Saturday, July 23, 2016

It Has Sparked Harsh Repression

"It Has Sparked Harsh Repression" / 14ymedio

14ymedio, 21 July 2106 — The harassment against the Patriotic Union of
Cuba (UNPACU) intensifies. Several activists of the opposition
organization have denounced the up to five raids that took place in the
early morning hours this Thursday.

Ovidio Martin Castellanos, a member of UNPACU's Coordination Council in
Santiago de Cuba, confirmed to 14ymedio that antiriot troops entered the
home of Jose Maria Heredia, on 8th Street in the Mariano de la Torre
neighborhood. "They mixed antiriot troops with the political police. At
the front was a Major from counterintelligence who calls himself Bruno.
Once inside the house, they seized and stole his possessions.

Carlos Amel Oliva, on hunger strike since last July 13 "to protest the
arbitrary confiscations" experienced similar interventions to those of
last night, also explained in detail the raid on the house where the
Heredia cell is organized and where the father of the youth leader
Carlose Oliva lives.

"The operation was led by three State Security officers known as
Charles, Bruno and Julio Fonseca. The troops were assault troops,
officers fully clothed in bullet-proof vests with long shotguns. They
entered my house, tearing down the first door, and taking a video camera
and some documents. They also went into the house of some neighbors who
have shown a lot of solidarity with me in previous days and took a
laptop and hard disk from them," he said.

The operation was even extended to a kindergarten managed by UNPACU that
serves 20 children, children of sympathizers of the movement. There they
confiscated a laptop and "frightened the coordinator who cares for the
children," according to the activists, who were relieved that the raid
occurred at dawn and that there were no children in the house.

"It has sparked a harsh repression," says Ovidio Martin, who adds that
at Yasmani Magaña's house, in Palmarito de Cauto, various slogans were
painted on the walls, including "Viva Fidel." According to the opponent,
eleven people were detained in this operation, driven approximately 10
miles away and beaten before being released far from town.

"This wave of repression comes because the regime knows the situation
that is looming. They are preparing the population for a new Special
Period, because people don't want to live through that again. To us, we
are determined to take to the streets and we have attracted their
sympathy, and they have intensified harassment because they are afraid
that people are joining and becoming activists," he says.

Carlos Amel has taken advantage of the new wave of attacks against the
organization he belongs to, to detail the reasons for his hunger strike.
Despite being determined not to eat until they return his belongings, he
clarifies the meaning of his words. "It is not [for] a laptop and a
computer, they are things that are not worth the life of any human
being, but because they arrest us when we go out. Or come into our homes
and take whatever they want. This is a constant violation of our
rights," he denounces.

Oliva has shown his appreciation for the support he has received from
his organization and other opposition groups such as Somos+ (We Are
More) and FANTU (Anti-Totalitarian Forum), and in real solidarity with
Guillermo 'Coco' Fariñas, on hunger strike as of this Wednesday.

"I am a little weak physically, but firm in my position," says Oliva. "I
have received many calls from abroad, from friends, from media… it is
very comforting, for someone on a hunger strike this is the only source
of strength."

Source: "It Has Sparked Harsh Repression" / 14ymedio – Translating Cuba

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