Cubans from Havana Protest Against Police Abuse

April 22, 2012

During the afternoon hours of this past 16th of April, more than five-hundred people joined a heated protest in the centric Fraternity Park in Havana.  They were protesting against the manner in which members of the PNR (National Revolutionary Police) carried out the arrest of a young citizen who had been detained because of a quarrel with another citizen.  The abuse carried out by the officials was sufficient to detonate a display of popular discontent.

While the police officers violently handcuffed and transferred the young Cuban, the people there started to scream: “abusers, assassins, release the young man, stop mistreating him”.  The police officers, upon seeing that they were outnumbered, decided to start releasing the Cuban from his handcuffs.  The marks of the cuffs on the young man’s hands provoked further rage.  A man who seemed to be older than seventy shouted, “you are all a bunch of abusing henchmen”.

During the incident, Jorge Castorbery Dias Dias, president of the Democratic Voice of the People Movement, was detained.  Dias was at the scene taking photographs.  One State Security official rushed up to the human rights activist and shoved and handcuffed him, then introduced him into the police vehicle.  However, he was taken by other officials of that same oppressive entity.  During the arrest, Jorge received physical blows on the head as he was shoved against the roof of the vehicle.

Amid the denouncements of the activist which stated that his arrest was arbitrary, the response from the official was “you know that this is Cuba, and that you cannot do that here.  Besides, I know who you are, I know you’re a well known counter-revolutionary”.  Jorge was taken to the Dragones Unit of Old Havana and locked away in a dungeon for more than three hours.  He was threatened by the political police and then was released.

Photos and Report courtesy of Eriberto Liranza Romero; Information and Press Commission of the CYMD. 

CYMD Celebrates Meeting in Havana

April 22, 2012

Various members from the directory board of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy in Havana visited the national headquarters of the group in order to carry out an administrative meeting regarding the movement and to know more about the health of the group’s delegate in Western Cuba, Niurka Luque Alvarez, a political prisoner of the Castro regime who is being held in the women’s prison known as “Manto Negro” (“Black Cloak”), located West of Havana.

In the meeting, the youths accorded to strengthen the unity of CYMD in the face of the attacks carried out by the political police and its henchmen.  They also agreed to continue demanding freedom for Niurka Luque by carrying out denouncements and protests to prove her innocence.  Niurka is currently in a punishment cell just for refusing to use the prison uniform, stating that she is innocent and a political prisoner.

Eriberto Liranza, president of the CYMD, said to feel much satisfaction knowing that the Youths for Democracy have grown so much and have carried out such excellent work.  Liranza also announced the opening of a new delegation of the group in the city of Placetas, in the province of Las Villas.  In the meeting, there were two leaders present of the Movement from the Eastern region of the country.

Photo and Report courtesy of Yaimi Alfonso Miret; Information and Press Commission of the CYMD 

Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy Carries Out Activity in Velasco, Holguin

April 22, 2012

Photo courtesy of the Information and Press Commission of the CYMD

Report by Eriberto Liranza Romero, president of the CYMD

Activists from the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy from the municipality of Velasco, located in the Eastern province of Holguin, carried out an activity regarding Democracy and Human Rights during the beginning of the month of April.

Yonart Rodríguez Ávila and George Luís Leyva Ferras, vice delegate in the East and of Gibara, respectively, organized the meeting which counted with the participation of more than a dozen youths.

During the activity, the members who were present denounced the unjust incarceration of Niurka Luque Alvarez, a member of CYMD who has been imprisoned in a punishment cell in the women’s prison known as “Manto Negro” (“Black Cloak”), for the sole reason of defending human rights.  The activists shouted and demanded “freedom for Niurka Luque, she is innocent”.

Rodriguez Avila also played a film for all the activists present as part of the Youth Video Club program which was designed to elevate the political culture among the new generations and to provide factual information about happenings in Cuba and in the world.

New Opposition Movement Founded in Arroyo Naranjo

December 22, 2011

This past 10th of October, The Resistance Front inaugurated the Brothers to the Rescue Freedom and Democracy Movement.

