniversary of their deaths, and for this reason he was detained.  The police searched his house and kept him in a dungeon for 10 days, in inhumane conditions and under constant threats, etc“.

In a similar fashion, activist Denis Pino Basulto was detained in Holguin province for defending various independent street sellers who were being harassed by the political police.  The agents were taking their products and threatening them.  “Denis was beat and detained for various hours, but despite the excessive repression he maintains himself firm and committed with the cause“, said Ferrer.

Returning to the subject of positive news and growing public opposition, Ferrer Garcia assures that “on a daily basis, more people committed with the cause are taking to the streets, and they are taking audio-visual materials on CDs and USBs so that the population can become informed“.

These discs and flash drives usually contain images of pro-freedom demonstrations on the island, debates, protest music, and interviews with Cubans in and out of the country, among other things.

In response to the question of the role of these informational materials in the struggle for freedom, the activist expressed that “we always say that our grand problem is information.  If we could maintain a constant flow of uncensored and serious information, through the use of audio-visual works handed to the everyday Cuban population, if we can do this a lot more, then the mentality of citizens would evolve quicker in the process of assuming consciousness in this struggle“.

That way“, affirms Ferrer Garcia, “more people would join the struggle for freedom.  And the dictatorship would last much less time“.

For more information from Cuba, contact:

Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia – Cell Phone: +53-146-740 / Twitter: @jdanielferrer 

Unjustly jailed dissident rapper, “El Critico”, has contracted cholera in prison (Updated 8/2/13)


Ángel Yunier Remón Arzuaga, dissident rapper best known as ‘El Critico’ from the hip-hop duo The Unwanted Children (‘Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso’), has contracted cholera during his unjust imprisonment, according to a relative, Julia Rosa Pina, in an audio published by the Patriotic Union of Cuba (organization to which he also belongs) during dawn hours of August 1st.

“Angel Yunier, who is arbitrarily detained, is suffering from cholera right now and  they have reported his health as ‘critical””, declared Pina in the audio, adding that the young musician was taken to the Hospital of Manzanillo, far from his family and friends  from the opposition.

In reality we do not have all the details of the situation because these people [the regime] manipulate information…all we know is that they are saying he is ‘critical’ and that in Las Mangas Prison there are many cases of cholera, while in the city of Bayamo the situation has gotten out of hand and there are 3 people who have died due to the sickness“, added Julia.

In days past, Remon Arzuaga’s wife – Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena – had informed that Las Mangas Prison, where he was being held behind bars without a trial and in pure arbitrary fashion, had been put in quarantine due to a breakout of cholera.  Ironically, the rapper had given a discourse in his jail cell to various prisoners in regards to bad hygienic practices in the penitentiary.  This cost him a beating at the hands of a common prisoners being manipulated by State Security and now he suffers from cholera.

Relatives and activists, such as Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia (leader of UNPACU) have expressed profound worry for the life of Angel Yunier, who has been subjected to different forms of aggression and blackmail at the hands of the political police since his unjust arrest on March 26th, after he gave a public discourse in favor of freedom outside of his home in Bayamo.

Remon’s young wife has had to be on-top of his situation as much as possible all the while raising their 5 month year old son, who has barely even seen his father.

We are calling on the international community so that they please support this young man – Angel Yunier.  At this moment, he needs all the support he can get, as does his family, who just because they decided to fight for Cuba’s freedom have found that many people have turned their backs on them“, expressed Julia, “and that’s why I am sending out this message…we will not give up demanding his freedom“.

At the moment this news was put together, we had not been able to establish communication with the wife of the musician, considering that she does not have a cell phone because political police agents robbed and destroyed all communication equipment the family owned when they raided their home in March.

#PassItOn for Ángel Yunier Remón Arzuaga ‘El Critico’.  We cannot allow the death of another Cuban for simply speaking without censorship and working towards a new Cuba, as well as for making protest music.  #FreeElCritico

*** UPDATE 8/2/13Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena confirms that her husband, Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, has been returned to Las Mangas Prison in Bayamo at around 3 PM of August 1st.  She explained to this blog that the rapper is “just a bit better” but is still suffering from the effects of cholera.

Yudisbel recounts that Angel Yunier was taken to the Manzanillo Hospital on July 28th but no one informed her of this.  She found out about the situation through a friend who is a political prisoner who managed to briefly establish communication with her via phone.

