State Security Threatens To Prosecute Instigators Of A Protest

Members of the Pedro Luis Boitel Party for Democracy. (@felixncuba)

14ymedio bigger14ymedio, Havana, 29 September 2017 — State Security cited and threatened three opponents they the would be charged with the crimes of instigation to commit crimes and public disorder after participating two weeks ago in a protest in Carlos Rojas, a town of about 6,000 inhabitants located in the municipality of Jovellanos, in Matanzas province.

Armando Abascal Serrano, Dianelis Moreno Soto and Aloy Betancourt Méndez, belonging to the Pedro Luis Boitel Party for Democracy, were cited on Thursday to appear at the police station.

The activists were questioned by several officers, including captain Miladys Sotolongo Martínez, and State Security officers, Dario Torres Barrios and Dayron Rivera.

According to what Lady in White Dianelis Moreno Soto told 14ymedio, at the Jovellanos station the officials told the opponents that they were “opening an investigative process” and they would be prosecuted for “being repeat offenders.”

The protest occurred on Friday, September 15, when about 500 people demonstrated in the park of the town of Carlos Rojas to protest because they had no water or electricity in the days following Hurricane Irma.

Dianelis Moreno explained that the spontaneous demonstration “lasted just under an hour and there were no arrests or police presence.” She says that her name reached State Security through the denunciations of other neighbors, although the presence of the opposition members was also widely reported in independent media.

The demonstrators say that after the protests that night, the electricity service was restored in the community.

Aloy Betancourt Méndez, Dianelis’s husband, told this newspaper that the police summons was received one hour in advance of the time she was ordered to appear, and that other protest participants will be summoned “soon.”

Betancourt said that in the interview the officials insisted that the three summoned sign a statement and said they would be prosecuted. “However, they did not give us any official paper so it is a threat, but we will have to wait and see what happens,” he says.