Cuban Political Police Multiply Arrests of Activists Before 15 November (15N)

Members of the rapid response brigades, most of them dressed in red T-shirts. (14ymedio)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 14 November 2021 — A few hours before the Civic March for Change, called for this Monday in Cuba by the Archipiélago group, State Security intensifies its siege against activists, independent journalists and ordinary citizens. Daniela Rojo, mother of two young children, moderator of the platform in networks from Guanabacoa, Havana, and who was previously detained for almost a month for participating in the protests of July 11, is missing.

As reported by Archipiélago in its networks, “after several people showed up at the Guanabacoa police station asking for Daniela, we can affirm that she is officially disappeared.” Right there, the group asserted: “We hold the Cuban regime responsible for the life of Daniela Rojo.”

In Cienfuegos, the platform also denounced the “kidnapping” by the Ministry of the Interior of Carlos Ernesto Díaz González, when “he was going to buy cigarettes in his neighborhood.”

Three agents, Archipiélago denounces, later appeared at the home of the activist, who runs a private restaurant, and asked his wife, Adianes Delgado Hernández, to “appear at the Technical Investigations Department (popularly known as ’Everybody Sings’) located in Pueblo Grifo, to being toothpaste, toothbrush, among other belongings, to her husband.”

By way of explanation, the platform continues, the agents told Delgado that the reason for the arrest was “that Carlos had posted signs at the Hospital.” She told them that this was a false accusation and they replied that “they were investigating it.” Archipiélago denounces that they have 72 hours to do so and that this prevents Díaz from participating in the November 15 demonstration, and demands “the cessation of these harassment actions” against citizens “who are only exercising their universally recognized right to demonstrate and express themselves freely.”

Also detained, in his case for the second time this month, was the opposition figure Guillermo Coco Fariñas, winner of the European Parliament Sakharov Prize in 2010; he was also detained in Santa Clara, and is awaiting trial.

Alicia Hernández, Fariñas’ mother, told Efe by phone that he was detained on Friday and this Saturday he was admitted to the Arnaldo Milián provincial hospital, where they would carry out several medical check-ups and where “later” a prosecutor would come to process him.

“We do not know what the cause is, only that they will process him,” she said, commenting that her son, the general coordinator of the United Antitotalitarian Front (Fantu) ,has undergone medical treatment for several days for a bacterium that is lodged in his kidney.

From Las Tunas, the writers Ana Rosa Díaz Naranjo and Rafael Vilches denounced on networks that this Saturday their house was under siege, with people beating on it from the early hours. “All day they have been harassing us so that Ana would leave the house and they would be able to kidnap her,” Vilches tells the camera, who claims to have realized that at that moment they were breaking down a wall of the house, connected to the house of a neighbor, in order to enter and detain them.

The rebellious rapper Omar Mena El Analista, who had been arrested on Friday in Santa Clara, reported in a live broadcast how he was threatened by the political police. “You [those who disagree] are not the majority,” he says that they told him during his arrest, “but the moment you are the majority, we will take care to kill you.” How? he continues, “cutting your throats, shooting you, with those same words.”

For her part, Luz Escobar, a reporter for 14ymedio, was summoned on Friday by the Ministry of the Interior in the Havana Office for Minors, and reported the presence this Saturday of a State Security agent on the ground floor of her building to keep her from going out into the street.

While the threats from the political police increased in tone, in the streets of Havana the authorities raised the volume of the “festivities,” during which the Buena Fe group performed with a concert.

But in the face of pressure from officialdom, the signs of support for the Civic March are also multiplying. From Miami, the singer Leoni Torres, in the middle of a performance, sent a message of encouragement to the Archipiélago platform, referring to its members, especially Yunior García Aguilera, as “the new heroes of Cuba.” “I don’t know if what we all hope will happen on November 15 will happen, but if not on November 15, it will be the 16th; if not, it will be the 17th; if not, it will be in December; if not, it will be in January; but at some point it’s going to have to happen,” Torres said into the microphone amidst the applause from the audience and the shouts of “Libertad!” (Freedom).

A unique and exciting tribute is that of the musician Roberto Carcassés, who was recorded this Saturday, traveling through the streets of Havana, making the route that Yunior García Aguilera had announced that he would continue “alone” this Sunday and humming a song entitled No hay quien me pare (There is no one to stop me)“Without fear of saying what you think, the street belongs to all Cubans, stop being silly and give me your hand, go for a walk, this is your place, this is your land and your country, no one can tell you how you have to live,” say the lyrics of the song at the beginning, signed by the jazz pianist and singer Etian Brebaje Man. “The crying and suffering is over, my city lights up right away,” the lyrics continue at another point. “Hey, the abuse is over, because Cubans are in the street.”


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