Placetas, Villa Clara. May 27, 2009. Cuban Democratic Directorate. Cuban human rights acrtivists who had been arbitrarily arrested on May 24 declared the 2009 Pedro Luis Boitel Activism Memorial a success on a Radio Republica broadcast today. The Activism Memorial took place from May 13th to the 25th in honor of student martyr Pedro Luis Boitel, a Cuban political prisoner who died in prison without medical attention in 1972 after a 53 day hunger strike against the Castro regime.
Activists Jorge Luis García Pérez “Antúnez”, Iris Pérez Aguilera, Martha Díaz Rondón, Blas Fortún Martínez, Ernesto Mederos Arrozarena and Carlos Cordero Páez were on their way to Calixto Garcia hospital along Mayía Rodríguez street in order to carry out a symbolic burial at Havana’s historic Colón cemetery when regime authorities violently intercepted and arrested them.
National Revolutionary Police agents took them to the infamous State Security headquarters at Villa Marista, and subsequently transferred them to the Santa Clara Instruction Center, where they remained under arrest until the afternoon of May 25th.
“Although the Castro authorities and their repressive apparatus attempted to make sure this activity would not take place, we nevertheless feel satisfied given that we achieved the mobilization of numerous people in different parts of the Island as a tribute to Pedro Luis Boitel,” stated Antúnez by telephone to the Cuban Democratic Directorate.
The Pedro Luis Boitel Activism Memorial this year was marked by the participation of Cubans who are not members of opposition groups. Additionally, fasts, vigils, and public marches were reported from Pinar del Río in Western Cuba to Baracoa in Guantánamo at the Island’s far Eastern end during the days of the Memorial.
“To pay tribute to the memory of a martyr for freedom like the young Pedro Luis Boitel is an experience that has brought a shot of enthusiasm to our reason for being and actino, but it also reaches others for the first time,” observed Julio Romero Muñoz from the Free Expression Solidarity Movement in Camagüey on a Radio Republica broadcast.
Just another example of why the National Endowment for Democracy is right to honor Antúnez and his wife.