HAVANA, Cuba , September, www.cubanet.org – Recently , blogger and freelance journalist Joisy García Martínez wrote via the phone to his account on Twitter, @criolloliberal: “Raul Castro ratifies the kidnappings in Cuba, but not the [UN Human Rights] Covenants.” The fact was related to the severe repression by the political police on about 30 human rights activists who, on the first Sunday in September were to provide support to the Ladies in White, during Mass and their traditional march down 5th Avenue in the Cuban capital.
Joisy own statements as well as those of Rubén Carthy, independent journalist and former prisoner of the Group of 75, and Eduardo Diaz Fleites, witness to the event, said that on that day, at the end of the press conference with the Ladies in White, they and six other activists were arrested by the political police, when they were at the bus stop on 3rd and 20th in the Miramar neighborhood. Suddenly, they were surrounded by a large group of soldiers, most in plain clothes and supported by a caravan of several Lada cars, Suzuki motorcycles, two police cars and an 8-seat bus, intended as a cell during the kidnapping.
Several sources said that, subsequently, the entire repressive squadron under the command of the officer known as Camilo, followed the P1 bus route, on which several Ladies in White and other dissidents were traveling. All of them were arrested when they got off at different stops. The Ladies in White and other passengers who were also on the bus witnessed how agents violently forced the opponents into the vehicles.
Throughout the journey, which had its destination in a confusing area beyond Cotorro, far from the center of Havana, the cruelty of the Castro agents was clearly made evident. One of the soldiers who participated in the operation slapped the face of the young man Adrián Chirino García, a member of the Commission for Assistance to Political Prisoners and Families ( CAPPF ), who desperately asking them to open the window, as he couldn’t get any air. This officer was identified by his badge: No. 2228. The license plate of the Lada car was that driven by officer Camilo, HH122. In addition, the number of one patrol car was 529, and the badge of the driver was 00884.
This is not an isolated event, and it marks another black page in the history of the regime in terms of human rights. And it further confirms that during the presidency of Raul Castro he has maintained the method of kidnappings which, although not new the island — in the past many members of the democratic opposition have experienced it — is being reactivated as one of the main forms of repression in the present.
12 September 2013