REPRESSION FAILS ON 2015 INTERNATIONAL DAY OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Despite the arrests and harassment, protests by the opposition took place in Cuba. Hundreds of activists arrested.
Miami, Florida. Directorio Democrático Cubano. December 11th, 2015. The Castro regime carried out a strategy of harassment, raids, and arrests to contain popular protests on International Human Rights Day, but they could not accomplish their goal. Opposition’s protests and meetings took place throughout the country notwithstanding the hundreds of arrests.
Camagüey: In the city of Camagüey, more than 30 activists of the Pro Democratic Pedro Luis Boitel Party (Partido Pro Democrático Pedro Luis Boitel) alongside members of ComandoAniceto Cuesta of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Resistance Front, met and chanted “Long live human rights, down with the dictatorship” as a way to celebrate such an important day in their headquarters located in the Buenavista neighborhood. In Sibanicu, despite the previous arrests of some of their members, the Christian Democratic Party was able to hold a meeting in their headquarters and went out into the streets carrying the Cuban flag and a sign that read “No more dictatorship.”
Granma: In the historic city of Bayamo, with shouts of “No, No, and No to the Castro dictatorship,” “Freedom,” “Down with Fidel,” and “Long live the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Resistance Front,” human rights activists of “Young People for the Freedom of Cuba” (“Jovenes por la Libertad Cuba”), organized a public protest to celebrate International Human Rights Day in the “Retablo de los Heroes” in that city.
Guantánamo: In the city of Baracoa Francisco Luis Manzanet, president of the opposition movement “John Paul II” has reported that in the framework of the “No, No, and No to the Castro dictatorship” campaign and to celebrate the International Human Rights Day, the movement members handed out CDs; brochures related to the above mentioned campaign; and pictures of Cuban political prisoners to neighbors in order to demand their release. In addition, they reported that anti-Castro signs appeared throughout the 1ro de Abril and Calixto Garcia streets, and the Castillo Hotel. These signs read “No, No, and No to the Castro dictatorship,” “Down with Fidel and Raul,” “No to the Communist Regime,” “Down with hunger and misery,” and “Long live the Venezuelan people.”
Villa Clara: In the headquarters of the Central Opposition Coalition (Coalición Central Opositora) in Santa Clara city, a dozen activists managed to meet in the context of the campaign “No, No, and No to the dictatorship.” They celebrated this day and also burned a photo of the dictator Raul Castro, despite according to the declaration by the Coalition president, Damaris Moya Portieles, their headquarters had been surrounded by military officials since very early that day. Likewise, the president of the Opposition Movement Youth Awaken (Movimiento Opositor Juventud Despierta), Yoel Bravo Lopez denounced that members of Castro’s repressive apparatus threw stones at his house, which prevented other members from attending several celebratory events. In Camajuani, members of the Cuban Reflection Movement (Movimiento Cubano de Reflexión) celebrated their 21st anniversary and International Human Rights Day. Their headquarters was surrounded by State Security since very early, according to reports by Yoel Bravo Lopez.
Mayabeque: Activists of the Pro Human Rights Cuban Party (Partido Pro Derechos Humanos de Cuba) and “Comando Acela Medero” of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Civic Resistance Front in Catalina de Guines held a work meeting at Ricardo Lazaro Fiallo and Yliam Marrero’s house, who are two of their representatives, all this despite their house being surrounded by State Security cars during the entire day.
Pinar del Rio:Members of the Cuban Republican Party, the Cuban Patriotic Union (UNPACU), and Ladies in White from Pinar del Rio met at Armando Peraza’s house in the besieged town López Peña. There, they celebrated International Human Rights Day under heavy siege by Castroism’s repressive forces.
Havana: Berta Soler, the Ladies in White representative, denounced that 25 Ladies in White had been arrested since yesterday, after the organization had convened a public event on the L and 23 streets in El Vedado. Four Ladies and an activist were arrested. From Boyeros, Lourdes Esquivel Veyto, secretary of the Party for a New Republic (Partido Por Una Nueva Republica) and Ladies in White members denounced the arrest of 22 of their members in order to prevent their attendance at the activity of the Ladies.
From Banes, Holguin, Walter Cañete, activist of the Democratic Eastern Alliance (Alianza Democrática Oriental), denounced that the State Security chief in that province, named “Froilán” visited him and the activist Alexander Rodriguez Santiesteban to threaten them, stating that they would not be allowed to leave their houses, which were surrounded by the Castro police and by elements whom the activist denominated as regime informants through the rest of the day.
A very similar situation took place in the city of Sancti Spiritus, at the residences of members of the Human Rights Commission in Cuba (Comité de Derechos Humanos de Cuba). These had been visited by State Security during the previous night. In this visit, the State Security threatened activist Aurelio Cabrera Gonzalez, whose door was kicked by a paramilitary mob and by State Security agents, according to Segundo Rey Cabrera, president of the organization.