14ymedio, 8 March 2016 — According to various opposition sources, the leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), Jose Daniel Ferrer, was arrested Tuesday in Havana with two other activists. The former prisoner of the Black Spring was going to to participate on Wednesday in a forum convened for the Otro 18 (Another 2018) campaign, that seeks an electoral solution of the current system.
Ferrer had been in the capital since last Sunday and at the time of his arrest was with the dissident Rafael Alba Macias, and Iliana Hernandez, a member of the group Somos+ (We Are More), who were also arrested. The latter, who resides abroad, was was released five hours later, as confirmed by this newspaper.
Ferrer’s arrest coincided with the arrest of Berta Soler, leader of the Ladies in White, who was arrested on Tuesday morning to prevent her from attending the trial of activist Jaquelín Heredia Morales, detained since Sunday 28 February, after participating in the Ladies in White customary Sunday march on 5th Avenue in Havana’s Miramar district; she has been charged with contempt.
The US government reacted to the arrests and Assistant Secretary of State for Western Hemisphere Affairs, Roberta Jacobson wrote in her Twitter account that she was “Very concerned by reports that the Cuban gov has detailed @jdanielferrer & @bertasoler #Cuba#DDHH”.
The arrests come less than two weeks after the visit to the island by US President Barack Obama, who will arrive on March 21.