Jose Daniel Ferrer Will Not Allow Threats of Being Returned to Prison
Impede his Activism
Posted by Pedazos de la Isla on August 27, 2012
Former political prisoner and general coordinator of the Patriotic Union
of Cuba (UNPACU), Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, was kept in a dungeon for
more than 72 hours during his most recent detention and was threatened
by State Security agents that he could be sent back to prison if he
continues participating in and organizing dissident activities
throughout the Eastern region of the country. This time, his jailers
filmed him on numerous occasions, such as when they read him an official
warning letter which informed him that he'd be sent back to prison for
continuing to cause what they termed as "public disorders".
"They had that camera during the entire time, but they only filmed the
parts they found necessary", explained Ferrer Garcia, "for example, when
they put me in a cell with a terrible amount of heat, without food,
without communication, and without my medicines for my health
conditions- they didn't film any of that". The response of the dissident
leader when they read him the warning was "that until in Cuba human
rights are not respected, until there is no freedom, as long as Cubans
can't decide for themselves and be protagonists of their own destinies,
I am going to continue doing the same thing we have been doing, and many
other things- in a peaceful manner- in favor of freedom and democracy".
This most recent arrest of Ferrer Garcia took place on Friday, August
24th, when UNPACU was celebrating its 1 year anniversary of having been
created. For days prior to the date, combined forces of the political
police, the Rapid Response Brigades, and State Security unleashed a wave
of arrests and house raids against members of the mentioned organization
throughout Eastern Cuba.
One of the first cases was that of Jorge Cervantes García on August
23rd, when a number of armed officials raided his home in Contramaestre,
occupied many materials, threatened all those inside, and jailed
Cervantes Garcia and his two underage children. He still remains detained.
In the case of Ferrer, his home had been surrounded by police agents for
various days until they finally raided the house on the morning of the
24th. "They ransacked the house", said the dissident, "they robbed
everything they felt like, and what they did not steal they destroyed. I
am talking about even toys and belongings of my children…they have
robbed them or destroyed them".
In addition, in the home of Ferrer Garcia, as well as those of other
UNPACU activists, the police took printers, cameras, laptops, pamphlets
and other materials, none of which have been returned, as tends to happen.
Marta Beatriz Ferrer Cantillo, 14 year old Lady in White and daughter of
Jose Daniel, explained in an audio uploaded onto UNPACU's YouTube
account that police agents beat all those inside the house in the moment
of the arrest, including herself, her cousin, her mother (Belkis
Cantillo) and an aunt. Her elderly grandmother was also inside the house
and suffered a sharp increase in her blood pressure.
Other detainees on that day were Anyer Antonio Blanco, Rafael Miguel
Cabrera Montoya, Franklin Peregrino del Toro and Berta Guerrero Segura.
The latter, who is the representative of the Ladies in White in Holguin,
was arrested and mistreated along with her underage daughter, who she
was carrying at the time of her arrest and forceful entry into a police
Other reports denounced that another 6 homes were raided that day and
more than 60 arrests occurred.
Meanwhile, activist Luis Miguel Gomez Hernandez reported that a group of
UNPACU members were arrested in the municipality of Gibara on that same
Friday, among them Ladies in White like Yoandra Garrido Silva and
Maydaly Garrido Silva, as they too celebrated the anniversary. Gomez
Hernandez was one of the detainees that afternoon and explained that
they were all subjected to "interrogations and threats that we could not
leave Gibara and that we would not be allowed to carry out any dissident
activity, and that not even the Ladies in White could to Mass on
Sundays". This group was released but many other activists remain
imprisoned, and some are on hunger strike (Ferrer Garcia put the number
at more than 20).
"Despite all that they have done to us, our activists celebrated the
anniversary of UNPACU with marches, signs, pamphlets, slogans and other
diverse ways, not only in the East but also in the West", said Ferrer
Garcia, referencing the case of Hugo Damian Prieto Blanco, in Havana,
who was arrested after carrying out commemorative events.
Other activists of diverse pro-democracy groups also paid tribute to
UNPACU and demanded freedom for their detained members, as was the case
of Lady in White and member of the Rosa Parks Movement for Civil Rights
and the Pro-Human Rights Party of Cuba, Sara Marta Fonseca Quevedo, who
carried out a public protest in Havana to commemorate the Day of the
Resistance and in solidarity with the mentioned dissidents. In Placetas,
Villa Clara, dissident leader Jorge Luis Garcia Perez "Antunez" also
included messages of freedom for Jose Daniel Ferrer and congratulating
UNPACU as he also carried out a public protest along with other activists.
Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia was released during the morning hours of
Sunday, August 26th and was quick to reiterate his compromise with the
pro-freedom movement in Cuba.
"The tyranny is very afraid", affirmed the dissident, "and like a
wounded beast, it will retaliate and cause lots of damage to peaceful
people who want freedom for all Cubans, but we are willing to give it
all. As Jose Marti said: 'Freedom has a high price, and it is necessary
to either give up and live without her, or decide to obtain it at its
For more information from Cuba:
Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia – Phone: +5353-146-740 // Twitter: @jdanielferrer