The headquarters of this dissident movement will be in Cisneros Betancourt Street, #1294 between 3rd and Lindero, Los Pinos, Arroyo Naranjo, Havana.  The BRFDM is presided over by Caridad Ramirez Utria, whom lives near that same address.

This Movement is affiliated to the Orlando Zapata Tamayo Civic Resistance Front, will be guided by the principles of the Declaration of Human Rights and its international pacts in regards to civil liberties.  We know that repression in Cuba aims to destroy these desires for freedom, but we are challenging the dictatorship in a non-violent manner.  We know that God will grant us victory if we continue to be firm in our ideas,” declared Ramirez Utria.

The Brothers to the Rescue Movement pays homage to the exile organization of that same name which saved so many Cuban lives out in the open sea as they tried to achieve freedom.  We will continue their brave example“, said Heriberto Pons Ruiz, vice-president of the organization.

The inauguration activity concluded with a peaceful march through the streets of Arroyo Naranja.  The following activists participated:  Caridad Ramírez Utria; Hermógenes Guerrero Gómez; Heriberto Pons Ruiz; Yamilet Clapé Leandro; Raúl Parada Ramírez; Yosvanis Gonzales Lemus; René Rouco Machín; Jennifer Suarez Varela; Idania Torres Rondón.

The National Front Honors Laura Pollan on the Day of the Resistance

December 22, 2011

By Eriberto Liranza, Coordinator in the West for the National Resistance Front

More than a dozen human rights activists met in the Havana municipality of Arroyo Naranjo, responding to the call from the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front to dedicate the past 24th of the month to honor the memory of Laura Pollan, recently deceased in a Havana hospital.

Every 24th of each month the National Front will convoke all its member parties and movements throughout the island to concentrate their activities against the Castro dictatorship.  In this specific commemoration, activists from various organizations met in the headquarters of the Hard Line Front in the neighborhood of La Guinera.  There, the dissidents dedicated a minute of silence to Laura Pollan and signed a note of condolences from all those who loved the leader of the Ladies in White.

Amid slogans against the  dictatorship, the participating activists expressed that “the ideas of Laura Pollan of achieving freedom for Cubans persist, and that she lives on in the hearts of those who fight for the country of Marti”, declared Hermogenos Guerrero, president of the Hard Line Front.

When the simple but emotional ceremony concluded, the activists took the national symbol (flag) and marched in silence throughout a neighborhood of La Guinera.  Every member also carried a national flower- “The Mariposa”- in order to commemorate the patriotism of Laura Pollan.

Various activists arrived after the ceremony concluded, including their signatures in the book of condolences for Laura Pollan, who for many years was the steward of freedom, peace, and hope for hundreds of political prisoners of conscience in Cuba.

The following activists participated in this activity : Yamilet Clapé Leandro, Hard Line Front; Hermógenes Guerrero Gómez, Hard Line Front; René Rouco Machín, Juan Wilfredo Soto Garcia Movement; Yosvani González Lemus, Juan Wilfredo Soto Garcia Movement; Martha Belquis Martínez González, Hard Line Front; Santiago Días Soto, Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy; Caridad Ramírez Útria, Brothers to the Rescue Freedom and Democracy Movement; Heriberto Pons Ruíz, Brothers to the Rescue Freedom and Democracy Movement; Antonio Pérez Romero, Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy; Yaimí Alfonso Miret, Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy; Humberto Martínez Almeida, Hard Line Front; Maida Leyva Reyes, Natur-Paz; Rolando Luis Ramírez Cabrera, Natur-Paz; Yunior Ramírez Roca, Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy; Yusniel Estévez Martínez, Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy and Eriberto Liranza Romero, Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy.

Political Police Oppresses on the Day of Resistance

December 19, 2011

Revolutionary Police stationed outside home of Eriberto Liranza

By Antonio Perez Romero

From the very early hours of this past 24th of October, officials from the Political Police and the National Revolutionary Police surrounded the homes of various dissidents in the capital.  The family of the leader of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy, Eriberto Liranza Romero, was also being grossly harassed by the first Lieutenant Luis from the G2 (State Security).

