“Saying that I don’t believe in Fidel is not a crime”. Young Cuban speaks out after arrest
Two friends were chatting with other youths at the pier in the city of Baracoa on the afternoon of Sunday, March 31st, when they were suddenly arrested by political police agents and shoved into vehicles. The detainees were Raday Matos Matos and Rafael Alejandro HernandezReal, two young Cubans who have, recently, been kicked out of their jobs, schools and have been persecuted for having ties with the Cuban opposition.
But what exactly led to their arrests that afternoon?
“We were arrested just for expressing ourselves and saying, not even shouting, that we do not believe in Fidel“, said Raday Matos.
“We were just talking there when we said that… there were a few police agents walking near the area, and suddenly when a police vehicle drove by, these agents pulled the car over. And at that moment they pushed us, told us we were detained and tried to put handcuffs on us“, recounts the young Microbiology graduate, “I didn’t allow them to handcuff me and told everyone present that saying that I do not believe in Fidel is not a crime“.
Matos and Hernandez were taken to the National Revolutionary Police (PNR) Unit of Baracoa, where they were kept for approximately 3 hours.
Raday says that “while in the unit, they pushed Rafael Alejandro and I jumped in to defend him. I stood between the police and him, and then they pushed us both. I couldn’t identify the official who did this to us by name but I saw his badge, which had the number 25461 on it“.
The officials handed them a written warning, which alleged that they had “altered public order”.
“We refused to sign the document“, affirmed Matos, “because neither of us altered the public order. In fact, it was them [the police] who altered the order“.
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