Cuban dissident Jorge Luis García Pérez, known as Antúnez, was arrested, beaten in a police lockup and is being held in an unknown location after he testified by video-conference before a U.S. Senate subcommittee, his wife reported Monday.
Another dissident, meanwhile, said neighbors in the eastern town of Palma Soriano reported a gasoline bomb went off in an empty field Sunday and a second one was found intact. Neighbors said investigators told them the bombs might be the work of government opponents, Dunieky Dominguez Gonzalez, a Palma Soriano dissident, said in a telephone interview. Anti-government violence is extremely rare in Cuba.
Yris Tamara Pérez Aguilera, the wife of Antúnez, said that she and two supporters were heading to the State Security headquarters in the central city of Santa Clara to demand information on where her husband is being held.
García told the Senate Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere Affairs Thursday that the Obama administration’s policies toward Cuba amount to “appeasement (that) only strengthens the repressive apparatus and the impunity of the aggressors.”
He and dissidents Loreto Hernandez and Jonniel Rodriguez walked out of Antúnez’s house in the town of Placetas at 3 p.m. Saturday and were arrested and taken to a police lockup, Pérez Aguilera said.
When she and another dissident went to inquire about the men, she said State Security agents punched and kicked them. After she screamed, Perez Aguilera said, her husband and other prisoners started yelling in protest, prompting police to fire pepper spray into the cells and beat Antúnez until he fainted.
He was removed from the lockup around 7:30 p.m., she said, and has not been heard from since. The others were released late Saturday and early Sunday.
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., who chaired the subcommittee where Antúnez testified last week, said he was “outraged but not surprised” at his arrest, “further proof of the brutality of the Castro brothers’ regime.”