Cuban Amelia Calzadilla Thanks Those Who Made Her Feel She is Not Alone

Cuban mother Amelia Calzadilla upon her departure this Monday from the government headquarters of the municipality of Cerro, in Havana. (EFE/Ernesto Mastrascusa)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Juan Diego Rodríguez, Havana, 13 June 2022 — Amelia Calzadilla, the Cuban mother who, with her videos on social media, became a symbol of discontent in Cuba, is at home after spending three hours in the offices of the municipal government of Cerro, in Havana.

Around five in the afternoon, the young woman herself published a live video in which she explained what happened in the government offices, in a very different tone from her previous broadcasts. In it, she assured that the meeting “was not an interrogation,” despite the fact that in a previous video, published this Sunday, Calzadilla feared that the summons, timed for 11:00 in the morning, was a “prepared trap” and they might take her prisoner.

The mother also explained that the “conversation” revolved around the lack of gas service that she has been suffering from “for ten years,” that they cannot solve it in the short term “because the raw material does not exist” and they promised that she could meet with officials from the Ministry of Energy and Mines “in a future meeting.” Calzadilla insisted, “Nobody mistreated me, I didn’t mistreat anyone either,” and she thanked “any person who made me feel not intimidated.”

The Spanish agency EFE, one of the international media that was stationed in front of the government headquarters, as reporters from 14ymedio were able to verify, captured images of the young mother as she left the interrogation. The vicinity of the meeting place, located on Calzada del Cerro between Buenos Aires and Echevarría, as Monday dawned was taken over by a police operation.

Close to the corner of Tejas, one of the most important commercial enclaves in the city, the area is very busy but the traffic this Monday was different from other days. In the surrounding streets, rows of police patrol cars, a broad operation of plainclothes agents and the presence of accredited journalists marked the difference.

The headquarters of the municipal government of Cerro, in Havana, shortly after 11 a.m. this Monday, when Amelia Calzadilla was summoned. (14ymedio)

The internet signal in the place was also unstable. Residents of the neighborhood reported to this newspaper that in nearby stores, usually out of stock, they put sausage and chicken on sale this Monday.

“And what’s going on here?” asked a young woman who passed by the place a few minutes after Calzadilla had entered the building of the municipal People’s Power Assembly. “That girl was summoned here today,” replied another passerby without needing to add more details, since the story of this mother of three children has traveled the Island in a few days.

The surroundings of the municipal government of Cerro were taken over this Monday morning by a large police operation. (14ymedio)

Various activists, such as the businesswoman Saily González, from Santa Clara, invited Havanans to support Calzadilla on Monday morning, but only passersby and agents were observed at the scene.

Oppositionist Martha Beatriz Roque, director of the Cuban Center for Human Rights and former prisoner of the Black Spring, also launched a video message in which she asks Amelia Calzadilla: “Keep denouncing and don’t care what they say about you.”

Several members of the international press stood in front of the Cerro government headquarters building in Havana. (14ymedio)

“Unfortunately, they tell me that she does not want to talk to dissidents, which I greatly respect, but she has to know that her video has had a great impact on the networks,” Roque says in her broadcast, urging Calzadilla that she does not need to “defend herself.” She adds, “The dictatorship does this to get you out of sight,” and she insists, “No one is going to judge you, Amelia, people are very happy with what you uploaded on the networks, but if you want to speak again, don’t defend yourself at all, you don’t have to defend yourself, everyone knows what this regime has done for 63 years.


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