Capitol Hill Cubans on the wave of repression and violence on Cuba’s dissidents sparked by the visit of Pope Benedict XVI to the island:
Castro’s Un-Holy Week of ViolenceFor weeks, Cuba’s pro-democracy activists tried to get Pope Benedict XVI’s attention — if even for just “one minute.”
The fact is that Pope or no Pope, the Castro regime is always going to repress its peaceful critics — that’s just its modus operandi.
Yet prominent international figures can indeed curtail the regime’s impunity by simple acts of solidarity with the repressed.
Unfortunately, the Pope’s failure to embrace persecuted Cubans, has sent a dangerous message to the Castro regime:
If even the Good Pope won’t stand with them — who will?
The Pope is now gone and a new wave of violence has been unleashed — ironically, to coincide with Holy Week.
As we posted yesterday, over 25 pro-democracy activists were brutally beaten and arrested for demanding the freedom of Andres Carrion Alvarez, the young protester who yelled for “freedom” at the Pope’s Santiago Mass.
Then, Castro’s secret police arrested one of Cuba’s most respected pro-democracy leaders, Jose Daniel Ferrer and his wife Belkis Cantillo, a member of the Ladies in White. The police dragged them away in front of their young daughter. He is a former political prisoner of the Black Spring.
Meanwhile, the home of female pro-democracy leader, Luz Maria Piloto Romero, was also raided in order to arrest activists gathered there, including members of the group that sought refuge in Our Lady of Charity Church (and whom Cuban Cardinal Jaime Ortega allowed to be violently forced out).
And finally, Sonia Garro, a member of the Ladies in White and of the Independent Afro-Cuban Foundation, was shot with rubber bullets as Castro’s agents assaulted her home last week. Yesterday, she was transferred to the women’s prison in Havana and now faces up to a four-year sentence for “disobedience.”
A sad couple of weeks.