While Shaquille O’Neal was enjoying his visit to apartheid Cuba yesterday as the White House “envoy of sports,” dozens of Ladies in White and peaceful human rights activists were brutally arrested by the U.S.-backed Castro dictatorship in yet another Sunday of violent repression. Obama’s Cuba may be wonderful for American tourists, but it is proving to be quite treacherous for Cubans.
Ladies in White arrested and reporter filming repression is attacked
The reporter described the actions of the people in the street attacking the activists as “very violent.”
A group of 16 Ladies in White and 5 human rights activists were arrested this Sunday in Havana’s Lawton neighborhood. An independent journalist was also attacked as he filmed the repression.
Carlos Manuel Figueroa, a Cubanet reporter, told Martí Noticias that he was attacked by a group of people carrying out an “act of repudiation” against the participants of the Todos Marchamos (We all march) campaign.
“I had climbed up on the porch fence and was filming the repression when a young man hit me in the stomach with a club and then ran away,” said Figueroa.
The reporter described the actions of the people on the street as “very violent” and said “they were also throwing rocks at the house and screaming obscenities with no regard for the women that were there.”
“Many violations were committed today because they even climbed up on the eave of the roof to reach a video camera installed inside the house that was filming the scene in the street through a window,” he said.
According to Figueroa, “the theft” of the camera installed in the window was to stop the filming of the attacks against activists.
Luisa Ramona Toscano, a Lady in White who remains behind at the house to watch over it when the other ladies go march said that “they beat them and handcuffed them” before they were transported to a bus.
Furthermore, they received reports that another 11 Ladies in White and two male activists were also arrested when they tried to attend church services at Santa Rita church.
Before being arrested, Berta Soler, the representative for the Ladies in White Movement, told Martí Noticias that “the surveillance of the headquarters beginning at dawn has now become commonplace.”
She added that they had received reports of arbitrary detentions of twelve women from the Palma Soriano municipality in Santiago de Cuba for a “short period” to prevent them from attending church services.
Before being arrested as well, former political prisoner and Soler’s husband, Angel Moya, published photos on social media showing what was happening around the headquarters.
“They have surveillance cameras set up to watch the headquarters and since early this morning they have placed cars, police cruisers, and the bus they use to transport those they arrest when we come out to carry out Todos Marchamos,” Moya told Martí Noticias.
This Sunday’s attacks make 59 incidents of repression against the participants of the Todos Marchamos campaign.
This past June 19th, the Ladies in White suffered repression upon leaving the opposition movement’s headquarters in Havana. On his YouTube channel, Moya is documenting what takes place every Sunday when the activists come out to march.
Hear the reports and see the attacks against peaceful human rights activists in Cuba HERE.