Increment of violent repressive acts escalates throughout the island
August 28, 2011
Forces of the Cuban Ministry of the Interior began acts of repression on
Friday, August 26, 2011, against human rights defenders in three cities
in Eastern Cuba to prevent the Ladies in White from attending mass at
the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba on Sunday. The cities of Palma
Soriano, Palmarito de Cauto and Santiago de Cuba were besieged by
paramilitary squads and "acts of repudiation" were carried out by
government instigated mobs against the homes of peaceful activists.
Ladies in White Caridad Caballero Batista and Marta Diaz Rondon were
dragged, beaten, sexually harassed, insulted and arrested on Saturday as
they were on their way to Palma Soriano. Caridad Caballero suffered a
fractured finger. Both women were released full of bruises from a police
station in Bayamo, August 28, 2011.
Also, this past Sunday in Palma Soriano, thirteen Ladies in White, who
were gathered in the home of Aimee Garces Leyva, were prevented from
going to the Cathedral of Santiago de Cuba by State Security officers
who twisted their arms and beat them when they tried to go out into the
street. Tania Montoya's arm required medical assistance as a result of
the ill treatment. The 13 women were forced onto buses that left them at
undisclosed locations. The home of Garces Leyva was ransacked by
authorities. Among other women also involved were Belkys Cantillo, Oria
Casanova, Yaquelin Garcia, Gisel Escalona, and Berta Soler who had
traveled from Havana and whose whereabouts are unknown.
Around twenty five human rights activists, who were gathered at the home
of Marino Antomarchy, also in Palma Soriano, were brutally beaten by
armed riot troops, were overcome by teargas, and were violently arrested
late Sunday afternoon. Even neighbors who went to the aid of the
activists were gassed and arrested. Antomarchy's family, including a
young daughter, was also the victim of this attack. The home was
searched and authorities took a computer, mobile phones and documents.
Some of those also arrested in Palma Soriano were: Ruben Adrobe de
Armas, Doraisa Correoso, Marino Antomarchy, Reinaldo Rodriguez, Jose
Batista, Yimi Troche, Raumel Vinajera, and Jorge Cervantes who was
severely beaten during his arrest by a head State Security Officer and
was eventually released after he declared himself on a hunger strike.
In the city of "El Caney", the home of Guillermo Cobas Reyes was
surrounded by paramilitary mobs. Cobas Reyes was violently arrested
along with Agustin Magdariaga Alvarez, August 28, 2011.
Annia Alegre Pecora was also arrested and released. In addition, Rusela
Vaso and Romel Avila Vaso, respectively, the wife and son of human
rights defender, Raudel Avila Losada were arrested.
Jorge Luis Garcia Perez "Antunez" also denounced the Cuban regime's
arbitrary arrests of members of the "Orlando Zapata Tamayo" National
Front of Civic Resistance" and the increment of repressive acts against
its leaders in the provinces of Pinar del Rio and Camaguey.
Rosario Morales and Ivon Mayeza, known activists who were arrested on
Friday, August 26, 2011, before a large crowd in Havana as they made
noise beating pots and pans to protest the unemployment, the hardships
of the Cuban people, and demanding an end to the dual currency in Cuba,
were released on Sunday, August 28, 2011, after both endured brutal
From August 26 – 28, 2011, the Cuban regime has subjected more than 50
human rights activists and their families to unlimited physical,
emotional violence. Once more, The Coalition of Cuban-American Women
makes an urgent call to the press and to non-governmental organizations
dedicated to the defense of human rights worldwide, as well as to
individuals in positions of leadership in religious, political,
educational, social, and cultural institutions to denounce these cruel
and degrading acts committed by the Cuban regime against its own people.
FURTHER INFORMATION IN CUBA: Belkis Cantillo + 53 53790867 / Jose D.
Ferrer Garcia + 53 53631267 / Caridad Caballero + 53 52629749 / Berta
Soler + 53 52906820 INFO IN SPAIN: Luis E. Ferrer + 34 - 691 803 955
Coalition of Cuban-American Women / Laida A, Carro