Moya: The ‘Boitel and Zapata Live March’ proves that ‘unity in the dissidence is possible’
Internal dissident groups from all over the country worked together for four months, postponing their own projects and even agreeing on rules for behavior in an attempt to carry out the “National March for Liberty Boitel and Zapata Live,” Angel Moya told DIARIO DE CUBA this Saturday. Moya is one of the members of the Group of 75 who rejected forced exile to Spain.
The initiative “demonstrates that unity in the dissidence is possible,” Moya said after being released from three days of detainment.
The former political prisoner and at least 70 other activists were captured on Thursday in Villa Clara, said the spokesperson for the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN), Elizardo Sanchez Santacruz, to DIARIO DE CUBA.
Close to 12 of them remained in detention at the time this article was written. The whereabouts of some is unknown, according to Sanchez.
Opposition leader Jorge Luis Garcia Perez (Antúnez) denounced via Twitter that his wife, Yris Perez Aguilera, was in a prison cell in Placetas, “in a very bad state of health, with her chest and abdomen inflamed, vomiting bile, and suffering hypoglycemia.”
Antúnez said that the police prohibited activists from delivering to Perez Aguilera the medicine she needed.
From the East to the West
The attempts to realize the “Boitel and Zapata Live” march began on September 8 in Guantanamo. The dissidents wanted to march from the East to the West, with new marchers taking over in each province, to demand that the government “respect and publish the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights; ratify the international pacts regarding these rights; cease the repression against the peaceful opposition and unconditionally release all political prisoners; and abolish the law that put them in prison.”
But, from the beginning, every attempt to take to the streets (in Guantanamo, Palma Soriano, Baracoa, Holguin, Las Tunas, and Santa Clara, among other cities) has been stopped by the government, in some cases, violently.
Taking into account the data provided by the CCDHRN, in September alone almost 200 detentions have been registered, lasting from hours to several days.
The initiative once again takes up a similar attempt in 2006 by former political prisoner Ramon Velazquez Toranzo, from Las Tunas, who is detained and on a hunger strike.
One of the principle criticisms levied against the opposition on the island is that it is fragmented, disorganized, and mired in rivalries among its leaders.
Nevertheless, according to Angel Moya, one of the driving forces behind this march has come from “the collaboration, the sense of unity amongst organizations.”
“The internal dissident groups and many human rights activists put their own projects on hold and placed all their efforts on the march,” Moya said.
He also mentioned the case in Palma Soriano of former political prisoner from the Group of 75, Jose Daniel Ferrer; Rogelio Tabio Ramirez and Rolando Rodriguez Lobaina in Guantanamo; Guillermo Fariñas, Librado Linares, Antúnez, and Idania Yanez Contreras in Villa Clara; and Sara Martha Fonseca, Hector Palacio Ruiz, Francisco Chaviano in Havana.
Others contributed through their own work, Moya added. Elizardo Sanchez “from the beginning dedicated himself to monitoring the repressive situation in regards to the participants,” the former political prisoner said as an example, and he also expressed appreciation for the support from various groups in exile.