Biologist Ruiz Urquiola Arrested for Demanding Medicine for His Sister / 14ymedio

Biologist Ariel Ruiz Urquiola on hunger strike to demand medical treatment for his sister. (CubaNet)
Biologist Ariel Ruiz Urquiola on hunger strike to demand medical treatment for his sister. (CubaNet)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 6 November 2016 – On Sunday morning, the police arrested for the third time this week the researcher and marine biologist Ariel Urquiola, who has been holding a peaceful protest in front the National Oncology and Radiology Institute (INOR) since Thursday. He is demanding medical treatment for his sister, Omara Isabel Ruiz Urquiola, who is suffering from cancer.

According to what this newspaper was able to confirm, the specialist remained under arrest until five in the afternoon.

Shortly before his arrest he was received at the Oncological Hospital by its director, Dr. Luis Alfonso Curbelo, who notified him that the drug for his sister had arrived and would be administered this coming Tuesday. Continue reading “Biologist Ruiz Urquiola Arrested for Demanding Medicine for His Sister / 14ymedio”

Urquiola was dissatisfied and incredulous with this response and believes that, given that all this time the patient has been injecting herself, the only thing they had to do was to give her the drug this Sunday or Monday, and so he decided to continue his protest until the matter is truly resolved.

As reported to this newspaper by Oscar Casanella, at three in the afternoon on Sunday, after an interrogation at the police station located in Zapata and C, Urquiola was taken to the emergency room at Fajardo Hospital where he was given a physical examination to determine that he had no injuries.

In communication with 14ymedio, Urquiola’s sister explained that so far he has not been allowed to see his family for the duration of the arrest. “The officer in charge of this case is named Raul with a badge number 03734. I have told them I have nothing to talk to them about until they permit me to see him,” she said, shortly before he was released.

Urquiola’s sister suffers from invasive ductal carcinoma which is treated with two monoclonal antibodies every 21 days. For the completion of this immunotherapy she has lacked Trastuzumab (Herceptin).

The drug, which has been supplied for more than 20 years by the Ministry of Public Health (MINSAP), is manufactured by Roche pharmaceuticals. According to the family of the patient the absence of this drug is attributable to the Ministry of Public Health and the representation of the Swiss firm in Cuba.

Since Thursday, Ariel Urquiola has not taken food or drink and has been accompanied days by several civil society activists in solidarity with his demands. Among them are Gorki Águila, Eliecer Avila, Rudy Cabrera, Oscar Casanella, Claudio Fuentes, Antonio González Rodiles, Ailer González, Boris Gonzalez and Yanelis Nunez.

Biologist Ariel Urquiola, D.Sc., was expelled from the University of Havana after being deprived by the administration of his scientific project, arguing that he was not “trustworthy” because of his political leanings.

In the afternoon, the biologist was released, but vowed to continue his hunger strike until the reasons why he initiated it are resolved. However he agreed to withdraw from the site he had occupied in front of the hospital.

Gorki Águila: “The Castro Regime Wants To Mutate Into A Perfect Tyranny” / EFE – 14ymedio

The musician Gorki Águila, leader of Porno para Ricardo. (EFE)
The musician Gorki Águila, leader of Porno para Ricardo. (EFE)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), 29 September 2016 — The dissident and leader of the Cuban punk-rock band Porno para Ricardo, Gorki Águila, said in Miami on Thursday that the “plan” of the Cuban regime is “to mutate into a perfect tyranny” with an “image much more whitewashed before the world. ”

The government of “the Castros needs a lot of money, and they are taking good advantage of this situation,” Águila told EFE, speaking in reference to an economic opening to foreign investment on the island, at the end of a news conference at the Institute of Cuban Studies and Cuban Americans, at the University of Miami (UM). Continue reading “Gorki Águila: “The Castro Regime Wants To Mutate Into A Perfect Tyranny” / EFE – 14ymedio”

The event was attended by Cuban dissidents, activists from exile and leaders and legislators of the Cuban-American community in Miami who expressed their commitment to the Todos por Cuba Libre/All for Free Cuba campaign, an initiative that will be presented this coming October 11 in Miami to demand “real change… toward freedom”

Águila, like other participants, bluntly criticized the widespread view in the United States that encouraging commercial investment on the island will support openings toward freedom and the restoration of the rights of Cubans.

