Thursday, January 20

Santera against Cuban opponents


Playwright and dissident leader Yunior Garca suffers harassment from the Havana government

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The Cuban opposition leader Yunior Garca, before the press.Yander zamoraEFE
  • Cuba HRW confirms “brutal abuses” against Cuban rebels
  • Cuba The Cuban rebels maintain the civic march of 15-N despite the prohibition of the Government

“That’s how the door of our house woke up today. Yesterday they tried to threaten us using the prosecution and today they do it with this. It is not a religious act, it is something political, an act of repudiation more. I thank my family for their firmness, their dignity and his faith. ” The playwright Yunior Garca Aguilera, convener of the civic march for the change of November 15, has been harassed for weeks and the harassment of the Cuban revolution, even with acts linked to the Yoruba religion to instill terror.

The activist’s house woke up on Friday with beheaded and crucified birds at the access gate, as if it were part of a santera ritual. A macabre act in which the animal remains, feathers, dirt and blood, which are added to another crucifixion, the one suffered daily in the state media in Cuba.

The playwright leads the Archipilago group, made up of young artists and rebel activists, which has taken over for the 15-N from other groups, such as the San Isidro Movement (MSI) or the 27-N, which emerged eleven months ago during a protest before the Ministry of Culture. They are all groups that are connected and that share activists and initiatives. The artist Luis Manuel Otero Alcntara, leader of the MSI imprisoned since the social outbreak of 11-J, has just left the third hunger strike that he has maintained in recent months.

Garca Aguilera received this week “direct threats from power” through the Provincial Prosecutor of Havana, that he advanced legal-criminal consequences if they persist in his call for street protest. Among the warnings against the playwright also stands out the one made by the National Council of Performing Arts, which made public that the “actions aimed at disregarding our institutionality are not compatible with the contractual relationship maintained until now.” Scholarships, awards and “salary protection during the pandemic” are therefore at risk for an author praised for years for the quality and daring of his work.


The reprisals also affect other members of Archipilago, which has been summoned several times by State Security (political police) to intimidate them, even two of them were fired from their workplaces. The doctor Manuel Guerra, who had previously been detained and whose capture caused a wave of union solidarity on the island, was also expelled from his hospital.

For now the rebellious youths stand firm, as stated in their last communiqué: “On November 15, we will hold our demonstration as a sign of the need for democratic changes for Cuba, as well as for the immediate release of the hundreds of political prisoners who remain in Cuban jails today.”

And they go further, contributing new ideas for the day of 15-N. The recommendation is that everyone who protests wear white to emphasize that it is a peaceful convocation. The organizers in each province will choose a place to demonstrate between 3 and 6 in the afternoon, but if the police prevent access, the marches will be held in nearby or neighboring areas.

Faced with the habitual violent attitudes of agents, military and paramilitary shock brigades, the organizers propose to raise their hands and recite a poem by Jos Mart, the father of the Cuban homeland.

The call also includes acts of solidarity with the nearly 500 political prisoners who fill the dungeons of the regime, including keeping a minute of silence “as a sign of the pain that Cuba has experienced throughout decades of authoritarianism and the absence of democratic spaces“.

Archipilago has obtained the support of different activist or opposition groups within the island, such as the Council for the Democratic Transition of Cuba (CTDC). It also has the backing of the US, which has warned the regime chaired by Miguel Daz-Canel that it will impose new sanctions if the persecution against the organizers continues. “We have every intention of responding against those who violate fundamental rights and universals of the Cuban people, “announced Juan Gonzlez, principal adviser for Latin America to President Joe Biden.

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