Cuban dissidents denounce threats
By PAUL HAVEN
HAVANA — A leading Cuban opposition figure said Thursday that he and another dissident were threatened, and in one case attacked, by people they took to be intelligence agents in separate incidents on the same day.
Elizardo Sanchez said two plainclothes officials stopped him near his Havana home on Tuesday, shouting physical threats and using crude language. That night, dissident Guillermo Farinas was allegedly attacked by a man with a wooden stick elsewhere in Havana, resulting in light injuries.
There was no immediate comment from the Cuban government, which considers all of the dissidents to be mercenaries paid by Washington to stir up trouble.
The 68-year-old Sanchez runs the Cuban Commission for Human Rights and National Reconciliation and acts as a de facto spokesman for the island’s small opposition group. He made the accusations in a letter sent to foreign journalists Thursday that included an official complaint he lodged with Cuban Interior Minister Abeladro Colome the previous day.
“Arbitrary arrests, physical aggression, threats and humiliations against peaceful citizens are counterproductive to the necessary alternative that is a national dialogue,” Sanchez wrote in the letter to Colome.
Cuban President Raul Castro freed dozens of opposition activists and social commentators in 2010 following a deal ironed out with the Roman Catholic church. But dissidents continue to complain about increasingly frequent incidents of harassment and short-term arrests.
The opposition has accused the government of a wave of intimidation in recent weeks, including the 19-day detention of Antonio Rodiles, an activist in Havana who heads a project called State of Sats, which organizes debates about Internet access and other social issues.
Supporters say Rodiles was roughed up during his arrest. He was freed on Wednesday.
Rules for posting comments
Comments posted below are from readers. In no way do they represent the view of Oahu Publishing Inc. or this newspaper. This is a public forum.
Comments may be monitored for inappropriate content but the newspaper is under no obligation to do so. Comment posters are solely responsible under the Communications Decency Act for comments posted on this Web site. Oahu Publishing Inc. is not liable for messages from third parties.
IP and email addresses of persons who post are not treated as confidential records and will be disclosed in response to valid legal process.
Do not post:
- Potentially libelous statements or damaging innuendo.
- Obscene, explicit, or racist language.
- Copyrighted materials of any sort without the express permission of the copyright holder.
- Personal attacks, insults or threats.
- The use of another person's real name to disguise your identity.
- Comments unrelated to the story.
If you believe that a commenter has not followed these guidelines, please click the FLAG icon below the comment.