Thursday, June 21, 2012

Harrowing Testimony of Damaris Moya Portieles After Agents Threaten to Rape her Daughter

Harrowing Testimony of Damaris Moya Portieles After Agents Threaten to
Rape her Daughter / Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights
Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights, Translator: Unstated

Testimony of activist Damaris Moya Portieles after State Security agents
threatened to rape her 5 year old daughter recently.
I have gone through something very painful with my young 5 year old
daughter, Lazara Yorgelis Contreras Moya.

The situation occurred in Santa Claraon Wednesday, May 2nd, when 18
peaceful dissidents- members of the Central Opposition Coalition, the
Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights, and of the Orlando Zapata Tamayo
National Civic Resistance and Civil Disobedience Front- were congregated
to carry out the accustomed weekly candlelight vigil to demand freedom
for all political prisoners. After the vigil, we stepped outside to the
street to take a picture of our group. We also shouted "freedom for the
political prisoners" and "democracy for the Cuban people".

More than 80 State Security agents and members of the Special Brigades
from the Ministry of the Interior (who had been keeping an eye on the
house during the entire vigil) ran at us and started to beat us.

They savagely beat me and they dragged me by my hair, then shoving me
into the police vehicle, detaining me and taking me to the Instructional
Unit. None of this is new. In fact, it occurs frequently. In
addition, they took many other brothers-in-struggle who were also at the
vigil with the same violence. If what I have said until now were the
only thing that occurred, perhaps I wouldn't even be sharing it, but the
most painful part was what came next.

When I arrived at the Unit, the agents put me in a cell. It was here
where the horrors began.

I recall that agent Eric Francis Aquino Yera was the officer on watch
that night. Yera is highly dangerous because of his predatory
instincts. This officer ordered two supposed common prisoners to shout
from another cell that they were going to rape my 5 year old daughter.
I cannot forget those obscene words which they used to describe
everything they would do to my innocent child "by the back and by the
front". I protested, I told them they were pigs and abusers. They just
screamed more at me.

I wish I had the sufficient valor to textually repeat the words they
used, but I cannot. They terrify me. I can only say that one of those
two people was most aggressive, and his voice could be heard over that
of the other, and it was more cruel and threatening each time, while I
could hear the satisfied cackle of Aquino Yera.

This torture lasted all night and I felt very bad and was worried for
Lazarita. I was desperate for daytime to come; I wanted to be able to
let my husband and my mother know so that they could keep an eye on her,
so that they would not send her off to school.

Those screams and insults did not allow me to think straight. When they
stopped, I could still hear them- those horrible words and descriptions
of what they were going to do to my little girl sounded like thunder in
my ears. I would tightly shut my eyes but I would then see the laughing
and disgusting face of agent Eric Francis Aquino Yera, and on top of
that, I imagined my beloved Lazarita screaming, amid fear and pain,
among those evil uniformed men pretending to be prisoners.

I wanted to pray for my girl, but I could not even concentrate, though I
knew it was the only thing which could help me. I needed a Rosary in my
hands, but it was impossible. I looked at my shoes, but they always
remove our shoe laces when they arrest us. I started to rip off some
threads from my shirt. I started tying them together while I cried in
silence, biting my lips and feeling very desperate. My heart was in
pain and I felt helpless amid so much abuse and impunity.

My lips started to bleed. Later, my head began to hurt and I thought of
the physical blows and the pulling of my hair. I felt like if I was
going to go crazy. I even ripped some of my hairs off to add them to
the Rosary I was putting together with the strings of my shirt.

Finally, without even noticing, I was praying. But it was odd, because
I always pray for the health of my two children, my mother, and my
husband. But now I was asking God: "Please help me, may Lazara feel
some sort of stomachache or headache so that she is not taken to school
until I can send out a message so that she won't go to not be in danger".

Amid that agony, daylight finally came and they released me half way
through the morning. The first thing I did was to call my house and ask
for my daughter. They told me she was fine and in school. I
desperately ran to the school and took her home.

I sat down with my husband, my mother and my sister-in-struggle Idania
Yanez Contreras. I told them everything that had happened to me and I
decided to not take my daughter back to school until State Security
officials could assure me that nothing was going to happen to her. I
then went with my husband and daughter to the local military office to
hand in our complaint, which, up to this moment, I have had no response.

Desperate and in search of help, I went to the local Del Carmen Church
inSanta Claraand I told everything that had happened to Father
Guillermo. I also told him of the fear I felt for my daughter, but
instead of finding comfort I was shocked. He told me: "If the
government has reached the point of extremes, what you must do is cease
being in the opposition and dedicate yourself to take care of your
daughter, especially fulfilling what must be done".

I know very well that the duty of all mothers is to watch over their
children, and I do that every single day. But in reality, I was
excepting another message from the priest- a message of support, a piece
of Christian advice.

I do not believe that I am doing anything wrong. On the contrary, my
struggle is for the rights and happiness of an entire nation. And even
if I were doing something wrong, my daughter is not at fault and no one
has the right to threaten her like that. I have faith and know that God
will make the final decision. Meanwhile, my family has decided that
little Lazara cannot be far from us at any time until they can assure us
that nothing will happen to her.

Amid so much silence, impunity, and abandonment on behalf of the
Catholic hierarchy, a priest by the name of Juan Ivo (a French native
and Father of the San Atanasio Church in the city of Placetas), did
welcome me with Christian love and had the courage and human sensibility
to at least hear me and pray for me and for my little daughter. God
bless Father Juan Ivo, my brother and sisters from the Resistance, my
brothers and sisters of the Cuban Democratic Directorate in Miami, and
all those who have showed solidarity with my sad and desperate situation.

- Damaris Moya Portieles, activist of the Rosa Parks Movement for Civil
Rights and vice-president of the Central Opposition Coalition.

12 May 2012

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