Belkis Cantillo, Leader Of The Dignity Movement Released / 14ymedio, Luz Escobar

Belkis Cantillo, leader of the Dignity Movement. (Courtesy)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Luz Escobar, Havana, 23 January 2017 — The leader of the Dignity Movement, Belkis Cantillo, who was arrested last Thursday was released Monday afternoon, as confirmed to 14ymedio by Moraima Diaz, an activist of the same movement.

Shortly after being released, in a telephone conversation with this newspaper, Cantillo explained that she was given a warning letter that he refused to sign.

According to the activist, the document stated that she could not “meet with anyone” or be visited by “counterrevolutionaries.” The police also prevented her from carrying out “public demonstrations.”

About her days in custody, she says that they removed the mattress and that she was “sleeping on the cement” which caused an “increase of the pain she already suffered due to renal colic.” The activist reports that, after insisting, she was visited by a lawyer.

After her release she was summoned to appear next Saturday before the offices of the State Security in the municipality Julio A. Mella.

According to Moraima Díaz, members of the Dignity Movement cannot leave their homes without State Security agents “persecuting them.”

“We have agents at every corner of the house. It is a police siege to which we are subjected,” she adds.

Moraima Díaz: “We have been told that if we leave the house, our families will be the ones who will pay the consequences”

“We have been told that if we leave the house, our families will be the ones who will pay the consequences,” she says from Palmarito de Cauto, a town in the province of Santiago de Cuba.

“The situation here is extreme. The police have taken the town so that there are no dissident demonstrations,” says the activist.

The women of the Dignity Movement have experienced days of intense repression since they created their movement in the Sanctuary of the Virgin of Charity of Cobre on Saturday, January 14. They call for, among other things, immediate and unconditional amnesty for all those who today are serving prison sentences for “pre-criminal dangerousness” and for this concept which they consider to be “arbitrary” to be eliminated from the Penal Code.

Amel Carlos Oliva, youth leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba, told 14ymedio that in the early hours of the morning the police raided the house of Thomas Madariaga Nunez, 66, an active member of his organization.

Right now, Madariaga is in custody.