“The Castro regime is a Mafioso regime and to place real confidence in them is impossible. Their whole lives they have lied and betrayed,” said the activist and musician who asked, skeptically, “How are you going to do business with the Castros and think that freedom is going to be possible at some point?”

He said that the current worsening of repression on the island is not only against dissidents, but also against the self-employed who have shown their discontent with the stifling of and restrictions on their activities by the authorities.

Referring to his own case as a musician and composer, Águila said he is “deeply censored” and watch by a coercive power that bans him from performing in Cuba. “To me, they say it very clearly: you are not going to play in this country,” he denounced.

“I can’t play or even practice in my own home. There is a surveillance camera on an electric pole aimed at my balcony. They have me under total surveillance and I don’t even remember my last attempt to play in Cuba,” he said indignantly.

Despite all these calamities, Águila was “optimistic” about the crucial historical change being pushed by Cubans, what the musician called a “Cuba with two shores.”

For his part, the regime opponent Antonio Gonzalez-Rodiles, director of the critical forum Estado de Sats (State of Sats) stressed the importance of galvanizing the fact that all Cubans are “fed up” with the system at a time when, he warned, the “regime is trying to effect a transfer of power.”

A “transfer” that, according to the press conference remarks of the ex-political prisoner Jorge Luis García Pérez – known as “Antúnez” – should be called “an intended dynastic succession” of a regime that has imposed a “single, criminal and genocidal blockade for sixty years” on Cuban society.

Antúnez, who is also national secretary of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Resistance Front, was very confident that the Todos por Cuba Libre/All for Free Cuba campaign will be a “great success and give fuel to those fighting for freedom.”

Claudio Fuentes, a dissident photographer from the Forum for Rights and Freedoms, expressed disappointment at the “voices” who express their enthusiasm for opening Cuba to foreign investment, as long as it is obvious that “without freedom there is no prosperity.”

Declaration on the Cuban Migrant Crisis / Forum for Rights and Freedoms

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Forum for Rights and Freedoms, 23 November 2015 — In recent weeks we have observed, with deep concern, the development of a new migration crisis. The human drama that thousands of Cubans are experiencing already affects the entire Central American region, the Caribbean, and especially Costa Rica, a nation that has received migrants with great solidarity, in contrast to the complicity of Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua.

The Castro regime has decided, once again – we recall the Camarioca exodus in 1965, the Mariel Boatlift in the 1980s, the Rafter Crisis in 1994 – to use Cubans as pieces in their political game, putting at risk their lives and safety. Denunciations of abuse, assaults and every kind of crime against Cuban emigrants has elicited the solidarity of all people of goodwill.

Since coming the Castro dictatorship’s coming to power, the regime has used migratory crises to win concessions from the United States. Continue reading “Declaration on the Cuban Migrant Crisis / Forum for Rights and Freedoms”

In this case, the regime is pressuring the United States, and involving third parties, in the midst of a process of normalization between the Obama administration and the dictatorship, to win additional concessions from president Obama, without having to take steps to improve the appalling situation of human rights in Cuba.

We condemn the profound contempt, and the indolent and inhumane attitude of the dictatorship towards Cubans. Only a transition to democracy and respect for fundamental rights and freedoms can reverse the misery that exists on the island.

We appeal to international organizations and those involved to be in solidarity with the Cuban people and their right to be free, in the face of his scenario that becomes more complex every day.

