Amid U.S. and E.U. Silence, Cuba Unleashes Wave of Repression

Tuesday, September 27, 2016
An excellent roundup of the recent wave of repression throughout Cuba.

From Diario de Cuba's Editorial Board:

Cuban regime unleashes repression all over the island

The Cuban regime launched a massive crackdown on the offices of the Legal Information Center (Cubalex), headed up by attorney Laritza Diversent, according to information received by DIARIO DE CUBA, just hours after the European Commission formally proposed that the EU countries support the political cooperation and dialogue agreement with Havana, which would supersede the Common Position, in force since 1996.

Sources close to Diversent said that police forces raided the headquarters and accused the entire Cubalex team of "economic crimes".

At 10 am in the morning two police cars arrived, along with 20 agents in plain clothes, and a lady in a white coat who claimed to be a doctor. They waited for the entire CUBALEX team to be inside the building before commencing the operation.

They broke in through the garage door with a crowbar, and used a jimmy to access the kitchen, confiscating all their technological resources, computers, memories and hard drives – even those for personal use.

A week of intense repression

The week saw a wave of repression unleashed across the Island against many opposition and civil society organizations.

On Thursday the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) reported the arrest of 23 activists and the imprisonment of one of its members, who would mark "political prisoner number 43" from the organization.

On Tuesday, 20 September, police officers and State Security agents prevented a dozen young dissidents from completing visa processes at the Spanish consulate in Havana to travel to Madrid to take a training course at the Instituto Atlántico.

That same day, the spokesman for Cuba’s Independent Trade Union Coalition, Iván Hernández Carrillo, reported that the political police had deployed a large force to break up a meeting of several trade unionists seeking to fuse the Island's three main labor organizations.

On Sunday, 18 September, repression was also perpetrated against The Ladies in White: 27 women were arrested in Havana, along with several activists with the #TodosMarchamos (We All March) campaign on the 71st Sunday of the constant persecution of the organization's marches.

Another group of women was also harassed on Tuesday, when State Security deployed forces near a house in which they were to hold a meeting, while keeping the participants trapped in their own homes.

The women, coordinators of a numbers of projects, had planned to present their work and draft a single document for submission to an upcoming international forum.

Last Friday, meanwhile, the activist Marthadela Tamayo, a member of the Committee for Racial Integration (CIR), was seized by political agents, held and interrogated for eight hours. Her family and friends, unaware of her whereabouts, reported her missing. Following her release Tamayo spoke to DIARIO DE CUBA.

Another victim of the current clampdown was Lady in White Leticia Ramos. On Saturday police searched her house for two hours.

At about 8:30 am 26 agents from the Interior Ministry showed up at her home in Cárdenas, Matanzas, proceeding to seize magazines, a publication of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and to arrest Ramos's husband.

Leticia Ramos is now under investigation, accused of "public disorder." The authorities will not allow her to leave her home.

Last week the authorities also arrested, beat and stripped three women activists from the Partido Arco Progresista (PARP) who were on their way to the Santuario de El Cobre. The activists wore T-shirts endorsing the #Otro18 campaign, which seeks to promote candidates not backed by the regime to run in the 2018 "elections."

Far from easing up on repression in order to secure international approval, Raúl Castro seems bent on ratcheting it up.