While the news media was busy writing articles about the latest “reforms” being implemented by Raul Castro, Reina Luisa Tamayo and dozens of other dissidents were getting brutally attacked in Banes. While journalists in Havana were making appointments with the regime’s mouthpieces to get the latest economic figures from a regime that makes up economic figures, Reina Luisa Tamayo and dozens of other dissidents were being stoned and rounded up like animals.
It took two days, but at least one reporter, Juan O. Tamayo of the Miami Herald, was finally able to get the news of the attack on Reina and the other dissidents in Banes out.
Protest marchers beaten, detained
Cuban authorities cracked down on a march Sunday to pray at the tomb of a dissident whose death became a rallying cry for human rights activists.
Cuban security agents beat and detained about 40 dissidents after the mother of the late political prisoner Orlando Zapata Tamayo and her supporters prayed at his tomb, activists reported Monday.
The mother, Reina Luisa Tamayo, said she was repeatedly hit on the head, thrown to the ground and gagged with a smelly rag that left her breathless as she shouted anti-government slogans.
Security officers also kicked several handcuffed young men during the incident Sunday, added Marlon Martorell, a dissident who took part in the protest.
Tamayo and most of the 40 others detained were released later Sunday or early Monday but some remained unaccounted for Monday afternoon, including one of Tamayo’s sons, Martorell reported.
The detentions appeared to be one of the harshest crackdowns yet on supporters of Tamayo, whose son’s death in February after a lengthy hunger strike became a rallying cry for dissidents in Cuba and abroad.
Tamayo and Martorell said about 40 supporters joined the regular Sunday march from her home in the eastern town of Banes to Mass at a local Catholic church and to the cemetery where her son is buried.
The mother said groups of government supporters harassed them on the way from church to the cemetery, and one man “authorized by the state security” threw rocks at the marchers, hitting at least three.
Martorell also reported that a “security agent in civilian clothes” shouted epithets and threw rocks at the marchers. Some of the marchers threw rocks back, he said by phone from Banes, but kept walking toward the cemetery.
Scores of police and state security officers ringed the cemetery by the time the marchers had finished praying at Zapata’s tomb, Tamayo and Martorell said. “They attacked when I set foot outside the gates to the cemetery,” Tamayo told the Miami-based Cuban Democratic Directorate. “They threw me to the ground and dealt blows and kicks to all the brothers.”
Martorell said agents carried out the crackdown “with a lot of violence, with beatings for all.”
The only question that remains is why it took the Herald two days to publish Juan Tamayo’s story.