Friday, March 23, 2012

Sexual violence as a tool of political terror

The Cuban transition wears a skirt, its rhythm is marked by so many women who will achieve a more inclusive, maternal, free country :-) - Yoani Sanchez, on twitter March 8, 2012

"Tyrants with pathological cravings for power have organized campaigns of rape since ancient times, from Troy to Nanking and Sierra Leone to Cyprus, from East Pakistan to the Democratic Republic of the Congo and beyond. And yet, everyone ever convicted of orchestrating mass rape could be crowded into a single holding cell." - AIDS Free World, 2009

IACHR: Complaints of Attacks on Women Human Rights Defenders in Cuba Credit: Juan Manuel Herrera/OAS

Listening to the report on Complaints of Attacks on Women Human Rights Defenders in Cuba presented on Friday afternoon during an audience before the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights by representatives of the Directorio Democrático Cubano, Madres y Mujeres Anti-Represión en Cuba, and the Coalition of Cuban-American Women raised concerns about the practices of the dictatorship in Cuba targeting women.

Laida Carro of the Coalition of Cuban-American Women summed up the purpose of their testimony: "We came to reiterate before the IACHR that it is inacceptable that in our hemisphere women who defend fundamental rights are discriminated against and subjected to cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment."

Janisset Rivero, of the Directorio Democrático Cubano highlighted a troubling trend stating that "Since 2011 a considerable increase in the practice of stripping naked, hurling sinuous words and sexual threats against the Ladies in White."

Laura Pollán, interviewed in the above video, died under mysterious circumstances on October 14, 2011

It is a troubling trend because at least two of the Castro brothers allies, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, and the late Muammar Gaddafi of Libya have both used rape as a political weapon to terrorize women from participating in the political process. It appears that Cuban state security is testing similar tactics in order to see how the international community reacts and with each non-reaction push the envelope further.

For example, on March 1, 2012 a violent arrest was carried out against female members of the Rosa Parks Feminine Movement in the central city of Placetas who were attacked as they were protesting in front of the Cuban Communist Party Municipal Headquarters. Yris Perez Aguilera was beaten and arrested by officer Yuniel Monteagudo, who pulled down her pants inside the patrol car and threatened to rape her. The women remained under arrest until Saturday, March 3rd.

In the case of Libya the raping of women appears to have been conducted during an armed conflict. On the other hand in the case of Zimbabwe as in Cuba there is no armed conflict underway in the country.

Zimbabwe Rape Survivor 1

However there is plenty of documentation on the use of rape as a political weapon to silence women in Zimbabwe. AIDS-Free World in 2009 published a detailed report titled Electing to Rape: Sexual Terror in Mugabe's Zimbabwe which analyzed the situation there during the 2008 elections and the aftermath:
In the weeks immediately after the June 2008 presidential elections in Zimbabwe, AIDS-Free World received an urgent call from a Harare-based organization. The human rights activists were overwhelmed with reports from women associated with the opposition party, Movement for Democratic Change (MDC), who had been raped by members of President Robert Mugabe’s ruling party, ZANU-PF, in a vicious campaign to intimidate voters and emerge victorious in the presidential election. In response, AIDS-Free World undertook a series of investigative trips to the region with teams of lawyers to interview survivors of this violence. What emerged from the testimony was a brutal, orchestrated campaign of rape and torture perpetrated by Mugabe’s ZANU-PF youth militia, agents of Zimbabwe’s Central Intelligence Organization (CIO), and people who identify themselves as veterans of the liberation war (known as war veterans) affiliated with ZANU-PF. The exceptionally violent rapes, as described by women from every province of Zimbabwe, were often nearly fatal. Survivors’ terror was prolonged by fears that their attackers were among the 15% of adults infected with HIV in Zimbabwe.
Cuban women are in the vanguard of political change in the island and like the women in Zimbabwe are now a target of an entrenched and brutal dictatorship that is willing to do anything to remain in power. The world ignored Mugabe's brutalization of women in Zimbabwe and this led to the systematic use of rape as a political weapon against female human rights defenders and political activists. Trends in Cuba point to the possibility that the same tragic outcome could be repeated if the international community does not speak out early and often against the violence visited against Cuban women by the dictatorship on the island.

Stop rape now in Zimbabwe, Cuba and wherever else it arises.

