Castro Uses People with Mental Health Issues as Weapon Against Opposition

Tomás Núñez Madariaga, an activist of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), has been arrested on Wednesday, January 25th, 2017, in Palma Soriano, in the province of Santiago de Cuba.

Two days before his arrest, an individual suffering mental health issues had assaulted Tomás on the street. There are reasons to believe that, in fact, GORKI, a former agent of the political police sent this person with special needs to attack Tomás with stones. Agent of Cuba’s Home Ministry known as GORKI has been the prominent oppressor of Cuban dissidents for years.

The police intervened at the call of the neighbours and apprehended the aggressor. However, the man with mental health problems appeared on the street again, looking for Mr. Núñez with a knife in his hand apparently to kill him, as he himself admitted.

Wednesday morning, combined forces of the Political Police, the National Police (PNR) and other agents of the MININT, raided the house of Tomás and took him to detention.

This is already 24th assault with robbery against members of the UNPACU since December 18, 2016. That day the Cuba’s dictator Fidel Castro died.

In just over a month, police operatives raided raided 24 times our activists. In about 15 months we have suffered about 90 of such attacks. Almost all of them included robberies at the homes of members of our organisation.

If we count the dozens of assaults against other opposition organisations, such as the Ladies in White and other groups fighting for Human Rights and for democracy in Cuba an amount of these assaults will exceed 150.

This is how the tyranny of Raúl Castro is persecuting with repressions dissent in Cuba.


José Daniel Ferrer – dissident, former political prisoner. Coordinator of UNPACU, the biggest popular opposition movement in Cuba.

Bernardo Toar – Cuban democracy and human rights defender.