They can threaten, beat and arrest the independent journalist and former prisoner of conscience Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia.
But as Ferrer's response to the Castro regime's most recent move against him shows, the secret police will not silence him or his work for a free Cuba.
Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia
After having been beat, deported, threatened, and arrested for 3 days, the former prisoner of conscience Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia affirmed that he will continue the fight against the communist Cuban tyranny.
The dissident recounts that “they kicked me, beat me, twisted my arms and shoved me against the wall in an attempt to force me to put my hands behind my back to be handcuffed” on the same day of the arrest which occurred on February 21st as he was leaving the house of a dissident where there had been a meeting between ex political prisoners. There was no information on Ferrer for three days, which led many activists in and out of Cuba to consider him “disappeared”.
Ferrer was detained in a police unit of Havana for various hours and later transferred to the Operations Unit of Camaguey on Wednesday the 22nd. On Thursday the 23rd the activist was kept in the Versailles Unit of Santiago de Cuba. The regime’s henchmen had deported him back to his province. Ferrer was on hunger strike during this whole time.
“In the Versailles Unit in Santiago, there were two political political police officials- one whose last name is Sanper and the other was Fernando Tamayo. Both of these men are responsible for the repression against many dissidents and Ladies in White in Havana”, explains Ferrer Garcia. “According to Tamayo, he came to Santiago with his chief because in that area ‘the permissible levels of opposition activities had been surpassed’ and, because of this, they came with the intention of paralyzing our activism through the use of different methods, including imprisonment and other repressive acts”.
“My response was that under a regime like the ones they defend, to me it’s the same to be out in the street or in prison, because I will continue the fight anywhere”, assured the former prisoner who already spent 8 years behind the bars for his non-violent Resistance.
The agents mocked Ferrer, threatening him even more. In fact, the dissident explains that they told him that they would “have me jailed and under surveillance like they have done with Antunez in Placetas, under house arrest without being able to go anywhere, that they would destroy the UNPACU, and they would not allow anyone to enter or leave my home“. Antunez was violently arrested on February 23rd for leaving his house to pay tribute to the fallen Orlando Zapata Tamayo through a protest on the streets of Placetas.
Ferrer was released during the afternoon of Friday the 24th, but upon arriving at his home in Palmarito de Cauto, the opposition leader began to find out about everything that had been taking place during the days he was missing. “During these days, we have had more than 50 arrests in this province alone, most of which have been of UNPACU members and Ladies in White. They have already set up a repressive operation to keep Ladies from going to the Cobre Sanctuary this Sunday“, he denounced. In addition, three activists from UNPACU had been on hunger strike, among them Arcelio Rafael Molina Leyva. Ferrer Garcia affirmed that he would maintain a hunger strike as a protest and in solidarity with Molina Leyva, also from UNPACU and who had many of his belongings confiscated by the political police (reason for his protest), including a camera, CDs, DVDs, 100 dollars, a cell phone, and an external hard drive (the only one UNPACU had). However, this Sunday, Ramon Bolanos Martin- coordinator of UNPACU in Mella- told ‘Hablalo sin Miedo’ that Ferrer had deposed the strike because a political police agent actually visited him and told him they would return Leyva’s equipment by Monday night. Ferrer assured, however, that come Monday night and none of their belongings were back, he would once again go on hunger strike.
“We will not allow that they continue mistreating us”, affirmed Jose Daniel Ferrer.