Cuban Police Conduct Midnight Raid of Island’s Biggest Dissident Group, Arrest Eight
EspañolCuban police forces attacked the headquarters of dissident organization Patriotic Union of Cuba in Santiago on Wednesday, March 8.
UNPACU headquarters, split between two buildings and shared with many other organizations opposing the current regime, suffered a wave of searches in the middle of the night that were carried out by National Revolutionary Police (PNR) brigades.
The group has the most political prisoners on the island, according to reports.
Eight activists were arrested during the raid, including National Coordinator Jose Daniel Ferrer.
Other activists were also subject to arbitrary arrests, including David Fernandez, Jorge Cervantes and his wife Gretchen, Yriade Hernandez and Miraida Martín, all of whom are members of the “Harold Cepero” group
Carlos Oliva and his son Carlos Amel Oliva, who are part of the “José María Heredia” group, were also detained.
According to the opposition member and former political prisoner Ivan Hernandez Carrillo, the scope of the raid is unknown, because the detainees phones were disconnected.
According to activist Yadira Betancourt, police seized food from a freezer as well as all laptops.
Since last December, when UNPACU’s main headquarters were first raided and looted, the police have carried out 38 similar actions against the organization.
Following the death of Hamel Santiago Maz Hernández on February 24 in the Combinado del Este penitentiary, 55 UNPACU dissidents still remain in prison.