Cuba’s opposition leader, activists detained, human rights defenders protest
Prominent human rights organization Freedom House called in the special statement on Friday the United States and the neighboring countries “to press for the government of Cuba to respect the rights of citizens to express their opinions”. “The government of Cuba is trying to silence anyone bringing attention to the arrests and imprisonment of critics, including members of UNPACU,” said Carlos Ponce, director for Latin America programs.
At the dawn of March 8 the police forces of the State Security Department conducted searches and arrests in six houses of the members of the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) in the city Santiago de Cuba and in the municipality Palma Soriano, Ermito Moran, the UNPACU activist informed.
The Cuba dissidents were accused of providing information to journalists, which the government apparently sees as a grave threat to security.
The regime functionaries stole food, the printed materials and the technical equipment from the raided office of UNPACU deliberately depriving it of the means for its activity.
UNPACU organization built resolute and agile network of social and political activists around the Island, who are encouraging co-citizens to be informed, think independently and have a courage to protest against the inhumane regime. The central office would regularly provide material help in form of food to those for whom the regime made impossible any employment from political reasons. The UNPACU serves also as humanitarian organization to the most impoverished families.
According to the Freedom House among the detained coordinators are Jose Daniel Ferrer, Jorge Cervantes García, Juan Eduardo Salgado Jurado, Yriade Hernández Aguilera, and Carlos Oliva Rivery.
“The detention of UNPACU members highlights for the need for the United States and other neighbors of Cuba to press for the government of Cuba to respect the rights of citizens to express their opinions”, the Freedom House statement said.
After the Cuba’s regime arrested the UNPACU leader democracy activists in Latin American raised their voice.
“The the UNPACU leader has been detained” wrote Myriam Andrades, the human rights advocate from Chile, tweeting a photo of Mr. Ferrer being arrested.
On the photo with his hands tied at his back the UNPACU leader appears to be led by the uniformed police. Next to Mr. Ferrer the police car is parked. In the middle of the street two other uniformed policeman appear to be loading an unmarked van. A man without uniform, presumably also policeman, stands next to the van.
(Freedom House, pht)