The policeman, along with another official who claims to be called ‘Ale’, mounted a vigilance operation from the morning hours of the 24th, while also visiting the homes of Rapid Response Brigade officials.  Though they did not directly harass Liranza, agents ‘Luis’ and ‘Ale’ stood in front of the house so that we would know they were there, just to cause terror in us.  I was afraid that my husband would step out, because I knew they would jail him.  Eriberto told me that our house was not a prison and that he was going out to the street.  Apparently since they saw that in our house there was not much activity, they left.  The activities for the Day of Resistance took place elsewhere, and without problems“, declared Yaimi Alfonso, wife of Liranza.

Another house that was surrounded was that of peaceful dissident Heriberto Pon Ruiz.  “The operation was carried out by the National Police, using police vehicle number 186 and under the direction of the G2.  Agent ‘Nelson’ and other well-known oppressors were also present.  My wife Caridad Ramirez and I had to jump the back fence in order to participate in the activities of the Day of the Resistance.  If they wanted to arrest me, they couldn’t.  But it is not easy to live under vigilance as if one was a murderer“, declared Heriberto Pons, vicepresident of the Brothers to the Rescue Freedom and Democracy Movement.  In addition, Pons and Caridad Ramirez are delegates of the Independent and Democratic Party of Cuba for the zone of Los Pinos.

Agent 'Luis' of the G2 (State Security), who oppresses Liranza

The Release of Huber Matos from Jail is Commemorated

December 19, 2011

By Antonio Pérez Romero, CYMD

The historic date of October 21st 1979 does not go unnoticed among the members of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo Resistance Front  of Arroyo Naranjo.  In various headquarters of this opposition movement in Havana dissidents commemorated the day in which Commander Huber Matos finally saw freedom from his unjust 20 year prison sentence.

For every Cuban who has heard of the bravery and resistance of this commander, such an important date cannot be ignored.  Matos is a flag of fidelity and dedication to a just cause- the cause of freedom and democracy.  Huber is an example of dignity and firmness.  There is not a Cuban in the world that does not admire him.  Not even those who betrayed him can hide that he is one of the most important sons of the nation.  Perhaps that is why the Castro brothers despise him so much, because they hate freedom”, declared Eriberto Liranza, president of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy.

Varios activities were held in the home of Liranza, as well as in other headquarters of the municipality, such as the homes of Caridad Ramirez Utria and Heriberto Pons Ruiz- delegates of the Independent and Democratic Party of Cuba in los Pinos.  They promoted this important event.  It’s main objective was to disclose the real history of Matos to the Cuban people, as he was betrayed by the usurpers of power who now enslave Cuba.

Political Police Threatens Neighbor of Dissident with Arrest

December 19, 2011

Roxilene Sotolongo Cruz & Ariel Gonzales Cueva

Image and report by Eriberto Liranza Romero.

This past 13th of October, Roxilene Sotolongo Cruz from Cervantes Avenue, #272 between Pinar del Rio and Yumuri, Parraga, Arroyo Naranjo was summoned before a political police official.

The State Security officials known as “Luis” and “Ale” carried out the interrogations and threats against Sotolongo.  “The citation stated that my presence in the police station was just for a ‘conversation’.  When the agent known as Luis arrived he began to threaten me, telling me that if my family and I continued our friendship with the family of Eriberto Liranza Romero, my husband Ariel Gonzales Cueva would lose his job, or something worse would happen to him.  He also assured us that our friendship with a ‘counter-revolutionary’ would bring consequences to my 25 year old son, who doesn’t even live with us“, declared Roxilene.