Foro por los Derechos y Libertades / Forum for Rights and Freedoms
Ailer González, Estado de Sats
Ángel Moya, Movimiento Libertad Democrática por Cuba
Ángel Santiesteban, Estado de Sats
Antonio G. Rodiles, Estado de Sats
Berta Soler, Dama de Blanco
Claudio Fuentes, Estado de Sats
Egberto Escobedo, Asociación de presos y expresos políticos en Cuba
María Cristina Labrada, Dama de Blanco
Raul Borges, Partido por la Unidad Democrática Cristiana

Other signers
Frank Calzon, Center for a Free Cuba
Lincoln Díaz-Balart, El Instituto La Rosa Blanca
Orlando Gutiérrez Boronat, Directorio Democrático Cubano

About 70 Ladies in White and Activists Arrested Sunday / 14ymedio

The Ladies in White in Gandhi Park on a previous Sunday
The Ladies in White in Gandhi Park on a previous Sunday (Americateve)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, 19 July 2015 — This Sunday has led to the arrest of forty Ladies in White and thirty activists, at the conclusion of their usual march on 5th Avenue in the Havana neighborhood of Miramar.

After Mass in the church of Santa Rita, the Ladies in White gathered together with several activists in Gandhi park. There, from the speakers of a car, was heard a composition by the rocker Gorki Aguila, that pays tribute to these women and their human rights movement.

Gorki Aguila told 14ymedio  the song that just premiered, was produced in the studios of La Paja Records, managed by the group Porno for Ricardo. In addition to the melody of a cello, the musical theme includes strings, guitar, bass, drums and a solo by Aguila himself.

According to the artist “the intention was to give to the Ladies another song, to encourage other artists to make artworks to them, they deserve it.”

The renowned musician was taken to the so-called Vivac de Calabazar prison with Jorge Moya, Jorge Luis Antunez, Claudio Fuentes, Egberto Escobedo and Antonio Gonzalez Rodiles, among others. The women may have been transferred to a detention center in Tarara, east of Havana, where they are routinely detained.

Ladies in White March Ends With 120 Arrests / 14ymedio

Act of repudiation against the Ladies in White in the vicinity of Linea Street tunnel last February (14ymedio)
Act of repudiation against the Ladies in White in the vicinity of Linea Street tunnel last February (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, 13 July 2015 – A group of 120 activists and Ladies in White was arrested on Sunday during the traditional weekly march. Among those arrested were the opposition leader Jorge Luis Garcia Perez (known as Antunez), who in the days before had called for support for the Ladies in White, the artist Tania Bruguera, and the photographer Claudio Fuentes, who has now been released.

Most of the arrests were concentrated in Havana, near the Church of Santa Rita. In the town of Aguada de Pasajeros, in the province of Cienfuegos, arrests and acts of repudiation were also reported.

During the morning, at least 20 activists and Ladies in White were prevented from reaching the Mass in the parish in the Miramar neighborhood. Others, such as Berta Soler, managed to reach the site and subsequently fell victim to an act of repudiation with posters and shouting.

The independent journalist Ivan Hernandez Carrillo reported on “mobs stationed on two blocks” of the Aguada de Pasajeros parrish, where on June 21 eight Ladies in White were expelled from Mass by the priest.

From the town of Cienfueguero, the activist Tania Echeverria reported “severe beatings of the Ladies in White Olga Ravelo Vega and Diurbis de La Rosa Hernandez.”

Another Sunday of Beatings for the Ladies in White /14ymedio

Antonio Rodiles after his arrest. (Ailer González)
Antonio Rodiles after his arrest. (Ailer González)

14ymedio, Havana, 6 July 2015 — The project director of the independent Estado of Sats project, Antonio Rodiles, underwent emergency surgery Sunday for a nasal bone fracture after being detained and beaten by security forces in Havana while participating in the weekly march of the Ladies in White. Opposition sources reported that about 80 members of that organization and human rights activists were arrested, sometimes violently.

The regime opponent Martha Beatriz Roque reported through her Twitter account of the arrest of Rodiles on 42nd street and 3rd Avenue in Miramar, adding that he was, “Beaten until his nasal septum, forehead, finger and foot were all broken,” and taken to the hospital Calixto García for emergency surgery. He was then transferred to the prison known as Vivac, where he remained until 6.30 pm. Continue reading “Another Sunday of Beatings for the Ladies in White /14ymedio”

At least 20 people were arrested before reaching Santa Rita Church, including Rodiles, photographer Claudio Fuentes and dissident Jose Diaz Silva.

