The Nuevo Herald of Miami is denouncing a new crackdown on dissidents by the Cuban government, pointing to the recent case of a Catholic deacon who was beaten and mistreated in front of his own wife and children on their way to Mass.
According to a statement by Bishop Hector Peña Gomez of Holguin, Deacon Andres Rodriguez Tejada and his family had just left their home to attend Mass at the Cathedral of Holguin when they were approached by two men who repeatedly struck Tejada in the face and chest.
“This incident and others, which do not appear to be so uncommon, are creating a growing unrest in residents of the area and in priests and religious. There have been innumerable calls to the chancery inquiring about the veracity of these events,” Bishop Peña said.
The Nuevo Herald also reported that Ernesto Martinez Fonseca, member of the Christian Liberation Movement, his wife Judith Arbesu, and their two daughters, 8 and 10, were forcibly removed from there home where they had been living since 2000.
“The couple said that dozens of police offers and state officials participated in the removal and claimed that they were illegally living there,” the newspaper reported.
Opposition leader Vladimiro Roca denounced the detaining of Niurka Brito Rivas, “who was planning on the blowing the whistle to the media about an alleged case of management corruption at the regional dairy products factory in Havana.”
Despite the repression, the article reported that in Camagüey the Ladies in White—spouses and family members of political prisoners—held a silent march calling for the release of all political prisoners.
“We wish to say to all the organizations that defend the rights of man that we are not afraid. We are doing nothing more than in silence saying what others are afraid to and we will continue to go to God’s house each Sunday dressed in white in order to pray for the health of our family members,” said Maidelin Guerra, the group’s spokesman.
In Havana, on the other hand, “30 pro-Castro demonstrators, in an ‘act of repudiation,’ gathered outside the home of Soledad Rivas Verdecia, member of the Ladies in White and wife of political prisoner Roberto de Miranda, who has been temporarily allowed to leave prison for health reasons.”