The Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation makes an urgent call to all organizations that defend fundamental human rights, to the community of democratic governments, and to the public, to express their condemnation or express concern regarding the crackdown unleashed yesterday, Monday, April 2, against peaceful dissidents in Santiago de Cuba province.  At least 25 peaceful activists of the opposition, among them, former prisoner of conscience Jose Daniel Ferrer and his wife, Lady in White, Belkis Cantillo, were detained, in some cases with violence, by the powerful secret political police and other repressive bodies of the totalitarian regime ruling Cuba for more than half a century.

Several houses were searched apparently without a warrant and were ransacked.  Their repressive forces broke into the houses of at least Jose Daniel Ferrer and Raumel Vinajera Estive and confiscated office equipment and materials, books and other publications, and various articles owned by those families.  Almost 24 hours after that repressive action the whereabouts of those arrested remains unknown. The crackdown took place in Palma Soriano, Palmarito de Cauto and Santiago de Cuba, (all in Santiago Province).  Those arrested are members of several organizations in the opposition, but the great majority of them are members of Cuba’s Patriotic Union whose coordinator is Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia.

Until now, neither the Commission nor any other independent organization of Cuba’s civil society know the whereabouts of Andres Carrion Alvarez, who was arrested by secret political police for shouting anti-government slogans moments before the Mass held by His Holiness, Benedict XVI, on March 26 in the largest public square in Santiago de Cuba.

Elizardo Sanchez Santacruz

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