Hunger strike in Cuba
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    It Has Sparked Harsh Repression

    “It Has Sparked Harsh Repression” / 14ymedio

    14ymedio, 21 July 2106 — The harassment against the Patriotic Union of
    Cuba (UNPACU) intensifies. Several activists of the opposition
    organization have denounced the up to five raids that took place in the
    early morning hours this Thursday.

    Ovidio Martin Castellanos, a member of UNPACU’s Coordination Council in
    Santiago de Cuba, confirmed to 14ymedio that antiriot troops entered the
    home of Jose Maria Heredia, on 8th Street in the Mariano de la Torre
    neighborhood. “They mixed antiriot troops with the political police. At
    the front was a Major from counterintelligence who calls himself Bruno.
    Once inside the house, they seized and stole his possessions.

    Carlos Amel Oliva, on hunger strike since last July 13 “to protest the
    arbitrary confiscations” experienced similar interventions to those of
    last night, also explained in detail the raid on the house where the
    Heredia cell is organized and where the father of the youth leader
    Carlose Oliva lives.

    “The operation was led by three State Security officers known as
    Charles, Bruno and Julio Fonseca. The troops were assault troops,
    officers fully clothed in bullet-proof vests with long shotguns. They
    entered my house, tearing down the first door, and taking a video camera
    and some documents. They also went into the house of some neighbors who
    have shown a lot of solidarity with me in previous days and took a
    laptop and hard disk from them,” he said.

    The operation was even extended to a kindergarten managed by UNPACU that
    serves 20 children, children of sympathizers of the movement. There they
    confiscated a laptop and “frightened the coordinator who cares for the
    children,” according to the activists, who were relieved that the raid
    occurred at dawn and that there were no children in the house.

    “It has sparked a harsh repression,” says Ovidio Martin, who adds that
    at Yasmani Magaña’s house, in Palmarito de Cauto, various slogans were
    painted on the walls, including “Viva Fidel.” According to the opponent,
    eleven people were detained in this operation, driven approximately 10
    miles away and beaten before being released far from town.

    “This wave of repression comes because the regime knows the situation
    that is looming. They are preparing the population for a new Special
    Period, because people don’t want to live through that again. To us, we
    are determined to take to the streets and we have attracted their
    sympathy, and they have intensified harassment because they are afraid
    that people are joining and becoming activists,” he says.

    Carlos Amel has taken advantage of the new wave of attacks against the
    organization he belongs to, to detail the reasons for his hunger strike.
    Despite being determined not to eat until they return his belongings, he
    clarifies the meaning of his words. “It is not [for] a laptop and a
    computer, they are things that are not worth the life of any human
    being, but because they arrest us when we go out. Or come into our homes
    and take whatever they want. This is a constant violation of our
    rights,” he denounces.

    Oliva has shown his appreciation for the support he has received from
    his organization and other opposition groups such as Somos+ (We Are
    More) and FANTU (Anti-Totalitarian Forum), and in real solidarity with
    Guillermo ‘Coco’ Fariñas, on hunger strike as of this Wednesday.

    “I am a little weak physically, but firm in my position,” says Oliva. “I
    have received many calls from abroad, from friends, from media… it is
    very comforting, for someone on a hunger strike this is the only source
    of strength.”

    Source: “It Has Sparked Harsh Repression” / 14ymedio – Translating Cuba

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