Upon finding out the news, I went to the Manzanillo Hospital and there were many State Security and Ministry of the Interior agents there and they would not let anyone pass to the salon where Yunier was“, explained the young Cuban woman.  In addition, the authorities would not tell her, or any other family member, that it was cholera that the dissident was suffering from, but Yudisbel was able to confirm it afterward with a doctor.

State Security prohibited doctors from telling us that it was cholera and were lying and saying that it was just a contagious virus“, said Yudisbel, who publicly complained in the hospital.

Although Angel Yunier is back in Bayamo, closer to his family, Yudisbel highlights that his life still runs danger, considering that Las Mangas Prison has had numerous cases of cholera.

Thanks to a nurse who decided to help us, Yunier managed to send a note in which he explained that when he was taken to the Manzanillo Hospital there had already been more than 100 cases of cholera in Las Mangas Prison, where 4 of these people had already died.  He also wrote that medical attention in the mention prison is horrible as are the hygienic conditions“.

For more information from Cuba:

José Daniel Ferrer García – Cell Phone: + 53-146-740 / Twitter: @jdanielferrer
Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena (relative’s phone): +23-445-762

“El Critico”, jailed dissident rapper, suffers beating and blackmail in prison

El Critico

Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, activist and dissident rapper best known as ‘El Critico’ from the duo The Unwanted Children, remains behind bars in the Eastern town of Bayamo for political reasons, without having had a trial and under constant reprisals, as occurred last July 8th 2013, when he was beat by a common prisoner being used by the State Security apparatus.

Yudisbel Roseyo Mojena, the young wife of the musician, made the news public.  She explains that the aggressions occurred on the same day Remon was supposed to have a family visit and that no prison authority told her about what had happened.  Roseyo found out the details thanks to another political prisoner who has shown solidarity with her husband.

Angel Yunier was in a prison cubicle with other prisoners and he was talking to them about the bad hygiene in the penitentiary when suddenly a common prisoner known as Jercy showed up with a knife“, details Yudisbel.  The prisoner threatened to cut Angel Yunier but ended up “attacking Angel with his hands, punching him on the eye and breaking his mouth“.

The response of the jailers was to make it seem as a common fight among prisoners started by the rapper, who they punished by refusing him the right to conjugal visits.  Their was total impunity for the aggressor and, as of yet, no disciplinary measures have been taken against him.

For this reason, Yudisbel assures that the event “was planned by State Security.  In fact, when agents talk to me they always mention this situation, saying that it happened to my husband for talking too much“.

Roseyo explains that what the authorities seek is to try and involve Angel Yunier in a common crime and, in that fashion, officially sentence him, considering that he is currently in a judicial limbo, jailed since March 26th for making protest music and carrying out pro-freedom acts of civil disobedience on the streets.

Yudisbel Roseyo. Via: UNPACU

Another tactic that the communist regime is using to try and reach that goal is to harass Yudisbel so that Angel will respond with anger and violence – a method which has not yielded results.

People who I do not know have come to my house talking bad about Angel and trying to create some kind of confusion between us“, she says, “On July 24th, for example, I was outside when a person came up to me and told me ‘you’re going to be mine’ and grabbed my hand, and I quickly broke free and defended myself.  People showed solidarity with me and when this man left, just a few moments later a couple of State Security agents walked behind him“.

Yudisbel is also victim of constant police persecution and vigilance, especially during the week of July 26th, when the State celebrates an anniversary of a violent assault on a barracks carried out by the current rulers.

“Since the 24th, I have been completely surrounded in my own house.  A State Security official known as Eric visited me to tell me that I could not leave my house, but I responded saying that I was not going to be jailed in my own house, and much less in my native province.  He told me that if I left I would be jailed and that they did not care if I was with my son or with anyone else“, she denounced.

The son of the young couple is only 5 months old and has barely seen his father due to his arbitrary arrest.  The minor has suffered various health issues and his mother has had to travel long distances in search of medical assistance.

Wherever I go with my son they follow me…a police vehicle and a number of State Security agents…day and night.  Their is a police car stationed on the corners of my house at all hours.  If I go to the clinic for my son, they go as far as to walk in behind me and keep an eye on my every move.  They continuously threaten me and tell me I will be detained if I participate in any sort of activity“.

