Sunday, November 11, 2012

Crackdown on nonviolence in Cuba

37 nonviolent activists detained over the course of two days in Cuba.

According to sources in Cuba this is the shirt Angel Santiesteban Prats  was wearing when he was arrested.

Scores of activists were detained in Cuba on November 7 and 8, 2012 and two of them are being threatened with long prison sentences. Antonio Rodiles is still being held and is accused of allegedly "resisting arrest", the number of his case file is 62886. Yoani Sanchez reported that the first arrest in the ongoing crackdown occurred on the morning of Wednesday, November 7, 2012 with attorney Yaremis Flores followed by the arrests of Antonio Rodiles and Laritza Diversant.Other activists were detained as they went to the police station to demand the release of those arrested and were themselves arrested.

How and why did this wave of repression in Cuba begin? According to pastor and blogger Mario Félix Leonard Barroso in a statement made to the Cuban Democratic Directorate the aim of the crackdown was to prevent the peaceful gathering of various individuals involved in a project to lobby the regime to ratify its human rights commitments with the United Nations:
"I signed the Citizens Demand for Another Cuba and also I promote it. This afternoon, November 8, a meeting was to be held at the home of Antonio Rodiles, of State of SATS, with several people that promote the Demand in the provinces. It was an unannounced meeting, it was for the promoters of the Demand. But since yesterday, they started arrests of people who were going to participate."
Some background information is necessary here on two important projects of Cuban civil society. The first is the State of SATS, a project led by Antonio Rodiles that has its objective, "to create a plural space for participation and debate, where open and frank debate is exchanged. The project sponsors panel discussions, forums and other events that are filmed and broadcasted on the Internet." The second is a petition initiative signed by hundreds of Cubans inside and outside of the island and submitted to the National Assembly of People's Power on June 20, 2012 which in part states:

That immediately put into practice the necessary legal safeguards and policies conceived in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and that it ratify the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Covenant on Economic Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations, signed by the Government of Cuba on February 28, 2008 in New York City. This would ensure full respect for citizens no matter what their ideas or their political-social outlook and that the rights of everyone to their opinions who disagree with the government to have them restored. We consider these essential rights in the formation of a modern, free and plural Cuba, that welcomes everyone equally and inserts our sovereignty into a dynamic and increasingly global world. We are committed to a democratic transformation, where everyone can present their views and contribute to its realization.

List of 37 Cuban activists arrested on 7 and 8 of November 2012 compiled by the Cuban Democratic Directorate:

Activists detained in Havana
1. Yaremis Flores Julián 
2. Laritza Diversent 
3. Antonio Rodiles 
4. José Díaz Silva 
5. Yoani Sánchez 
6. Claudio Fuentes Madán 
7. Arabel Villafuentes 
8. Mario Alberto Hernández 
9. Julio Aleaga Pesant 
10. Ailer González 
11. Andrés Pérez 
12. Mario Morago 
13. Vladimir Torres 
14. Rolando Rabanal 
15. Luis Fumero 
16. Veisant Boloy 
17. Angel Santiesteban Prats 
18. Mario Morales 
19. Reinaldo Escobar 
20. Agustín López 
21. Angel Moya Acosta 
22. Librado Linares García 
23. Eduardo Díaz Fleitas 
24. Iván Hernández Carrillo 
25. Félix Navarro 
26. Guillermo Fariñas 
27. Eugenio Leal 

Activists detained in Camagüey 
28. Virgilio Mantilla Arango 
29. Humberto Galindo Moya 
30. Elicardo Freire Jiménez 
31. Angelo Guillermo Alvarez Olazábal 
32. Pablo Jiménez Santarrosa 
33. Fautino Calá Rodríguez 
34. Jeiser Torres Morales 
35. Santos Manuel Hernández 
36. Luis Alberto Alvarez 
37. Isbel Freire Jiménez 

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