"They can either kill us, put us in jail or release them. We will never stop marching no matter what happens." - Laura Inés Pollán Toledo, Ladies in White founder (February 13, 1948 – October 14, 2011)


  1. I am indeed very happy for my life; My name is Grace Tessy, I never thought that I will live on earth before the year runs out. I have been suffering from a deadly disease (HIV) for the past 5 years now; I had spent a lot of money going from one places to another, from churches to churches, hospitals have been my every day residence. Constant checks up have been my hobby not until last Month, I was searching through the internet, I saw a testimony on how DR. Ben helped someone in curing her HIV disease, quickly I copied his email which is ( spoke to him, he asked me to do some certain things which I did, he told me that he is going to provide the herbal to me, which he did, then he asked me to go for medical checkup after some days after using the herbal cure, I was free from the deadly disease, he only asked me to post the testimony through the whole world, faithfully am doing it now, please brothers and sisters, he is great, I owe him in my life. if you are having a similar problems just email him on ( or simply whatsapp him on: +2348144631509.He can also cure disease like Cancer, Diabeties, Herpes. Etc. You can reach me on email:

  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  3. I never thought i would be HIV negative again after been diagnosed in 2015, i have tried everything possible in life from one doctor to another, one hospital to another, series of tests, different kinds of medication, i had already lost hope until i meet Great Dr. OSAGIE online testimonies, a specialist in herbal medication from Africa, i contacted him ( OR
    DROSAGIESOULTIONTEMPLE@YAHOO.COM) and he prepared HIV herbal medication for me which i took for 7days and now i am completely cured. i want to use this medium to express my gratitude to him for saving my life and curing me from HIV, for taking away all my pains and sorrows, I''m indeed grateful and i am so happy I''m now HIV negative. i will continue to tell the good news of your great works to everyone, if you have HIV or other disease contact him, Email: his email: ( OR
    DROSAGIESOULTIONTEMPLE@YAHOO.COM ) or His Whatsapp number: +2347030465649...thank you He also have a herbal cure for Following DISEASES,this is 100% Real

  4. God will continue to bless you more abundantly, for the good works you are doing in peoples life, I will keep on writng and posting testimonies about you on the Internet, I was a HIV patient, I saw a post on blog on how Dr. Omohan cured someone, I contacted him and also got my healing, kindly email him now on ( or His Whatsapp number: +2348164816038...thank you my great DR

  5. hello I?m from USA , I have been suffering from HERPES virus for the past 3 years and i had constant pain especially in my knees, During the first year I had faith in God that i will be healed someday, but this disease started circulate all over my body and i have been taking treatment from my doctor, few weeks ago i came in search on the internet if i could get any information concerning the prevention of this disease, on my search i saw a testimony of so many people who has been healed from Hepatitis B, HIV/AID, Diabetes,HSV, ALS HPV and Cancer by this Man called Dr, Akioya and he also gave the email address of this man and advice we should contact him for any sickness that he would be of help, so i wrote to Dr. Akioya telling him about my HERPES Virus he told me not to worry that i will be cured from this deadly disease i never believed it, well after all the procedures and remedy given to me by this man, few weeks later i started experiencing changes all over me as the Doctor assured me that i will be cured,after some time i went to my medical doctor to confirmed if i have be finally cured behold it was true,and now i?m cure totally with Dr.Akioya, So friends my advise is if you have such sickness or any other at all you can email Dr,Akioya on this email; or add him up on what-app +2348105257464

  6. I am John Danilla from UK( northern ireland), i want to share a
    testimony on how a powerful spell caster cured my HIV disease, i was
    diagnosed of this disease, in the year 2009, last week i saw a testimony on
    Dr.Akioya on how he cured an HIV patient, so i contacted him through phone
    and he asked me to email him, which idid, so he told me that all my
    problems is over and then he decided to do an healing spell spell for me so
    after he finished it, he told me to wait for just 24 hours and then i
    should go for a test, so i really did as he had said, so my greatest
    surprised when i went to the hospital to go for an HIV test, the Medical
    doctor diagnosed that, i am now HIV negetative at first i was amazed and
    now i have come to realise that this spell caster Dr. Akioya is a very
    powerful one and a real spell caster. So viewers of this should please join
    me in my celebration for i am the happiest man on earth today and if you
    want to contact him, you can do this via his email
    ( or call him or whatsapp him
    +2348105257464. or you can visit is website;