CUBA

Cuban police detain dissident known as Antunez and his wife

 

jtamayo@elNuevoHerald.com

Cuban police and State Security agents Wednesday detained a top dissident — Jorge Luis García Pérez who is also known as “Antúnez” — and his wife and seized computers, clothes, a TV, and even cooking pots during a raid of their home, other democracy activists reported.

García Pérez has been organizing an island-wide opposition movement since he and his wife, Yris Pérez, returned in December from a four-month trip abroad that took them to Miami, Washington, and several European countries.

Dissident and neighbor Blas Fortún Martínez told the Miami-based Cuban Democratic Directorate that García Pérez was hauled away by police and State Security agents after a raid Wednesday morning on his home in Placetas, a town in central Cuba.

More than 15 police cars and trucks and even a fire truck turned up for the raid as police painted over the anti-Castro slogans on the front of their house, Fortún reported.

Dissident Loreto Hernández told the Directorate that he and Donaida Pérez were also being arrested before the call went dead. Hernández later reported that he had been freed but that there’s no word on García Pérez’s whereabouts.

Yris Pérez was away from the home during the raid but was arrested later along with five other dissidents in the provincial capital, Santa Clara, as she left the home of a government opponent there, said dissident Damaris Moya.

Moya said she witnessed police punching Pérez and roughly throwing her and the five others into police cruisers when the activists tried to walk to the State Security offices in Santa Clara to demand García Pérez’s release.

Cuban authorities usually detain dissidents for a few hours or more to keep them from attending planned opposition activities. But the Directorate’s Janisset Rivero said she did not believe that García Pérez would be released soon.

Police may hold him longer to try to disrupt his island-wide campaign to organize the opposition to the government, Rivero said, or to keep him from attending a U.N. gathering on human rights in Switzerland this month.

Dissident Manuel Cuesta Morua was held for five days in January and then charged with “disseminating false news against world peace.” He is not expected to be brought to trial but must report to police every Tuesday and cannot travel abroad.

García Pérez, secretary general of the opposition Orlando Zapata Tamayo National Front for Civic Resistance, called for efforts to “destabilize” the Raúl Castro government in a news conference the day before his return to Cuba.

Read more Cuba stories from the Miami Herald

Miami Herald

Join the
Discussion

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category