CID Appeals to All Cuban Women to Unite in Demanding Their Freedom

Reading of the CID appeal addressed to all Cuban women

The Executive Committee of the Party for an Independent and Democratic Cuba (CID) has launched an appeal calling on all Cuban women to unite in demanding their rights and freedoms, in a statement read out by Santa Clara activist Gladys Beatriz Medina González and the Ladies in White, after attending the Sunday mass and march along 5th Avenue in the Miramar district of the capital. She also thanked all those who had paid tribute to Laura Pollán on 10 December.

In the statement, the CID national leader said: “Today we are calling on all Cuban women to unite in this endeavour which she and a group of brave women (referring to the Women in White) began with determination and constancy; all we need to do is to take the decision to safeguard our children from the poverty,abuse and lack of opportunities they face, because of an insensitive, abusive and despotic government. There are millions of us women who have a duty to defend our families and we intend to do so. We do not grant an illegitimate government the authority to carry on committing abuses and errors; economic changes are not enough, it’s not a question of feeding ourselves better in the prison in which we live. The time for political change in Cuba is NOW…

I want to thank all those in different parts of the world who have paid tribute on this 10 December to our founder Laura Inés Pollán Toledo, as by doing so they are paying tribute to all the Cuban women who have fought for freedom since the days of independence; they are paying tribute to all the political prisoners of the past who challenged Castroism and suffered prison and exile; they are paying tribute to the daughters, wives and mothers of the Cubans who were murdered by this regime…I should like, on behalf of the Party for an Independent and Democratic Cuba, to thank all those throughout the world who have shown solidarity with the family of Laura Pollan and the Ladies in White Movement which today bears her name and I wish them well on this International Day for Human Rights.”

Subsequently, the women were violently arrested by the political police and not released until hours later

Katia Sonia Martín Véliz

Translated by Paul Knopinski

December 13 2011

Published in: on January 23, 2012 at 7:02 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ladies in White: Act of Repudiation and Violent Arrests After Sunday March

Circled in red: State Security Official called "Reinier"

The “Laura Pollan” Ladies in White movement suffered another violent act of repudiation and arrests at  3rd Avenue and 26th Street in the Miramar district, at the end of their march demanding freedom, at noon on Sunday, December 11. The act was orchestrated by women undercover police officers in civilian clothes, who also summoned drunken men armed with knives.

After the march and after sharing the reading of various documents in the park connected to the church of Santa Rita, we were ready to take the bus. Then we were surrounded by patrol cars who stopped traffic. Groups of police in plain clothes who had been waiting since early on, hidden around the church, launched a rally against us. We saw men carrying knives, we sat on the ground and kept shouting Freedom!

Then, by order of State Security, they began to charge us and violently force us inside buses with closed the windows to prevent our demands being heard. Then we were taken, escorted by a fleet of cars of state security, patrol cars, ambulances, etc, to a military unit on the outskirts of Havana to the east.

Then we were transported — one by one — with an escort of two officers of state security to different police stations, according to our residences, until finally we were released — from patrol cars — in the vicinity of our homes.

The Ladies in White from interior of the country were classified by the officer Alejandro according to their place of origin and then put on buses independently, with police escorts. Finally, they were deported from the capital.

Many of our phones were reformatted and we lost our information.

The act of repudiation was directed by Pedro Chavez, interrogator at State Security’s Villa Marista headquarters.

Katia Sonia Martín Véliz

December 13 2011

Published in: on January 22, 2012 at 3:30 am  Leave a Comment  

No Otoscope Available at Outpatients’ Department of Central Havana Children’s Hospital

“The Outpatients’ Department of the Central Havana Children’s Hospital has no otoscope for examining children suffering from ear pain,” said Lianay Palmero, a resident of Santo Tomás entre Árbol Seco y Retiro, after her daughter had been in pain for more than 24 hours without being diagnosed.

Eventually, the two-year-old was diagnosed the following day as having a middle ear infection, thanks to the presence at the hospital of an ear, nose and throat specialist who had an otoscope she had acquired during a medical mission abroad at her own expense.