‘El Critico’ was imprisoned after a violent act of repudiation against him on March 26th, when he decided to give a public discourse to his repressors, explaining to them that as Cubans they were being used by the dictatorship but that they had the power to stop and change the system.  He was being harassed and detained frequently prior to that moment due to his protest music and his activism out on the streets.  Remon is also a member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU).

My response is that if something happens to Yunier, the only ones responsible will be them [the government]“, declares Yudisbel, “my husband is firm in the same cause, as always.  He told me that he’d rather be dead than to stop believing and fighting for his ideas“.

#PassItOn: Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga #FreeElCritico

Cuba: Increase in arbitrary robberies and arrests at the hands of the State

In the last couple of weeks in Cuba there has been an increase in the amount of arbitrary arrests and robberies of pro-democracy dissidents at the hands of the political police.

Various cases have been coming in from the Eastern region of the country.  The case of activist Yuniesky Dominguez Gonzalez and former political prisoner Dany Lopez de Moya, both member of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) in Palma Soriano, Santiago de Cuba, is one of them.

Yuniesky recounts that on Tuesday, July 23rd, as they both were leaving a meeting at the home of Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, leader of UNPACU, when they were near the highway of Palma Soriano, members of the National Revolutionary Police and the political police intercepted them.  Agent Norberto was running the operation.

The agents intercepted the vehicle we were traveling in“, explained Dominguez to this blog, “then, the agents used forced to get us out, pulling our clothes and beating us.  They did the same thing with Dany’s son, 15 year old Frank Daniel Rodriguez“.

The first thing the agents did was to snatch all the belongings of the detainees.  “They took Frank Daniel’s phone and purposely spent the money he had on it as a form of blackmail.  They also robbed CDs, USBs and other things” which were never returned.  The discs were destroyed.

Yuniesky explains that the motive of breaking the CDs is to keep them from spreading throughout the population, considering that UNPACU members fill them with images of protests and activism not only of their movement, but of the opposition in general.

Similarly, on July 18th, the political police arrested youth activists Yoandri Montoya Aviles and Juannier Rodriguez in the city of Bayamo. Both dissidents are members of the Eastern Democratic Alliance (ADO) and were arrested while they filmed a documentary for PalenqueVision, the audio-visual project of this group.  The equipment they were using were robbed.

Juannier, who has been victim of expulsions and blackmail at his university due to his ties with the opposition, recounts that they were just “chatting with other young people in Bayamo, working on a video about their day-to-day reality when police agents suddenly arrived and took our cameras, breaking one of them“.

The agents accused the activists of being “delinquents” and were detained by force, shoved inside a bus and taken to a police unit.  Afterward, Juannier Rodriguez was deported to Guantanamo, his province of residence, but he defied the authorities and returned to Bayamo.

On Monday, July 22nd, the Cuban regime carried out a violent operation against a number of members of the Christian Liberation Movement (MCL) in the province of Las Tunas as they paid tribute to Oswaldo Paya and Harold Cepero on the first anniversary of their death.

Ezequiel Morales Carmenate, leader of the MCL in that area, denounced that paramilitary mobs, made up by members of the Communist Party, the Committee for the Defense of the Revolution and the political police “assaulted the home of Roger Curbelo, the headquarters of the MCL in the municipality of Puerto Padre“.  The agents penetrated the house, beating activists and robbing a Cuban flag as well as signs honoring Paya and Cepero, also accusing the dictatorship of having to do with the events which occurred on July 22nd 2012.

In the municipality of Majibacoa the home of Elber Perez (another leader of the MCL) was also the scene of excessive violence when the mobs assaulted the house during night hours, robbing countless documents, CDs and other work instruments.

On his part, Yuniesky Dominguez said that the upcoming anniversary of the assault of the Moncada Barracks on July 26th by the movement led by the Castros, who assumed power through violence on 1959, “has the regime very worried“. Why?

Because the activism of the peaceful opposition has put the regime in danger.  We are not fighting with weapons, nor do we carry out acts of sabotage as the July 26th Movement did.  However, our weapon is still lethal, and it is our words, and we work so that the people know what we do against the dictatorship and in favor of human rights and the population“.

That’s why, the activist explains, that in its desperation the dictatorship turns to physical aggressions and robbery of materials used by dissident to work towards freedom.  Materials which are obtained by activists with much difficulty, considering that the majority of these things are sent from abroad by people who have joined in solidarity, or in some cases, bought by the dissidents themselves, at a very elevated price.

