Puente Democrático
Press Releases
The Cuban military dictatorship is scared of computers, books and T-shirts
July 20, 2016
The Center for the Opening and Development of Latin America (CADAL) denounces the continued harassment of peaceful opponents by the Cuban regime, whose belongings were confiscated upon return to their country. Among the most recent cases are those of Carlos Oliva Torres and Lia Villares. CADAL has asked democratic countries not to be accomplices in the silence that the Cuban dictatorship is seeking for.

Since 14 July, the activist of Unión Patriótica de Cuba (UNPACU) Carlos Amel Oliva Torres, has been on hunger strike to protest the increased repression against them. "With no other means to demand respect for my rights except by my body and my conscience, I declare myself on a hunger strike" stated the Cuban activist.

Lía Villares y Carlos Amel Oliva Torres

Oliva Torres denounced the following: "On May 24 I was the victim of an assault at the home of activist Arcelio Molina Leyva, used as Headquarters of our organization for the western region of the country, located at the municipal beach of the City of Havana. Apart from being arbitrarily deported on charges of being illegally in Havana, even though I had a temporary residence permit valid for six months, my two personal laptops, cell phone and a removable hard drive, among other belongings were confiscated. "

The aforementioned assault by the political police and their subsequent internal deportation prevented Oliva Torres to make a trip to Argentina where he was invited by CADAL to attend the fourth and final module of a course on Leadership and citizen participation in which he participated actively since 2015.

Meanwhile , Lia Villares , activist and bassist for the punk rock band Porno Para Ricardo, was virtually abducted when she arrived in Havana on Monday June 27 after a visit to Buenos Aires for a cultural exchange program. Villares refused to have her luggage checked, to prevent her publications and T-shirts (pullovers / T - Shirts) with the logo of the band of punk rock and others with the phrase “Abajo quien tu sabes” from being confiscated . Villares said "We are accustomed to outrages like this, unfortunately this time I refused to be inspected because I 'm tired of being ' obedient ' and because it is the most unwarranted thing to doing this world" .

The activist was practically kidnapped by five policemen, transferred to a distant station where they confiscated her belongings illegally and without even issuing her a certificate of confiscation. Later, instead of giving her a ride back to the airport, Villares was abandoned in an unknown location.

These and other similar cases demonstrate the political immobility of the Cuban military dictatorship, keeping itself as the most closed society in Latin America. In this regard, CADAL

is appealing to democratic governments and international organizations that hold negotiations with Cuba, to demand that the Raul Castro regime puts an end to political harassment of its peaceful opponents . This was precisely what was recommended by Germany in the last Universal Periodic Review of Cuba before the Human Rights Council of the UN when Cuba was asked "to abstain from all forms of harassment, intimidation and arbitrary detention of human rights activists" , a recommendation that was rejected outrightly by the Cuban dictatorship.

"It's difficult to understand that the democratic countries keep negotiating with the military government of Raul Castro, and yet Cuba is reluctant in making any progress in terms of the respect for freedoms of expression and assembly ," stated Gabriel Salvia, Chairman of CADAL. The head of CADAL added that "to remain silent and not to make claims, means an evident complicity of democratic countries in our Cuban colleagues harassment by the military dictatorship of Raul Castro, which for us is unacceptable" .