Wave of Arrests in Eastern Cuba. Jose Daniel Ferrer, Belkis Cantillo Among the Detainees

Belkis Cantillo, Lady in White and wife of Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia

In Eastern Cuba, April 2nd 2012 began with various non-violent protests carried out by the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) in the municipality of El Caney, in Santiago de Cuba, according to the former political prisoner of conscience Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia who published the news through his Twitter account (@jdanielferrer).  According to the activist, the members of UNPACU were demanding the liberation of Rogelio Tabio, who has been on hunger strike for more than a month now and who is currently in very weak physical condition.  Activists also demanded the liberation of Andres Carrion, the Cuban who screamed ‘down with communism’ during the Pope’s Mass in Santiago de Cuba.  The dissidents also demanded freedom for Bismark Galan who was detained on April 1st for filming a documentary about a young girl who is sick and who has not received adequate medicine.  In addition, the dissidents were demonstrating against the violence which Ladies in White are constantly victim of.

Ferrer continued to inform through Twitter throughout the day, explaining that in El Caney 10 human rights activists from UNPACU “took to the streets screaming slogans against the dictatorship and in favor of human rights”.  When the demonstration came to an end, the dissidents headed to the home of Guillermo Cobas, a well known activist in that area.  The home was rapidly surrounded by political police agents who then started a mob repudiation attack.  During this time, in another center of Santiago de Cuba, in the Vista Hermosa neighborhood, another 14 activists from UNPACU were carrying out a similar protest, according to Ferrer.

Meanwhile, another Tweet narrated that 22 members of UNPACU were detained with violence in the home of Raumel Vinajera in La Concepcion, Palma Soriano.  These dissidents were planning to go to the street to carry out another similar protest.  Ferrer Garcia told ‘Hablalo sin Miedo’ that, around 11 AM, the home of Vinajera was “raided”, as was that of his mother.  Ferrer explained that “the latter [Vinajera’s mother’s] was destroyed”.

Just hours later, at around 5 PM, Jose Daniel Ferrer made an urgent phone call to ‘Hablalo sin Miedo’, denouncing that his home in Palmarito de Cauto was about to get raided by a number of political police agents.  Ferrer said that the “agents want to tear down the door”.  Minutes later, former political prisoner Pedro Arguelles Moran confirmed that the police ended up breaking into Ferrer’s home, arresting him and his wife, the Lady in White Belkis Cantillo, as well as other dissidents who were inside the house.

Angel Antonio Blanco, an activist from UNPACU, also told ‘Hablalo sin Miedo’ that police officers were “robbing” things inside the home of Ferrer Garcia, as they also did with the home of Raumel Vinajera.

As of this moment, the whereabouts of Ferrer Garcia and the rest of the detainees are unknown.  Ferrer, as well as other activists, had assured that the repressive wave which occurred in Cuba during the papal visit was only a preparation for a larger scale violent crackdown which would be set in motion to squash any social rebellion.   We are alerting the international community that right now, in Cuba, there are many peaceful dissidents behind bars, just because they defended human rights.  Among the detainees are independent journalists, Ladies in White and former political prisoners, as well as a hunger striker- Rogelio Tabio- who is fighting for his life. 

Wave of Arrests in Eastern Cuba. Jose Daniel Ferrer, Belkis Cantillo Among the Detainees

Jose Daniel Ferrer: Partial Summary of Arrests, More Anti-Government Signs, and False Accusations

All the way from Palma Soriano, the former political prisoner of conscience Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia is informing that more and more anti-government signs keep propping up throughout that municipality and many other areas of Eastern Cuba.  In the case of Palma Soriano, Ferrer explains that one of the spots where the most signs have surged has been in “the neighborhood known as Nueva Palma, and because of this the political police feels the need to blame someone“.  In this specific occasion, the police has chosen to blame Daniel Quezada, a young dissident who has been detained (for this reason) in a dungeon of the Castro regime for one week now.  In fact, Quezada has chosen to carry out a hunger strike in demand of his liberation.

Although Quezada is being accused of authoring the signs and putting them up, Ferrer Garcia points out that while he has been in jail “the signs keep popping up“.  Quezada is being held in the National Revolutionary Police Unit of Palma Soriano and, according to various testimonies of dissidents who have recently been released from that punishment center, he has suffered a number of brutal beatings due to his pro-democratic posture.

Meanwhile, Ferrer Garcia has informed that three members of the Resistance and Democracy Movement (affiliated to the Patriotic Union of Cuba) have also been arrested.  They are Rogelio Tavio, Niorvis Rivera, and Elmes Figuera who were all arrested by the political police this past Friday, March 2nd, while they were at the home of Tavio.

The arrest took place after these three did not allow the Cuban G2 (State Security) to use their children for acts of repudiation against non-violent dissidents.  According to Twitter messages published by Jose Daniel Ferrer, the whereabouts of Elmes Figuera are unknown but it has been confirmed that Rogelio Tavio has been taken to the provincial prison while Niorvis Rivera is being held in the Imias Unit.

According to the political police, two of these activists will be processed“, said Ferrer.  Those two are Tavio and Rivera, both under the accusations of ‘public disorder and for attempting against child development’

Meanwhile, a dissident from the UNPACU- Juan Carlos Vazquez Osoria– was violently arrested this past March 6th  as he was traveling from Moa to Palmarito de Cauto.  Osoria was detained until March 8th.  Within the past few months, Osoria and has wife Anni Sarrion Romero have suffered countless acts of aggression at the hands of Cuban state police.  In fact, Sarrion has been beat, threatened, and suspended from her job just for publicly demanding freedom for Cuba.

For more information from Cuba:

José Daniel Ferrer García – Cell Phone011- 5353-631-267; Twitter: @jdanielferrer


Jose Daniel Ferrer: Partial Summary of Arrests, More Anti-Government Signs, and False Accusations

Jose D. Ferrer Informs of Various Acts of Repression in Cuba

Via “Hablalo sin Miedo“, the dissident and former political prisoner Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia informs of various acts of repression which have occurred, and are currently happening, in Cuba this weekend.

Hear the audio, in Spanish, by clicking this link.

And here is the transcription (my translation):

Guantanamo.  Yesterday (Saturday November 12), the activists from the Resistance and Democracy Movement- Niorvis Rivera Guerra and Francisco Soria Claro- were detained by the political police.  Up to the moment, there whereabouts are unknown.  Arbitrary arrests and violent mob attacks against this opposition group have been increasing.  According to Rogelio Tavio, the leader of the group, the activists respond to each attack with more non-violent actions in favor of freedom and democracy.

Placetas, Santa Clara.  Members of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front are surrounded, and various have been detained.  Only one Catholic priest was able to make it to the home of Jorge Luis Garcia Perez “Antunez” and prayed for the victims of the repression.  The priest spoke to the activists about the upcoming visit of the Pope to Cuba.  The tyranny cruelly oppresses those who, with firmness and valor, work for establishing freedom and democracy in our nation.

Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia
Coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba

Meanwhile, Antunez (who was recently beaten and detained for various days), has published this Tweet of warning:

antunezcuba Jorge Luis Garcia

Aggressive police operation underway.  The Special Brigades have arrived.  It is raining lightly.  Be attentive, anything could happen here today in Placetas #cuba
Jose D. Ferrer Informs of Various Acts of Repression in Cuba