Note: The video was taken surreptitiously and thus is of poor quality.
14ymedio, Havana, 18 December 2016 – Beginning at 6:00 AM on Sunday morning, Cuban State Security forces attacked nine homes of members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU); six in Santiago de Cuba, two in Palma Soriano, and one in Palmarito de Cauto. More details are expected in the coming hours; currently most of the activists’ telephones have been cut off.
Jose Daniel Ferrer, leader of the organizations, explained to 14ymedio that the “justification” for the harsh repressive operation was a call made by UNPACU for people to come into the streets in protest, in Havana and Santiago de Cuba. The objective of the opposition organization was “to demand the release of the political prisoners and the end to increasingly severe repression against independent civil society groups,” Ferrer said.
The homes simultaneously attacked were those of Leonardo Pérez Franco, Ovidio Martín Castellanos and Damaris Rodríguez. At the home of Iriades Hernández, who is currently abroad, the police entered and took two laptops. The police also broke into UNPACU’s working headquarters and the home of Jose Daniel Ferrer.
In Palma Soriano the homes of Yenisei Jiménez, wife of political prisoner Geordanis Muñoz, and that of Yeroslandi Calderín, coordinator of the March 18 Cell and a replacement for Víctor Campa who is currently a political prisoner. In Palmarito de Cauto, so far it has only been possible to report an attack on the home of Yasmani Diaz, but it is presumed that there may be other cases.
Among the possessions seized were printed material, discs, audiovisual materials, hard drives, four laptops and several cellphones. In the home of Jose Daniel Ferrer they seized 370 dollars intended to feed a pregnant woman and to buy supplies for her unborn child. As a part of the operation, more than 50 activists in the province of Santiago de Cuba and 10 in Havana had been detained by 1:30 this afternoon.
Some ten of those arrested have been released, among them Jose Daniel Ferrer, who reported the following: “A lieutenant colonel who refused to give me his name showed me a warning notice where it said that our call gave rise to the crimes of public disorder, contempt, attack and espionage. They also warned me that they had been disturbed by my statements about the late Fidel Castro on our website and my modest interpretation or translation of his concept of Revolution.”