Español On January 27, as official delegations from the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) were arriving in Havana, the Cuban dictatorship’s police forces performed a cleansing operation — by threatening, arresting, and kidnapping Cuban citizens, including political opponents.
Lilvio Fernández Luis, leader of Active Youth of Cuba United (Juventud Activa Cuba Unida), a youth association, is one of over 140 arbitrary arrests performed these last few days. Yoani Sánchez reported the situation that Monday via Twitter.
Civil society in the broader region became aware and attempted to communicate with friends on the island to know more about what happened to Fernandez Luis. However, telephones were blocked, as part of the same strategy to silence opponents.
Today, January 29, Micaela Hierro Dori — coordinator of the Latin American Network Youth for Democracy in Cuba — managed to speak to the missing young man’s wife. She claims not to have any information on his whereabouts, and she is concerned for his physical health.
Juan Antonio Madrazo, coordinator of Cuba’s Racial Integration Committee, has also been reporting opponents’ arrests for some time. Particular cases involve Manuel Cuesta Morua (from the Progressive Arch Party), arrested by a unit of political police, and Beizant Boloy — an attorney from Human Rights Cubalex, a charitable group of legal advisers — held in the town of Octubre 10. However, other people who have been arrested – such as Fernández Luis – are missing, and the political police have not informed anyone of the hostages’ locations. This makes the situation even more distressing.
— Yoani Sánchez (@yoanisanchez) January 28, 2014
Through this statement we are calling all people willing to spread this information in social networks and mass communication media. The Cuban government is exercising repression on its citizens in the middle of CELAC’s summit, particularly in cases such as young activist Lilvio Fernández Luis.