Cuba: Lady in White describes regime’s threats and support from a Catholic Bishop
Lady in White recounts threats by the regime and solidarity from Matanzas Bishop
Lady in White thanks Bishop and other religious leaders in Matanzas province for showing solidarity with them and defending them against government mobs, she denounces the use of minors in acts of repudiation, highlights the danger dissidents run on the island and affirms that she continues the struggle for freedom.
After two consecutive weekends of police violence against numerous Ladies in White and male dissidents in the cities of Cardenas and Colon, in the province of Matanzas, on Sunday July 28th something different happened, although arrests were also reported, as were acts of repudiation and other forms of repression organized by the State.
Leticia Ramos Herreria, representative of the Ladies in White for the mentioned province, explains that 7 women were able to make it to La Parroquia of Cardenas, accompanied by 8 male dissidents during the morning. Upon entering the temple, they noticed that the place was completely surrounded by members of the Revolutionary National Police and of the political police. Ramos also confirmed that there were 19 police vehicles (with cameras), 3 vehicles of the PNR, 2 buses, 2 trucks fulls of police agents dressed in civilian clothing and even 2 ambulances. In fact, the police had set up a stage just one block from the church with a life-sized doll dressed with an American flag, ready to be set on fire. The mobs (of agents and collaborators) were trying to say with this that the dissidents were mercenaries being paid by the United States.
“The ones who confirmed this to us were people who were inside the church. They came up to us and warned us so that nothing would happen to us“, said Leticia, clearly moved by this display of solidarity.
Ramos adds that, in addition, there was “a small group of people of low social conduct – delinquents, rapists, etc. – who were waiting in front of the church with sticks and rocks“. The activist explains that these criminals have a compromise with State Security and always respond to their orders.
But for the Lady in White one of the most critical situations was that the police forces used minors to participate in these acts of provocation and violence, arming them with rocks, as well as the fact that the repressors entered church property. At that moment, the religious leaders came to the aid of the dissidents.
“The mobs had the audacity to stand inside the church and were telling us ‘come outside, we are going to kill you’“, recounts Leticia, “The church leaders, among them the Bishop of Matanzas, Manuel Hilario de Cespedes, ordered the mobs to leave and to have some respect“.
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