FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE JUNE 27, 2008
FOR MORE INFORMATION: MAGDELIVIA HIDALGO
ACTIVISTS ARRESTED IN HAVANA FOR TRYING TO PAY IN NATIONAL CURRENCY
HAVANA, June 27, 2008. An activist couple, who recently participated in
an act of civil disobedience at a Havana restaurant, were detained today
following a mass State police operation that included a search of the
Lázaro Joaquín Alonso Román, executive director of the ex-prisoners of
conscience Pedro Luis Boitel organization, was arrested in plain view
upon leaving his mother's home. His whereabouts are currently unknown.
Following his arrest, the political police staged an operation outside
of his home where they carried out a search of the property. His wife,
Belinda Salas Tapanes, President of the Federation of Latin American
Rural Women (FLAMUR), was arrested when she began calling foreign press
reporters accredited in Havana, to come to her home to cover the story.
The arrests were a result of an act of civil disobedience carried out by
the couple and six other activists on June 24th when they entered
restaurant Lava Dia in Havana, ate a meal and demanded to be able to pay
in national currency as part of the campaign, "Con la Misma Moneda" or
"With the Same Currency". "Con la Misma Moneda" demands the right of all
Cubans to pay in national currency, the Cuban peso, with which they are
paid their salaries.
"This is yet another example that whether Cuba is under a Fidel or Raul
Castro regime, it continues to be a State where human rights are
systematically violated. We demand the immediate release of these
activists, and we ask that all international human rights organizations,
parliamentarians of democratic nations, and all those who believe in
human rights and civil liberties, to demand the Cuban authorities
release them immediately," said Magdelivia Hidalgo, International
Representative of FLAMUR.
"We will not be intimidated or paralyzed by repression," Aini Martin
Valero, independent journalist and member of FLAMUR stated. "The "Con la
Misma Moneda" campaign will continue because we are not going to resign
ourselves to being treated as second-class citizens in our own country,"