14ymedio, Havana, 30 March 2022 — “I left Cuba against my will,” activist Ovidio Martín said on Tuesday upon his arrival at the Fort Lauderdale airport in Miami (USA) in the company of his wife, Zenaida Rams, and their two children. Ovidio Martín was one of the coordinators of the opposition Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unpacu); he told journalist Rolando Napoles that the regime threatened to prosecute him for the crimes of bribery and corruption.
“With great pain for leaving behind the land that saw my birth, my brothers in prison, my family and everything I have fought for so much,” he wrote in a post, he assured that he will continue to contribute to the cause. “Patria y Vida” [Homeland and Life], closed the message.
The opponent denounced the repression by “the political police,” the fabrication of charges and “the threat of imprisoning him for several years.” On April 14, he was summoned to the Santiago de Cuba Operations Center where he was warned that he could be prosecuted for the crimes of “bribery and treason.”
On another occasion, Martín pointed out, he was intimidated for allegedly failing to pay a fine of 3,000 pesos that had been imposed by Decree Law 370. “I told them that I was not going to pay because it was arbitrary and unfair.” And again the crime of bribery appeared, this time “an inspector lent himself to say that I wanted to bribe him and I didn’t even know why?”
And if the harassment against Martín was constant, it is even more so against the national coordinator of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unpacu), José Daniel Ferrer. “He is in a cell that the regime prepared for him in the Mar Verde prison, in Santiago de Cuba,” the activist explained. “A cell to specifically take José Daniel, put him there and let what is happening to him happen to him. It’s very bad.”
In addition, he accused the regime of launching a hate campaign against those attending the July 11 marches. “Shut up or we put you in jail or you have to leave,” are the warnings at the police stations for the protesters.
In May 2020, after an arbitrary arrest, Martín announced his intention to go into exile because his family was in danger. His wife, Zenaida Rams, who is an activist with Cuba Decide, was recovering from an infection contracted in a hospital during her last delivery and they also threatened her. “It was like this for a year,” said the activist.
Rams said that she had “been beaten many times, including, during the pregnancy of my second child, I was in therapy for the beating they gave me.”
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