The same week American hip-hop superpunk Jay-Z and his wife Beyonce celebrated their wedding anniversary in Havana, Cuban rapper Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga sat in a Cuban jail cell, on hunger strike after the secret police broke into his mother's home and beat and arrested him.
Jay-Z may have 99 problems, but it's safe to say that letting Remon's suffering-- the suffering of a fellow musician, the suffering of a fellow black man, the suffering of any Cuban -- infringe on his and Beyonce's partying in Cuba ain't one.
This past Thursday, 21st of March, political police agents raided the home of Lady in White Jaquelin Garcia, in Bayamo, beating all those inside (among them underage children) and violently arresting rapper and activist Angel Yunier Remon Arzuaga, of the hip-hop group “Los Hijos Que Nadie Quiso” (‘The Unwanted Children’). After spending more than three days detained, the young musician was released and on Tuesday, March 26th, the same police forces once again lashed out against him, surrounding his Bayamo home and beating all those inside, among them his auntJaquelin Garcia, Alexander Otero Rodriguez, various neighbors, relatives and Remon, according to declarations by activist Yoandri Gutierrez to the blog “Ya Cuba Twittea”, a digital space which publishes denouncements directly from Cuba.
“[The activists] were victim of a vile act of provocation by regime mobs, directed by State Security agents”, Gutierrez told the blog, “During the act of vandalism more repressive agents showed up, supporting the paramilitary group against the dissidents. Among the agents present were Julio Cesar and Andrei, who were telling the members of the mob to insult and physically assault the dissidents. A major of ‘Public Order’ known as Natividad physically assaulted Angel Yunier’s mother, Eugenia Arzuaga Pena”.
All those present were beat and detained, according to the report. In addition, agent Andrei showed up to the house of Jaquelin Garcia afterward, breaking in and confiscating white clothes (which she uses to march with the Ladies in White) as well as her cellphone.
On his Twitter account, Jose Daniel Ferrer Garcia (@jdanielferrer), leader of thePatriotic Union of Cuba (UNPACU), confirmed that Angel Yunier, Jaqueline Garcia, and other relatives and activists were still detained this Thursday March 28th.
“Jaqueline Garcia and Yunier Remon were brutally beaten, and relatives of Remon came out in their defense…they were also beat”, said the tweet, “they are still detained”.
Relatives, friends and other members of the Cuban opposition have expressed worry for the fate of Remon, Garcia and all other detainees, considering that regime officials are very capable of inventing crimes for them and taking them to prison.
Jaqueline Garcia is mother of a 4 year old girl and wife of political prisoner Ariel Arzuaga Pena, who is suffering from various health ailments and is not receiving adequate medical care in the penitentiary.
As of Friday, Remon remained in jail.