Caught on video: Unmeasurable violence against Lady in White in Santiago de Cuba

Mobs organized and made up by police agents of the Cuban regime carried out a violent attack against pro-freedom dissidents, members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), in Altamira, Santiago de Cuba, on July 18th, 2013.

The violence occurred after several public demonstrations in the area demanding the release of all political prisoners and in solidarity with the everyday people.

State Security organized paramilitary mobs to surround the homes of activists in Altamira, throwing rocks, bottles, and shouting verbal offenses as well as arresting and beating various demonstrators.

One of the people who suffered the worst repression was Marina Paz, a member of the Ladies in White.  She was kicked, dragged, robbed and even stripped of her clothing by the State mobs.  A video published on the YouTube channel of UNPACU and narrated by ex political prisoner Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia displays the moment of the aggressions (See minute 1:30):

But we can also witness another factor in the video, and that is that dissidents have responded with more activism out on the streets.  Don’t take my word for it.  The images speak for themselves.

Cubans hand out pro-freedom pamphlets on a bus in Havana (Video)

Members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) have made the following video public, where various dissidents are Harding out pamphlets with messages about the civic struggle for freedom on the island to citizens who are aboard a bus in Havana.  During the video, no citizen repudiates the dissidents who are handing out the literature.

Check it out:

Daniel Barriel recounts house raid, arrest and the solidarity which achieved his release

When dissident Daniel Barriel Sanjurjo, organizer of the “Zapata Lives” cell of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) in Santiago de Cuba, heard abrupt knocks on his door on the morning of June 28th and noticed that they were coming from agents of the Cuban political police, he knew there were going to be problems, all because of his pro-democracy activism.  The agents ordered him to open the door, but since they did not present a search warrant, Barriel refused.  Police officials kicked down the door, breaking parts of it and raiding the house.

Upon entering my home, the 6 agents rushed towards me“, recounted the young dissident, “they started to beat me in front of my wife and my 5 year old son“.

Barriel was aggressively handcuffed (he still has the marks) and he was forcefully taken out of his home while still wearing underwear and shoved into a police vehicle.  He was taken to the Operations Unit of Versalles.

The police agents were accusing the activist of having painted messages against the Cuban regime on top of a mural with images of dictators Fidel and Raul Castro.    Daniel denies this, not because he is against the gesture, but because he explains that his activism is “public” and he does not have to hide his actions.

Upon arriving to the unit, they put me into an inhumane cell with only enough room for 2 prisoners which were already there.  One of these prisoners was an assassin and the other was a marijuana dealer“, said Barriel, who assures that he was victim of “psychological tortures” at the hands of State Security agents who continuously warned him that they would “disappear” him and that he “would not see the light of day again“.

The Santiago native adds that he was interrogated 2 more times and was then moved to another cell at around 4 in the afternoon, where the threats that he would go to prison continued.

Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, leader of UNPACU, explains that the Versalles Unit is known for the psychological tortures against detainees, as agents “try to break the will-power of the dissident and try to convince them to drop out of the opposition movement“.

In this torture process the detainees are usually kept for various days, weeks or months, but in the case of Daniel Barriel he was released the same day.  “All of this is due to the brave response of more than 40 of our activists“, explains Ferrer.

Numerous activists “met at the home of Barriel in the Sueno Neighborhood and publicly declared that they were going to take to the streets to protest“, recounts the former political prisoner.

Upon seeing the intelligent ad rapid response of the dissidents, the police decided to surround them in the house and brought members of the Rapid Response Brigades (paramilitary group) who tend to attack human rights defenders with weapons such as sticks, rocks, metal objects, etc”.  Despite this, the demonstrators remained firm and ready to go out to the street.

The persistence of the activists led the police to release Barriel Sanjurjo.

Suddenly, a couple of agents visited me and told me that there was a process open against me for the crime of writing over the murals and that they would summon me again to the unit, but that I would be released for the time being“, recounts the activist.  At the same time, Barriel’s mother received a phone call from a police agent asking her to please keep the more than 40 activists “calm” because they were going to release her son.

Daniel details that he was taken to his home in a police vehicle.  Upon arriving, he  noticed the presence of mobs who were carrying out an act of repudiation.  He pointed out that the aggressors were all officials or members of paramilitary groups but “none of them were neighbors or everyday people“.

