From the early hours of Sunday the Patriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU) denounced the arrest of more than 130 of its activists. Several sources within the organization told this newspaper that the detainees were going to the Shrine of Our Lady of Charity, in Santiago de Cuba, when they were intercepted.
Repression in the east of the country coincided with a major operation in Havana, around Fifth Avenue, a place where traditionally, the Ladies in White march. The human rights activist movement reported an intense act of repudiation at the end of its weekly pilgrimage, along with arrests and police violence.
The march of the Ladies in White ended with about 40 women and 25 other activists detained and taken to police stations or detention centers. Mobs staged action against activists, markedly larger this Sunday, which was denounced by the leader of this movement, Berta Soler.
For his part Jose Daniel Ferrer, leader of UNPACU, told the independent press that the number of members of his organization who were arrested “is around 138.” He also said that more than a hundred arrests took place in Santiago de Cuba, a dozen at Guantanamo and the rest in Havana and Las Tunas.
The raid on the home of Geordanis Muñoz, coordinator UNPACU in Palma Soriano, was among the repressive actions reported during the day. Despite the control, Ferrer reported that the activists managed to deliver “leaflets, paint graffiti and distribute audiovisual materials on freedom of expression and association.”
UNPACU activities are primarily directed to denounce the arrest of Zaqueo Báez and Jordys M. Dosil, who have spent weeks in Havana criminal center known as VIVAC. Ferrer explained that Baez’s wife has been informed by the prison authorities that on Monday he will stand trial for the alleged crime of “contempt.”