About 60 Ladies in White managed to reach the church and march down Fifth Avenue, before being arrested with their leader, Berta Soler. A reporter for this paper, Boris Gonzalez Arenas, was also arrested later, as were former political prisoners Egberto Escobedo and Angel Moya, according to activist Ailer González’s Twitter account.

Security agents also conducted operations in Aguada de Pasajeros in Cienfuegos, where the pastor restricted the Ladies in White from attending Sunday Mass.

 

Cuban Police Arrest More Than 220 Dissidents, According To Activists / Hablemos Press, Roberto de Jesús Guerra

The most arrests took place on Sunday in Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba
The most arrests took place on Sunday in Havana, Cienfuegos and Santiago de Cuba

Hablemos Press, Roberto de Jesús Guerra Peréz, Havana, 29 June 2015 — Offices of the National Police, the Department of State Security, and other members of the Interior Ministry arrested at least 226 Cuban activists and dissidents this past Sunday, 28 June, 2015.

Police operations were carried out in various provinces of the country to keep activists and opposition members from attending Mass.

Among those arrested in Havana were Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White Movement, Antonio G. Rodiles, director of Estado de SATS; José Díaz, of Opponents for a New Republic Movement; photographer Claudio Fuentes; and several of the former political prisoners who were released in January 2015. Continue reading “Cuban Police Arrest More Than 220 Dissidents, According To Activists / Hablemos Press, Roberto de Jesús Guerra”

In Havana, the arrests of various members of the Ladies in White and others of the opposition took place as these individuals were departing their residences early in the morning, and they remained surrounded by police officers throughout the day.

Besides Soler, Ladies in White executive committee members María Cristina Labrada Barona and Lismeri Quintana Ávila were among these detainees, along with eight other women.

Another 39 arrests of women activists took place in the area around Santa Rita Church, after the women completed their customary march along 5th Avenue in the Miramar district of Playa municipality, and gathered in Gandhi Park (adjacent to the church) to review the week’s activities. In addition, approximately another 41 activists and opponents–men who accompany the Ladies on their march–were arrested in the capital.

2Algunos de los activistas y opositoresDozens of Interior Ministry agents blocked the streets around St. Rita Church to arrest the Ladies and other dissidents, according to the activists.

The Lady in White Aidé Gallardo Salazar was struck and dragged by female officers. “They hit me on the head and face, and they tried to asphyxiate me,” Gallardo averred.

Other arrests of Ladies in White occurred in these provinces: Holguín (4); Bayamo-Granma (2); and Aguada de Pasajero in Cienfuegos (9). In the last province, additionally, “17 men who accompanied the Ladies were arrested,” according to activist and former political prisoner Iván Hernández Carrillo.

The independent reporter Agustín López Canino also was arrested upon exiting his home in the El Globo district, located on the outskirts of Havana.

“I will continue going there to St. Rita for as long as they’ll let me,” said López Canino when interviewed. “What I do is take down the facts and forward them to various media.”

He adds that, “The repression against the opposition movement has increased extraordinarily within the last six months and cannot be allowed to go on without attention focused on it.”

The former political prisoners Ramón Alejandro Muñoz, Eugenio Hernández Hernández, Ángel Figueredo Castellón, Mario Alberto Hernández, and Rolando Reyes Rabanal were also arrested in Havana.

The Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), headquartered in Santiago de Cuba, reported the arrests of 103 of its members when they attempted to travel to the village of El Cobre to attend Mass.

3Ferrer
José Daniel Ferrer: 103 arbitrary arrests and a suspicious accident. Yesterday Sunday 28 June, in Santiago province. // Yusmila Reyna Ferrer: #Havana #Cuba: Mireya Ruiz Mesa, Carlos A. Calderín Roca, and Eric Ramírez Alonso of #UNPACU@jdanielferrer are violently arrested.

The agents used violence to detain the opponents, who were transported to police stations and military bases, according to activist sources.

Ladies in White affirm that, “The regime wants to destroy the opposition, but we are prepared to give our lives for the freedom of the political prisoners,” stated Ibón Lemos y Mayelín Peña.

