Police Assault National Unpacu Headquarters in Santiago de Cuba

Police during a previous assault on the headquarters of Unpacu. (Unpacu file)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 7 September 2019 — The headquarters of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (Unpacu) in Santiago de Cuba was assaulted by police at dawn on Saturday, according to Martha Beatriz Ferrer, daughter of opposition leader José Daniel Ferrer, who reported it on her Facebook account. “They arrested 24 people. My father was forcibly prevented from leaving the house,” she added.

“Special troops kept Ferrer in custody as he shouted against the tyranny. The Unpacu Headquarters is still completely under siege and all mobile phones without service,” said the young woman, who lives in the United States.

The police operation occurred at six o’clock in the morning this Saturday, after a Friday in which several Unpacu activists denounced threats and operations around their homes. The headquarters of the opposition organization was besieged by police officers and at least one of the group members was arrested.

Carlos Amel Oliva, youth leader of Unpacu, was arrested Friday morning, after having accompanied his children to school, according to his wife, Katherine Mojena. The activist was Taken to the second station of the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) where he was fined 1,000 Cuban pesos (CUP).

“According to them, I violated their security apparatus but my house is not a dungeon,” denounced Oliva on his Facebook account shortly after being released in the afternoon. “As part of the operation we have been able to verify so far that Etecsa cut the service to some thirty mobile phones of coordinators and activists,” he added.

Oliva’s brother, also an activist, Ernesto Oliva Torres, denounced threats against several Unpacu members in the Santiago town of El Cristo. State Security troops threatened José Antonio López and Abel Peña with being arrested if they left their homes in the next few hours.

Stgo #Cuba#UNPACU cell of José M. Heredia under siege by the Political Police and Black Berets. 

These troops are located a few meters from the door, to prevent the activist from entering. @jdanielferrer @FelixLlerenaCUB @Luz_Cuba pic.twitter.com/qPyNbh5V2l

– Ernesto Oliva Torres (@ ernestounpacu1) September 6, 2019

For his part, the leader of Unpacu, José Daniel Ferrer warned about the siege around the headquarters and said on the social network Twitter that “the assault troops are hidden in the corners.” In several published images plainclothes troops are stationed nearby.

Such threats occured shortly after Unpacu and Cuba Decides called for a demonstration on Sunday, September 8, at 10 am in response “to the increase in repression against peaceful opposition and citizenship.”

This citizen action is scheduled to take place on the day dedicated to the Patroness of Cuba, the Virgin of Charity of Cobre, which coincides with the eve of the celebration in Havana of the Joint Council of the Cuban Government and the European Union, which will be attended by the high representative of foreign policy, Federica Mogherini.

The convening organizations have also expressed their solidarity with the Ladies in White movement, independent journalists and artists; defenders of religious freedoms and LGTBI activists and all peaceful people and organizations.

The organizers of the initiative have called for an end to police abuses, to prison sentences for political reasons, to violations of the right to enter or leave the country, the ill-treatment and torture in prisons, police raids on the houses of dissidents and violent detentions, in addition to harassment of activists.

Castroism is so confident that the #UE – #Cuba Agreement is going to be consummated, that a few days after the arrival of @ FedericaMog, they assault, steal and arbitrarily detain. 

These are the NAMES of the detained activists, during the assault on the National Headquarters d #UNPACU , in Stgo #Cuba . pic.twitter.com/dgRzKWrHqx

– Ernesto Oliva Torres (@ ernestounpacu1) September 7, 2019

On the other hand, in Havana, activist Pedro Acosta was arrested at two in the afternoon on Friday at his home at the Casino Deportivo and released four hours later. An officer, accompanied by two State Security agents, took him in a patrol car to the San Miguel del Padrón station where he was subjected to an interrogation for more than an hour and a half, he told this newspaper.

“They told me that they would not allow me or the activist Iliana Hernández to do any public action,” said the activist, who also maintains an informative space on Cuban reality through social networks.

Prior to the arrival of Federica Mogherini on the Island, several organizations have called for suspending the Agreement on Political Dialogue and Cooperation with the Government of Cuba, due to the worsening of the repressive situation on the Island, according to a statement published on Monday.


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