The organization of the exile community in Miami Cuban Democratic Directorate denounced this Monday a wave of “violence, repression and arrests” in Cuba against “members of the resistance”, human rights activists and independent journalists.
Ariadna López Roque, director of the Julio Machado Academy, affiliated with the National Front of Civic Resistance Orlando Zapata Tamayo, was arrested on Monday at the start of a day of opposition activities on the anniversary of the birth of Pedro Luis Boitel, politician held prisoner who died during a hunger strike in 1972.
In addition, on Saturday the independent journalist Ileana Hernández was detained in an independent march of the Cuban LGBTI community in favor of their rights, which “was violently repressed by the political police with beatings and arrests.”
On Wednesday, May 8th, independent journalist Luz Escobar of “14ymedio” and Isel Araango, editor of “La Hora de Cuba”, was arrested and received “threats from State Security”.
The Cuban Democratic Directorate also denounced that five members of the Ladies in White have been detained during the weekend.
Also on May 8, Marieta Martinez, who, according to the statement, was beaten, and Lourdes Esquivel were detaineed, and the police destroyed some greeting cards for Mother’s Day that the first one was going to hand over to her fellow activists of the opposition organization.
“The Cuban Democratic Directorate denounces once again before the international community and human rights organizations, the Cuban regime for curtailing the use of violence and increased repression and the right of the people of Cuba to exercise activities in favor of their freedo ” the statement said.
According to the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation (CCDHRN), during the year 2018 there were 2,873 arbitrary arrests in Cuba, about 240 a month.
In March 2019, according to the last monthly report of this independent organization, there were at least 185 arbitrary short-term arrests of dissidents, 37 acts of harassment and at least one physical attack.
It is “repressive actions that fuel the atmosphere of intimidation that is part of everyday life in Cuba,” according to CCDHRN, which figures the current number of political prisoners between 130 and 140.