Soler attests that the repression increased 11 Sundays ago, ever since the Ladies in White initiated a new campaign to demand the release of political prisoners, among them: the writer Ángel Santiesteban Prats, the artist Danilo Maldonado Machado (“El Sexto”); and the dissidents Santiago Roberto Montes de Oca, René Rouco Machín, Osvaldo Rodríguez Acosta, Yosvani Melchor Rodríguez, Rolando Joaquín Guerra Pérez, Eugenio Ariel Arzuaga Peña, Yoelkis Rosabal–in total, more than 50 individuals.

The reports received at Hablemos Press included figures totaling 226 opponents arrested across the Island on Sunday, although the actual number may be greater.

Translated By: Alicia Barraqué Ellison

Cuba’s Ladies in White Repressed on Their Sunday March Today / 14ymedio

Ladies in White walking down 5th Avenue in Miramar. (14ymedio)
Ladies in White walking down 5th Avenue in Miramar. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 14 June 2015 — Security forces have lashed out against the Ladies in White this Sunday, as they have on the previous ten Sundays. This time they carried out several preventive arrests among the activists who often accompany the Ladies in White in their march on 5th Avenue, at the end of the Mass at Santa Rita Church in Miramar.

According to information provided by a 14ymedio reporter present at the site, 61 Ladies in White and 18 men, among them activists and independent journalists, attended the Mass.

Arrested before arriving were photographer Claudio Fuentes, independent journalist Juan González Febles and activists Agustín López Canino and Hugo Damian. Also reported, at 11:30 am, were the arrest of four Ladies in White and 8 men to prevent them from arriving at the church. Continue reading “Cuba’s Ladies in White Repressed on Their Sunday March Today / 14ymedio”

After the conclusion of the Mass, at the corner of 5th and 30th, a police patrol made up of uniformed men and woman violently arrested Jacqueline Boni as she tried to join the march. Meanwhile, Agustin Lopez was released about two in the afternoon and wrote in his Twitter account, “I was just released, incredibly they neither handcuffed me nor beat me but they violated my rights.” This newspaper was able to confirm that the security forces arrested a total of 68 people, including Ladies in White and other activists.

Today marks the 640th Sunday of marches by the Ladies in White along a stretch of 5th Avenue in Miramar, at the end of Mass at Santa Rita Church, which is located at 5th and 24th in the Miramar neighborhood. The first march occurred on 30 March 2003, when the arrests of the 75 opposition figures of the so-called “Black Spring” — carried out earlier that same month — were still recent.

On the previous nine Sundays, after “allowing” the walk along the avenue’s boulevard, there have been acts of repudiation and arrests, some of them with notable violence.

Arrests for political reasons nationwide nearly doubled in May as compared to April. The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation counted a total of 641 arrests for political reasons, the highest monthly figure in the last ten months.

More than 70 Ladies in White and Activists Arrested / Diario de Cuba

Ladies in White in front of Santa Rita Church on a previous Sunday (fhrcuba)
Ladies in White in front of Santa Rita Church on a previous Sunday (fhrcuba)

Diario de Cuba, Havana, 7 June 2015 – Over 40 Ladies in White and some 27 activists were arrested this Sunday, the ninth of repressive operations in Havana, according to dissidents.

Among those arrested were the musician Gorki Aguila, the director of Estado de Sats, Antonio Rodiles, photographer Claudio Fuentes and artist Tania Bruguera, who has already been released, according to the activist Ailer Gonzalez.

Other Ladies in White and opponents were arrested on leaving their homes, or forced to remain in them, according to the dissident Martha Beatriz Roque. Continue reading “More than 70 Ladies in White and Activists Arrested / Diario de Cuba”

Gonzalez, artistic director of State of Sats, said she was able to talk with Antonio Rodiles when he was led into a State Security “paddy wagon,”, along with nine other men, and taken to the criminal prosecution center known as “Vivac.”

“He told me that his arrest had been violent and that they had put him in a chokehold,” she told Diario de Cuba.