Barriel pointed out that he was still in danger of going to prison, considering that the police told him accusations against him were  still open.  Regardless, he thanked all dissidents who showed solidarity with him during his arrest and affirmed that he will continue carrying out his work as director of the “Zapata Lives” Cell of UNPACU, which is made up mostly of young activists who define their activism with public activities on the streets, such as marches or the handing out of pro-freedom pamphlets.

This effort of working together and using pressure to achieve the liberation of a detained activist is not an isolated case.  This Monday, July 1st, for example, 3 activists were detained in the municipality of Banes, Holguin, among them Rafael Meneses Pupo.

The 3 were released from the National Revolutionary Police Unit when Gertrudis Ojeda Suarez, member of the Ladies in White and of the Eastern Democratic Alliance, and her husband Yoandri Naoki Ricardo Mir carried out a protest inside the unit.

Cases such as these “prove that the political police doesn’t feel sure of itself, not even with their own officials“, while everyday citizens and the organized opposition continue gaining space, expresses Jose Daniel Ferrer.

For more information from Cuba, contact:
Daniel Barriel Sanjurjo – Cell Phone: +53-388-130

Details about house raid and arrest of a dissident in Santiago de Cuba

Daniel Barriel

On the morning of Friday, June 28th, the political police raided the home of activist Daniel Barriel Sanjurjo, of UNPACU, in Santiago de Cuba, beating him and later arresting him.

Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, leader of the pro-freedom group, sent out a document with details of these aggressions and denouncing the rise of violence against the Cuban opposition.  The document has been published via Twitter by the young activist Anyer Antonio Blanco Rodriguez (@anyerantoniobla).

Here’s my English translation:


Another assault, more arbitrary beatings and arrests of UNPACU members

Santiago de Cuba, June 28th 2013

At around 7 AM, more than a dozen Political Police and National Police agents violently raided the home of Daniel Barriel Sanjurjo, secretary of the “Zapata Lives” Cell of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), located on E Street, between 5 and 6th, Sueno Neighorhood, in Santiago de Cuba.  Lieutenant Colonel Dorquis and Captain Julio Fonseca led the assault.

Daniel Barriel was beat inside his house, in front of his wife Yileisis Chaovin and their two underage children.  He was then dragged out (in underwear) and taken to the Political Police Unit in Alturas de Versalles, in the southern part of the city.

The home was searched for more than two hours and the agents ended up taking three cell phones, various CDs, USB drives with audio-visual material, printouts and one photo camera.

Daniel Barriel and the “Zapata Lives” Cell, which is mainly made up of young dissidents, have been carrying out a series of important pro-democracy activities in the city of Santiago de Cuba.  This is why the regime has acted against them with such aggression.  On UNPACU’s YouTube channel a number of these videos have been published, showcasing their creativity and their dynamic attitude.

In the last 22 months, members of UNPACU have been victims of countless house raids, robbery, beatings, arbitrary detentions and imprisonment for political reasons, as occurs against all peaceful dissidents in Cuba.

Recently, Gohart Cruz Zamora, secretary of the “Harold Cepero” Cell in Altamira, Santiago de Cuba, was victim of a machete attack on his left shoulder.  The political police awarded the aggressor, who committed a crime of “attempt of murder”, with food and other benefits which promise to not process him or to evict him from the hut he lives in.

Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia

Executive Secretary of UNPACU

For more information from Cuba, contact:

Jose Daniel Ferrr – Cell Phone: +53-146-740 / Twitter: @jdanielferrer

*Note: Daniel Barriel appears in this video handing out pro-freedom literature in Santiago de Cuba recently. 

Santiago de Cuba: Young dissidents take to streets to hand out pro-freedom literature (Video)


A new video has arrived from Cuba, courtesy of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), where we can see some young members of this opposition group on the streets of Santiago de Cuba handing out pro-freedom literature.  Various activists hand out these pamphlets in the first half of the video, all the while they are not attacked by any citizen.  In fact, they actually accept the papers.

In the second half of the video, activist Daniel Barriel speaks in front of a sign painted by the regime which says “Victorious Revolution”. Barriel puts up writing over the sign- one about Goart Cruz Zamora, a dissident who was recently attacked by a State Security agent wielding a machete, and another report about the political prisoners on the island.  Minutes later, passer-bys stop to read the messages.

The video (with English subtitles):