All of this is the wrong doing of these people.  I fear that they will comply with their threats, and I don’t have a way to maintain my family.  They already detained me once for helping the wife of Liranza to carry a couple of buckets of water when her husband was on hunger strike in January of this year.  I know that they don’t threaten just because.  If something happens to me or my family, they will be the responsible ones.  Meanwhile, we will not stop visiting or helping Liranza, because they are good neighbors, as opposed to the hypocrites and thieves nearby which wave around their Communist Party ID cards and revolutionary signs“, declared Ariel Gonzales, husband of Sotolongo.


New Independent Library Inaugurated in Parraga

October 9, 2011

This past 22nd of September, human rights activists and librarians inaugurated the Juan Wilfredo Soto Garcia Independent Library in Estrella Street, #88, between Pinar del Rio and Yumuri, Parraga, Arroyo Naranjo.

Jennifer Suarez Varela, director of the new library stated that she was “very content with doing something useful for the community which is already starting to wake up in the face of so much repression and censorship”.  The participants spent more than two hours of lecture with Suarez Varela and also helped her organize material to be offered to the inhabitants of Arroyo Naranjo.

The promoters of this activity were Hermógenes Guerrero Gómez, President of the Hard Line Front; Jennifer Suarez Varela, Juan Wilfredo Soto García Movement; René Rouco Machín, President of the Juan Wilfredo Soto García Movement; Raúl Parada Ramírez, Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy; Caridad Ramírez Útria, Democratic and Independent Cuba Party ; Heriberto Pons Ruíz,Democratic and Independent Cuba Party; Antonio Pérez Romero, Cubna Youth Movement for Democracy; Luís Enrique López Torre, Cuban Council; Cándida Pedroso Hernández, Juan Wilfredo Soto García Movement; and Eriberto Liranza Romero, president of the Cuban Youth Movement for Democracy.

Resistance, on the Day of the Resistance

October 9, 2011

It was approximately 6:00 pm, we had been able to get together various activists and group leaders that were supposed to be present on the 24th of September.  Days prior, the executive board of the National Front had convoked a national ‘pots and pans’ protest for that day, which had been designated as the Day of Resistance.

We were carrying the Front’s flag, better looking than ever- that fist held high in the air- and we had the desire to take to the streets to let the people know that we were there to defend their rights.  And we also wanted to prove to the tyranny that without the presence of their assassins, nothing would happen to us.

We were correct.  Upon going out to the street and shouting our slogans, the people stepped out.  There were even those  who echoed our shout of ‘Down with the dictatorship‘.  Much to the shock of those present, we marched up and down the street, we were successful.  The National Front triumphantly marched.

It took the henchmen around 1 hour to recruit the mob that always attacks us.  The majority of the ‘staff’ do not work on Saturdays and they were only able to get a group of older people.  Behind the quixotic troops, the political police and State Security deceitfully approached.  We bravely waited for them, some of us with our arms crossed, while some of us responded with the opposite slogans of the ones being shouted at us.

The mob stopped in its tracks, they did not think we would stay standing there during their confrontation.  A military order led them to surround us, and like vile cowards, they began to beat us.  I was able to see how they took Antunez away by pushing him and shoving him into a vehicle of the political police.  Ramses suffered the same fate.  And then it was my turn.  I continued to sing the national anthem, stronger than ever.  I wasn’t even finished when a punch on my face impeded me from singing the last note.  “I forgive you”, I told the aggressor who was wearing a blue shirt.  Another blow led me to repeat the same phrase, this time with a bit more- “I forgive you, when Cuba is free you will live without fear because I would never do this to you just for thinking differently”.

Three men were carrying Sara Marta after having beat her.  One of them continued to hit her until she was put in the vehicle which kidnapped her.  As for Julio, Sara’s husband, he was also dragged into the Jeep in which I was being kept.  No one else fit in that car.  I was there with Hermogenes Guerrero, all swollen from so many physical blows, barefoot, and with torn clothes.  Ramses was also there.  Julio was thrown on top of us.  There was blood coming from his mouth from all the aggression.

The uniformed police official sped off form that place and took us to the National Revolutionary Police Unit of Santiago de Las Vegas.  We left behind  activists in the home of Sara Marta who also were resisting and suffered acts of vandalism.