Given the continued repression against the Ladies in White and the activists who support them when they attend Sunday Mass at Havana’s Santa Rita Church and undertake their walks down Quinta Avenue, supporters inside and outside the island carried out a campaign on Twitter using the hashtag #TodosMarchamos (We All March).

The initiative seeks to break the silence on the current repression in Cuba despite the regime’s negotiations with the United States and the European Union.

“This is a resistance,” said Ailer Gonzalez about the activities of the Ladies in White and dissidents every Sunday. “Many believe it is exhausting, but it seems to me that it is about the right to demonstrate, not only for the release of political prisoners,” she added.

“With this resistance every Sunday we are demanding the right to peaceful demonstration in Cuba, which is something that they (the government) are terrified of. Therefore they are engaged in this sustained repression, because the day they let us walk more than 10 blocks, they know how many people are going to join in,” she said.

Tania Bruguera Under Arrest at Acosta Police Station in Diez de Octubre, Havana / 14ymedio

Tania Bruguera (photo from her blog)
Tania Bruguera (photo from her blog)

14ymedio, Havana, 30 december 2014 — Contacted by phone at her home, the director of 14ymedio, Yoani Sanchez, said that Tania Bruguera was under arrest at the Acosta Police Station in the Diez de Octubre municipality in Havana.

Reinaldo Escobar was released from the same station Tuesday night at 10:00 pm. Escobar affirmed that he saw Tania “wearing the gray uniform of a convict,” It is still unknown when Bruguera will be released.

The two police cars surrounding Yoani Sanchez’s building have been removed and the director of this digital daily is no longer under house arrest.

The 14ymedio reporter Victor Ariel Gonzalez is still being detained, in Guanabacoa. Still unknown are the whereabouts of the activists Antonio Rodiles, Ailer Gonzalez and Eliecer Avila, along with the photographer Claudio Fuentes and his partner, Eva Baquero.

Developing news.

UPDATE: Ailer Gonzalez has been released.

Several activists and Reinaldo Escobar, editor-in-chief of ’14ymedio’, arrested / 14ymedio

The police car in front of the apartment of Reinaldo Escobar and Yoani Sanchez. (14ymedio)
The police car in front of the apartment of Reinaldo Escobar and Yoani Sanchez. (14ymedio)

The director of this newspaper, Yoani Sánchez, is under house arrest

14ymedio, Havana, 30 December 2014 – Contacted by phone at her home, the director of 14ymedio, Yoani Sánchez, explained the circumstances of the arrest of her husband, Reinaldo Escobar, and of several other people this Tuesday in Havana. She is under house arrest. Patrol car No. 507 is stationed in front of the building where she lives, while four plainclothes offices are controlling the building entrances. Continue reading “Several activists and Reinaldo Escobar, editor-in-chief of ’14ymedio’, arrested / 14ymedio”

Reinaldo Escobar was arrested when he left the building where he lives in the company of the activist Eliécer Ávila, founder of the group “Somos Más” (We are More). Both were handcuffed and put in a patrol car waiting in front of the building in the Havana neighborhood of Neuvo Vedado. Reinaldo’s daughter, Luz, who was with her father, has not been arrested, but a State Security agency told her, “We are not going to let you leave.” The same official visited Luz Escobar’s home yesterday to warn her not to go near the Plaza of the Revolution today, where the artist Tania Bruguera has scheduled a performance titled “Tatlin’s Whisper #6” for 3:00 in the afternoon, to demand freedom of expression for Cuban’s citizens.

Also arrested were photographer Claudio Fuentes and his companion Eva, while the activists Antonio Rodiles and Ailer González were not answering the phone. Social networks also inform us of the arrests of José Díaz Silva, Raúl Borges, Lady in White Lourdes Esquivel, and of the 14ymedio reporter Víctor Ariel González.

Members of the #YOTAMBIENEXIJO [I also demand] platform issued a press release denouncing their inability to contact Bruguera. The organization explained that the artist’s telephone number is blocked and expressed their fear, given the arrests of the leaders of civic organizations currently underway.