Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Cuba's Black Spring Ten Years Later: Ladies in White brutally attacked

URGENT!!! Victims of police and Castroite brigades violence need voices of solidarity. - Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, March 18, 2013 at 6:04pm over twitter

Lady in White Marina Montes Piñón beaten with blunt object in December 2012

Ten years ago, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia was being threatened with a death sentence for his role as one of the organizers of the Varela Project, a citizen initiative to reform the Cuban system and bring it into line with international human rights standards. Today, ten years later, on March 18, 2013 he is calling for solidarity on behalf of a group of Cuban women beaten up by Castroite rapid response brigades and the political police in the interior of the island.

The worse repression is not in Havana, but in the interior of the island in places like Palma Soriano in the east of Cuba in the province of Santiago far away from the prying eyes of the diplomatic corps and international media.

Today rock throwing mobs organized by state security assaulted the home of Lady in White, Denia Fernandez Rey. What follows below is a translation of the tweets posted by Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, Robert J. Guerra of Hablemos Press, Angel Moya Acosta and the Ladies in White in real time as the attack unfolded and the aftermath.

The tweets began at 4:41pm on March 18, 2013 with Jose Daniel Ferrer reporting: Palma Soriano. Act of repudiation against fifty Ladies in White commemorating the tenth anniversary of the Black Spring. This was followed immediately by another offering that for more information on the act of repudiation against the Ladies in White to call +5358323612 and speak with Belkis Cantillo present at the home under assault.

At 5:14pm Jose Daniel tweeted that the violence was escalating: "Rapid Response Brigades attack the home of Denia Fernández, where there are five children, with stones." Three minutes later Robert J. Guerra of Hablemos Press reports that there is an "act of repudiation" underway at the "home of Lady in White Denia Fernandez in Palma Soriano, Santiago de Cuba" after the women "holding literary tea."

At 5:48pm the official Ladies in White twitter account confirms that the act of repudiation is underway and that their representative Belkis Cantillo is present at the home under siege.  

At 5:50pm Robert J. Guerra of Hablemos Press reports "Ladies in White beat up in Palma Soriano, Santiago de Cuba. Two women hospitalized for receiving blows to the head." 

Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera is a Victim of repeated assaults

The blows to the head are not accidental but a systematic targeting of certain activists. There are other recent examples and one that needs to be mentiones is the case of Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, she is the president of the Rosa Parks Women's Movement for Civil Rights. On International Women's Day 2013 in Cuba a woman was spitting up blood due to a beating administered to her by a male state security agent on the morning of March 7, 2013 for a nonviolent demonstration she had participated in. The attack was so brutal that they knocked her out and she had to be taken to a hospital. When she finally regained consciousness, regime agents kicked her out of the hospital. This was not the first time that she had been the object of such an attack by an official of the Cuban government. 

At 6:02pm Jose Daniel confirms that the "Ladies in White of Altamira have been battered" and that the "political police have detained the women." He reports one minute later that one of the women has been beaten into unconsciousness.

At 6:44pm Angel Juan Moya Acosta, former prisoners of conscience and husband of Ladies in White spokeswoman Berta Soler - who was not allowed to travel with his wife out of Cuba - reports: "Police brutality and mass arrests against Ladies in White in Palma Soriano, mounted on buses and disappeared."

At 8:43pm Jose Daniel tweets "Communist Brigades beat and police arrest six women for expressing outrage at the violence against the Ladies in White. He identifies two of the six women detained as "Jessica Hernández, and Maricela Chea." 

Jose Daniel informs a moment later that "Lady in White and UNPACU activist Miraida Martin is at a local Polyclinic being given oxygen following police violence" and that the Doctor attending her "does not authorize transferring Miraida to Santiago de Cuba because she is in a very fragile state." But at 8:47pm he reports that Due to "political police pressure Miraida is discharged still feeling very bad," and is "driven to Santiago." 

This is the same tactic that has been used against other women who dare to dissent in totalitarian Cuba and was most recently witnessed in the case of Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera.

The international mainstream news media in Cuba have not reported on these attacks and the UN has organized activities on the status of women in Cuba and failed to even mention the violence visited upon Cuban dissidents who happen to be women.
Lady in White Marina Montes Piñón
 Human rights defenders the world over, understand a very basic equation that holds true everywhere: Silence = Death but there is another equation that is implicitly understood but rarely voiced Constructive Noise = Life. Not just any noise but constructive noise that seeks out the facts and attempts to ascertain the truth of a situation and report it to others.
Due to repeated beatings Yris has developed a cyst
 The images posted here are not of the attacks on March 18. Those have not been available yet, but these are photos of other Cuban women that for their dissent were physically brutalized. The dictatorship attacks women in Cuba because it fears their power and courage. It is for that reason that ten years later on the anniversary of the Black Cuban Spring the forces of repression in the island are mobilized.

No comments:

Post a Comment