The angry mother contacted this reporter to complain about the lack of such simple and essential equipment at the outpatients’ department of the hospital in question, particularly when the Cuban Government tells the world that Cuban medical care is completely free and that children are given top priority.

The source ended by saying that more than 30 children were waiting at the outpatients’ department to be examined by students from the Latin American School – all of them medicine residents – and that there was only one qualified pediatrician on duty.

Translated by Paul Knopinski

November 2 2011

Published in: on January 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

CID Party Leader Arrested in Pinar del Rio for Listening to Music by Willy Chirino

Luis Alberto Hernández Marrero Archive Photo

Luis Alberto Hernández Marrero, delegate of the Party for an Independent and Democratic Cuba in the province of Pinar del Rio was violently arrested, together with his son, Luis Adrian Hernández Martínez, at around 1 a.m.  on 4 November in Calle San Juan y Martínez between Virtudes y Sol and fined for causing a “Public Disorder”.

Luis Alberto Hernández Marrero told this reporter that he and his son were singing the popular song “Ya viene llegando” by Cuban singer Willy Chirino, when suddenly “my house was invaded by two Interior Ministry officials, wearing plain clothes – one of them a woman – accompanied by two uniformed officers from a police patrol car, who, on the orders of the officials,  violently grabbed hold of my 19-year-old son and bundled him into the police car. We shouted that they were “lackeys” and “abusers” and cried “Down with the dictatorship”. We were taken down to the police station, where we were fined 30 pesos each, allegedly for creating a “public disorder”.

The source confirmed that they were released at 3.30 a.m.

Translated by Paul Knopinski

November 6 2011

Published in: on January 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Detention and House Arrest of Activists on the ’Maleconazo’ Anniversary

Frank Reyes López, Delegate of the Party for an Independent and Democratic Cuba (CID) in Villa Clara, Víctor Castillo, Alcides Rivera and Félix Reyes, were all arrested by officials of the State Security Department at 9 a.m. on 5 August at the intermunicipal bus station and taken in patrol carrs to their homes, where they remained in police custody until 7 p.m.

Frank Reyes López – who is the source of this information – reported the arrests by telephone, describing how the officials of the State Secuirty Department remained outside the activists’ homes, preventing them from going out to celebrate the anniversary of 5 August, the day on which a group of Cubans went out into the streets of Havana to protest against the regime, an event known as the ‘Maleconazo’.

Translated by Paul Knopinski

August 5 2011

Published in: on January 2, 2012 at 12:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Lady in White Elizabeth Linda Kawoya Toca Summoned by State Security

Elizabeth Linda Nanyonga Kawooya Toca walking on 5th Avenue with her daughter in her arms

Elizabeth Linda Nanyonga Kawooya Toca, a member of the Laura Pollan Ladies in White Movement, was summoned by State Security for 2:00 pm on November 4th at the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) station at Infanta and Amenidad in Cerro municipality.

Official Summons for Elizabeth Linda Nanyonga Kawooya Toca

Elizabeth Linda, who is a Ugandan citizen, declared that a young man in plain clothes — who said he was an official of State Security and called himself Marcos — said that with the death of Laura Pollan and the release of the prisoners they had terminated the activities of the Movement and that he had orders from above to block the activities of the Ladies in White.

Kawooya Toca told the official that there was an official and clear commitment to the struggle and support of the Cuba Independent and Democratic Party (CID) to the Laura Pollan Ladies in White Movement as long as a single political prisoner existed in Cuba and there is no guarantee of the fundamental rights of Cubans and that she, as a deputy delegate of the CID in the Centro Habana municipality, made clear her position of support and membership in the Ladies in White. The official responded that she should leave that to the old women, that she was younger than all the women because she is 22.

Elizabeth Linda Nanyonga Kawooya Toca is a resident in Cuba and says she feels a connection to the fate of the Cuban people, she is married to the independent journalist and director of the CID Lisbán Hernández Sánchez.

Translator: Unstated

November 7 2011

Published in: on January 1, 2012 at 7:08 pm  Leave a Comment