90 dissidents and Ladies in White Who Protested in Obama Masks Arrested
Arrested: 90 dissidents and Ladies in White Who Protested in Obama Masks
/ Diario de Cuba
Posted on August 9, 2015
DiariodeCuba.com, Havana, 9 August 2015 – Some 60 Ladies in White and 30
human rights activists were arrested this Sunday in Havana where they
protested while wearing masks with the image of United States President
Barack Obama and carrying photos of political prisoners.
The Obama masks signaled the participating activists’ rejection of the
Washington-Havana rapprochement, reported the AFP agency.
The report said that uniformed and plainclothes officers, accompanied by
squads of official governmental protesters who were shouting, “down with
the worms,” surrounded the dissidents and arrested them at about 14:00
hours (local time) when they were preparing to withdraw to their homes
after the traditional Sunday march by the Ladies in White.
Obama “is to blame for what is happening (in Cuba), the Cuban government
has been emboldened by the negotiations” with Washington, declared
former political prisoner Angel Moya in front of the other activists on
the plaza located across from the Santa Rita Church, where the Ladies in
White customarily go on Sundays.
“That’s why we have this mask, because of his guilt,” added Moya, member
of the Group of 75 and husband of Ladies in White leader, Berta Soler.
Obama must “put conditions on the Cuban government to stop the human
rights violations,” Soler declared to the AFP.
“Really for us it would be very important if, when (US secretary of
State John Kerry) arrived in Cuba on his trip for the official
inauguration of the United States embassy, he were able to meet with
some representation from (Cuban) civil society,” said Soler.
The opponents were aware that they would be arrested at the end of their
meeting, and Moya recommended to the other activists that they offer no
resistance, the AFP reported.
This is the seventeenth consecutive Sunday of repression against the
Ladies in White and the activists who accompany them.
According to a Twitter report by activist Ailer Gonzalez, of the
independent project Estado de Sats, accompanying the members of the
women’s group were, among others, the grandmother of graffiti artist
Danilo Maldonado (El Sexto), who has been in prison since last December
without having been brought to trial; paroled writer Angel Santiesteban,
artist Tania Bruguera, musician Gorki Aguila and photographer Claudio
Also there were activists Antonio Rodiles, Boris Gonzalez Arenas, Lia
Villares, Egberto Escobedo and Camilo Ernesto Olivera.
From Gandhi Park, before the repressive operation, Gonzalez Arenas told
DIARIO DE CUBA that 12 dissidents and Ladies in White were intercepted
before arriving at Santa Rita Church.
Meibol Maria Sanchez Mujica, mother of prisoner Enmanuel Abreu Sanchez,
who has been on a hunger strike for 88 days in a quest to regain his
freedom, attended this Sunday’s activities of the Ladies in White.
Abreu Sanchez was sentenced to 12 years after an attempted illegal
departure. He was accused of human trafficking, a crime he says he did
not commit. Currently he is committed to the National Hospital.
As of this writing, the activists are beginning to be released.
Translated by MLK
Source: Arrested: 90 dissidents and Ladies in White Who Protested in
Obama Masks / Diario de Cuba | Translating Cuba –