Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, leader of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), was violently arrested over the weekend by Castro State Security. UNPACU, a pro-democracy and human rights organization opposed to the Castro dictatorship, is one of the many vocal opposition groups on the island campaigning for a “NO” vote on Cuba’s communist constitution referendum.
In response, the Cuban dictatorship has launched an island-wide operation to oppress and arrest any Cubans or dissidents who dare to publicly oppose the new constitution rubber stamped by the Castro regime’s National Assembly.
Ferrer Garcia managed to escape a perimeter set up by State Security around his group’s headquarters in Santiago. Both he and other members of UNPACU have been under 24-hour surveillance with their homes surrounded by police, threatened with arrest the moment they step out.
Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia, national coordinator for the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), denounced on Sunday his “violent” arrest after “escaping” a permanent police perimeter set up by State Security around the homes of the organization’s members, including the headquarters where he lives in Santiago de Cuba.
“Today I escaped the police perimeter set up by the political police around the headquarters of UNPACU in Santiago de Cuba to continue the campaign for “I Vote NO.” I filmed my violent arrest after seven days of a hunger strike protesting repression,” he said on Twitter.
Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia was in the middle of recording a statement when his arrest occurred. At the end of the video below, you can hear him describe his violent arrest. Somehow, he managed to get the video uploaded to Twitter.
Hoy me escapé del cerco policial de Policía Política de la sede de #UNPACU de Santiago de #Cuba para seguir con la campaña por el #YoVotoNO y filmé mi detención violenta tras 7 días en #HuelgaHambreVsRepresion https://t.co/ViTImPbHwg. Ya somos 78 en huelga de hambre— José Daniel Ferrer (@jdanielferrer) February 18, 2019
Once again, we see the more things “change” in Cuba, the more they stay the same.