For the Castro dictatorship in Cuba, even the collection of toys for donation to underprivileged children by the island’s dissidents is a counterrevolutionary act worthy of a police raid and arrest. Yesterday, homes of dissidents in Cuba were violently raided by Cuban State Security where they confiscated toys and several opposition leaders were arrested. All because they were planning on distributing toys to poor children on the island in commemoration of Three Kings Day without permission from Cuba’s totalitarian dictatorship.
Incidents such as these, which take place on a daily basis in Cuba, are the true face of the “reforms” being carried out by the island’s apartheid dictatorship.
Cuban police seize toys that dissidents planned to donate to children
Cuban police seized hundreds of toys from dissidents in a string of raids early Friday described by a pro-government blogger as a crackdown on a planned “provocation” — giving the toys, paid for by Miami exiles, to children.
Among the homes raided were those of José Daniel Ferrer, a former political prisoner and founder of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), and the headquarters of the dissidents Ladies in White in Havana.
UNPACU members said State Security agents and police raided Ferrer’s home in the eastern town of Palmarito de Cauto at 5 a.m. Friday as well as the homes of two other group members in the nearby cities of Santiago de Cuba and Holguín.
Police search warrants specifically mentioned “toys, money and other goods of illegal origin,” said UNPACU member Yusmila Ferrera. Dissidents planned to distribute 700 toys throughout the island to mark Three Kings Day, Cuba’s traditional gift-giving day.
The raiders of Ferrer’s home seized all the stockpiled toys plus five computers, several cellphones and about $600 in cash, Ferrera said. More toys, other computers, phones and $180 in cash were seized in the two other raids.
Belkis Cantillo, head of the Ladies in White in eastern Cuba, told El Nuevo Herald that she and 11 group members were staging a sit-in Friday in a house in Palmarito “to demand the return of what they [police] stole from us today.”
Ferrer and nine other UNPACU members were hauled away by police during the raids. All except Ferrer were released one hour later, and there was no word on his whereabouts as of Friday evening, said UNPACU member Andris Verdecia.
Ladies in White leader Berta Soler said police also raided her group’s headquarters in Havana at 5 a.m. and seized the toys, food, 70 chairs, a laptop and three printers, toilet paper and 100 towels and bed sheets that were to be donated to the children’s parents.
“This has been a plunder,” Soler told El Nuevo Herald from the headquarters, the home of the group’s late founder, Laura Pollán.
Soler said she and her husband Angel Moya, who like Ferrer was jailed from 2003 to 2011, were detained by police Friday morning as they left their home in the eastern Havana suburb of Alamar but were released after the raid was completed.
Continue reading HERE.