The following is a rundown of brutal acts of repression by the Castro regime against pro-democracy activists during the first week of January 2012:
January 1st - In the city of Santa Clara (central Cuba), members of the Rosa Parks Movement, along with members of the Central Opposition Coalition, were assaulted for trying to carry out a peaceful march “for the freedom of Cuba, against impunity, and in support and solidarity with Ivonne Malleza Galano.”
Activists were arrested with brutal force from the home of Idania Yanes Contreras, president of the Central Opposition Coalition. Frank Reyes Lopez, who was filming the attack, was thrown off the roof of the house by Castro's agents and subsequently fractured his right arm. Maria del Carmen Martinez also suffered an arm fracture, while Aramilda Contreras was seriously injured. Robert Alcides Rivera Yanez, the son of Yanez Contreras and a minor, was also beaten and shoved by police officials and suffered injuries and bruises all over his small body. Several neighbors intervened and managed to shelter the child from the police.
Among those arrested were: Ydania Llanes Contreras Damaris Moya, Maria del Carmen Martinez Lopez, Ana Iris Burune Rivera, Yanoisi Contreras Aguilar, Alcides Rivera Rodríguez, Frank Reyes López, Jorge Luis García Pérez ‘Antúnez’, Natividad Blanco Carrero, Aramilda Contreras Rodríguez and Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera.
January 4th - Act of repudiation in Camaguey against the home of pro-democracy leader Virgilio Mantilla Arango from 3 a.m.–2:30 p.m., in order to prevent a group of activists from meeting in a public park in the city of Camaguey. Among the activists who were arrested were: Elizardo Reyes Jimenez, Jorge Luis Suarez Varona, Virgilio Mantilla Arango, and Alexis Sabatelo of the Unidad Camagueyana por los Derechos Humanos.
January 5th - In Havana, independent journalist Dania Virgen Garcia, a member of the Ladies in White, Belkis Felicia Jorrin, and human rights defender Yosvani Martinez Lemus were beaten and arrested. The home of another Ladies in White member, Caridad Burunate, in the city of Colon (Matanzas province), was also subject to an act of repudiation.
January 6th – According to independent journalist Luis Felipe Rojas, Ladies in White member Isabel Peña was attacked by a government thug in Guantanamo (eastern Cuba). In Havana, the political police surrounded the home of another member of the Ladies in White, Anisley Pavon, in the suburb of Marianao. Paramilitary forces of more than 100 agents attacked the home of Maritza Castro in the Havana district of El Cerro with stones, sticks, and bottles. Maritza Castro has been carrying out a hunger strike for almost a month, demanding the freedom of Ivonne Malleza, Ignacio Martinez, and Isabel H. Alvarez. Maritza is a neighbor of Ivonne Malleza and her husband Ignacio.
January 7th – Hot tar was thrown against the front of the home of a member of the Ladies in White, Gertrudis Ojeda, in Banes (eastern Cuba) because she displayed anti-government signs in her home. The tar’s pungent odor is affecting one of her sons who is seriously affected with asthma. According to independent journalist Roberto de Jesus Guerra, Ojeda was beaten and dragged by the paramilitary forces that invaded her home.
January 8th – Pro-democracy activist Prudencio Villalon Rades of the Union Patriotica de Cuba (UMPACU) denounced that the Ladies in White, Annis Sarrion, Milagros Leiva, Maritza Cardosa, Osmeilis Jimenez, as well as her daughter Arianis Gainza Jimenez (12 years old) were all aggressively attacked by a member of the Castro regime's paramilitary forces in Municipio Mella (eastern Cuba). Also, a member of the Ladies in White, Caridad Caballero Batista, and her husband, Esteban Sade, were arrested as they were entering the Church Pueblo Nuevo in Holguin (eastern Cuba). In Holguin, another Ladies in White member, Berta Guerrero, and her husband, Franklin Pellegrino del Toro, were arrested with violence to prevent their assistance to Mass.
Independent journalist, Jose Lino Asencio, reported that in central Cuba, the home of Ladies in White member Yasmin Conyedo Riveron, located at calle Trista 374 entre San Pedro y Virtudes, in the city of Santa Clara, was attacked by a pro-regime mob brought in a bus by State Securiy forces.
In Pedro Betancourt, a town in the province of Matanzas, pro-democracy activist Oscar Sanchez Madan, was violently arrested along with Juan Francisco Sigler Amaya and other human rights defenders, members of the Independent Movement Alternative Option, who were on their way to the cemetery to honor deceased Ladies in White member, Gloria Amaya, an activist and mother of three ex-political prisoners of conscience.
Courtesy of the Coalition of Cuban-American Women.
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